TeachersFirst's Game-Based Learning Resources

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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst provides the editors’ choices of the TOP tools for game-based learning. Game-based learning is popular in today’s classrooms. Explore tools in various subject and topic areas. Differentiate for all students using games! Find games to help your students learn and review. 

Explore all of the resources tagged game-based learning

 

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Dreamscape - Squiggle Park

Grades
2 to 8
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Dreamscape is a curriculum-aligned reading game for students in grades 2-8. Create an educator account to add student accounts, track progress, and assign content. As students read...more
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Dreamscape is a curriculum-aligned reading game for students in grades 2-8. Create an educator account to add student accounts, track progress, and assign content. As students read short passages and respond to questions, they build their place within the Dreamscape world. Upon successful completion of passages, reading levels go up within the game automatically. Dreamscape also offers interactive "battles" between students following extended periods of reading and answer responses. Upon completion of each student activity, educators receive an email notification.

tag(s): game based learning (159), Learning Management Systems (24), reading comprehension (132), reading strategies (64), Teacher Utilities (95)

In the Classroom

Use Dreamscape to differentiate reading instruction for your students. Dreamscape is also an excellent option to share with ELA/ELL students to provide practice and support in English language instruction. Include a link to Dreamscape on classroom computers for use during reading centers, and provide a link on your classroom website for students to play at home. Include Dreamscape with other online reading programs using a bookmarking tool such as Symbaloo, reviewed here, for easy access for student use.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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PBS Kids - PBS

Grades
K to 5
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PBS Kids' focus is mainly educational activities and videos for kids in Preschool, Kindergarten, and Primary age students. However, there are a few programs for older students; find...more
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PBS Kids' focus is mainly educational activities and videos for kids in Preschool, Kindergarten, and Primary age students. However, there are a few programs for older students; find them by selecting You Choose. For younger students, select games, videos, and activities about well-known characters like Clifford the Big Red Dog, Arthur, Peg and Cat, Dr. Seuss, and more. Clicking All Games will give you 29 categories to choose from, for example, Team Work, Feelings, Engineering, Spelling, Reading, Healthy Habits, and many more. Click New Games to find topics such as Guess the Feeling, World Orchestra, and others to help familiarize youngsters with flight, trains, counting, and well, you name it, and PBS Kids probably has it!

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (173), game based learning (159), literacy (110), preK (287), video (271)

In the Classroom

Discover and share the many free resources available on PBS Kids. Show clips on your interactive whiteboard, or with your projector, then have students complete an accompanying activity. With younger students, use FlipGrid, reviewed here, as a video response platform for students to share how they would use what they learned by watching the videos or using the interactives. Alternatively, you might try using Synth, reviewed here; Synth is an extremely easy to use tool for creating short audio and video soundbites and automatically pieces together soundbites into threads to share as podcasts. PBS Kids is perfect for sharing with parents. Include a link to activities on your class website along with suggestions on how to use activities at home.

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SplashLearn - StudyPad, Inc

Grades
K to 5
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SplashLearn is a game-based math curriculum for students in grades K-5. As students play games, SplashLearn adapts the learning path to fit individual student responses and interactions...more
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SplashLearn is a game-based math curriculum for students in grades K-5. As students play games, SplashLearn adapts the learning path to fit individual student responses and interactions within the elementary math curriculum. Use the teacher dashboard to manage classes and add students. Other features allow educators to assign material to individual students, add required assessments, and enable home access using parents' email addresses. The site's themes and rewards motivate student learning, students earn coins to use toward the purchase of virtual pets. Note: This tool is currently free during the coronavirus outbreak, we will continue to monitor that the learning tools remain free.

tag(s): addition (220), decimals (126), division (155), equations (152), fractions (232), game based learning (159), geometric shapes (174), Learning Management Systems (24), measurement (168), multiplication (206), number sense (96), place value (55), subtraction (182)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free games to provide practice and support with your math curriculum. Differentiate learning based on student ability and confidence. Assign content based on students' learning goals. Share this site with parents to provide practice and support of math concepts at home. Use SplashLearn's reports and assessment results to guide your math lesson planning. Share this site along with other math practice activities using a bookmarking tool such as Symbaloo, reviewed here. Share your Symbaloo link with parents and on classroom computers for easy access to all learning tools shared. Use activities found in SplashLearn as part of a blended learning experience using TES Teach Blendspace, reviewed here. Include a link to games found on the site along with videos and other learning activities found both online or uploaded from your computer.

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Where on Google Earth is Carmen Sandiego? The Crown Jewels Caper - Google

Grades
4 to 12
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Can you track the stolen loot? Follow Carmen Sandiego around the globe to help capture the world's greatest super thief. Begin the chase to receive your first assignment and go ...more
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Can you track the stolen loot? Follow Carmen Sandiego around the globe to help capture the world's greatest super thief. Begin the chase to receive your first assignment and go to the location provided in the clue. Use magnifying glasses found in the city to interview suspects and collect clues to the next location. Each city stop includes three areas for finding clues to the following site.

tag(s): game based learning (159), maps (293)

In the Classroom

Share a link to this site on your classroom computers for students to use as a geography center. Use the locations contained within the game as a starting point for student research projects. Allow students to choose from different locations for their project using a polling tool like Dotstorming, reviewed here. Dotstorming allows participants to add comments, use this option to let students sign up for their choice of location. Encourage collaboration between groups of students by using Padlet, reviewed here, to correlate a list of links and resources to use. Create a column for each country or location being studied and ask students to share resources as they find them. As students begin to gather facts and information, help organize their thinking by asking them to create infographics using Canva Infographic Maker, reviewed here. Provide a list of topics to include such as population, main imports and exports, climate, etc. Instead of a typical written report, ask students to tell the story of their chosen location using Google My Maps, reviewed here. Google My Maps is more than a map-making tool; it includes features that allow you to add images, videos, and more to take viewers on a virtual trip anywhere in the world. Once students become familiar with Google My Maps, ask them to create their own geography game by providing clues to different locations found on their map.

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Polyup: Mod with Math - Dr. Amir Zarkesh, Professor Yahya Tabesh, and Shaya Zarkesh

Grades
K to 12
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Polyup is a web-based math problem-solving app for grades K-12. Use Polyup in several different ways for students to explore and play with numbers. Choose Play to work with numbers...more
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Polyup is a web-based math problem-solving app for grades K-12. Use Polyup in several different ways for students to explore and play with numbers. Choose Play to work with numbers in the computational thinking playground or select from featured machines to work with specific math functions. Find options for your grade level by selecting from the lesson plans, with included learning modules, from those provided within the several different grade bands.

tag(s): addition (220), coding (81), decimals (126), division (155), equations (152), fractions (232), functions (68), game based learning (159), geometric shapes (174), logic (238), measurement (168), multiplication (206), operations (113), probability (131), problem solving (284), pythagorean theorem (31), ratios (67), square roots (20), statistics (128), subtraction (182)

In the Classroom

Polyup is perfect for use in math classrooms in a variety of ways. Become acquainted with the free lesson plans to incorporate Polyup activities based on specific math skills. Encourage problem-solving and math exploration by including a link to Polyup on classroom computers. Instead of assigning a worksheet or other math activity for homework, ask students to spend time exploring Polyup at home. Extend and assess student learning by using FlipGrid, reviewed here, for students to provide a short video reflection on their learning activity. Optional registration allows you or your students to save progress and create your own machines.

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Bad News - Cambridge Social Decision-Making Lab and DROG

Grades
5 to 12
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How bad can you be? This game teaches you how fake news and disinformation spreads as players take on the role of the bad guy to acquire as many followers ...more
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How bad can you be? This game teaches you how fake news and disinformation spreads as players take on the role of the bad guy to acquire as many followers as possible while raising their credibility ratings. Follow the prompts and make selections on how to spread disinformation and take advantage of others' fears and emotions as you proceed through the game. As you make choices, watch how that affects the number of your followers and learn how to use celebrity and fear to influence others. Throughout the game, players earn up to six badges recognizing accomplishments such as impersonation and emotion.

tag(s): digital citizenship (77), game based learning (159), internet safety (120), media literacy (88), social media (43)

In the Classroom

This game is perfect for use as an introduction to lessons on digital citizenship, media literacy, and social media. Share the site with your students to explore on their own and encourage them to play several different times using the different options provided. Your students won't mind playing over and over; it is easy to get hooked on trying to find the best way to gain as many followers as possible! Once students become familiar with the game and the different options presented for spreading misinformation, ask them to apply their findings to online content. Have them do some online research to find sites or information using tactics such as emotion and the others featured in Bad News. As they research sites and online information, have them add links to the sites they find on a class Padlet. Padlet, reviewed here, offers an option to create columns, use this option then label a column for each badge found in the game and ask students to share a link to their sites in the appropriate column. In addition to adding a link, have students include a comment providing information on why their site belongs in the category. Instead of assessing learning with quizzes or a written report, enhance learning and transform your assessment by having students create infographics to share information learned. Canva Infographic Maker, reviewed here, provides easy to use templates to create interesting and informative infographics. Extend leaning and ask students to become the teacher using Symbaloo Learning Paths, reviewed here, to create an online learning activity teaching others on how to recognize and avoid disinformation found online. Be sure to share your assessment rubric with students as part of your assignment. Find many ideas for implementing rubrics for assessment along with examples and online tools at TeachersFirst Rubrics to the Rescue, reviewed here.

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Immigration Nation - iCivics

Grades
5 to 8
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Use this simple matching game from iCivics to learn the requirements of becoming a citizen in the United States. With this interactive online game, iCivics keeps to the facts, avoiding...more
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Use this simple matching game from iCivics to learn the requirements of becoming a citizen in the United States. With this interactive online game, iCivics keeps to the facts, avoiding issues of asylum and "dreamers" (people brought to the U.S. as children and raised there). The appealing character of Liberty Belle, assistant to the Statue of Liberty, will help younger students persist in learning the facts about becoming a citizen in the United States.

tag(s): game based learning (159), immigration (71), politics (107)

In the Classroom

Since the topic of immigration can be a sensitive issue in any American classroom today, you may want to use the lessons in From Provocative to Productive, reviewed here, to introduce how to have a respectful discussion (and develop critical thinking skills along the way). Once you feel students are versed a bit in diplomacy, use Immigration Nation as an introduction making sure students know the facts about becoming a citizen in the United States. Share the game on an interactive whiteboard or with a projector. In order to assure your students know the requirements before participating in a discussion of this hot political issue, you may want to play with the entire class first, reminding students they need to learn the facts before they can effectively debate the issues. Then allow students to play on their own on the whiteboard or classroom computers, keeping a log of their actions and results. Once students know the facts, you could set up a discussion using Thinkalong, reviewed here, to practice their discussion and argument strategies. With older students, a next step might be to take the debate public using Virtual Debate, reviewed here, which has online examples and resources for conducting virtual debates.

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PBS Kids Lab - PBS Kids

Grades
K to 4
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PBS Kids Lab has been archived, but continues to offer access to games, shows, and information on PBS KIDS, specifically for math and reading skills. Choose from the many activities...more
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PBS Kids Lab has been archived, but continues to offer access to games, shows, and information on PBS KIDS, specifically for math and reading skills. Choose from the many activities in the Lab Menu such as games, collections, and videos. Educator Resources include classroom and out of school activities to accompany site resources.

tag(s): addition (220), counting (105), data (153), estimation (42), game based learning (159), geometric shapes (174), measurement (168), numbers (184), preK (287), professional development (255), vocabulary (290)

In the Classroom

Create a link to learning games and activities on classroom computers. Post a link on your class website for use at home. Share information on the site with parents to assist them in helping their child with math and reading skills. Be sure to share the PBS Parents Play & Learn app that provides over a dozen learning games for parents to play with their kids, best of all, it is available in English and Spanish!

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Bioman Biology - Brett Baughman

Grades
5 to 10
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Bioman Biology offers engaging interactives and virtual labs for learning biology content based on national standards. Find virtual labs and activities sorted by topics such as cells,...more
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Bioman Biology offers engaging interactives and virtual labs for learning biology content based on national standards. Find virtual labs and activities sorted by topics such as cells, body systems, and ecology. Use the search bar to look for specific content. In addition to the interactives and virtual labs, Bioman Biology offers online multiple choice quizzes over most topics. Optional teacher registration on the site provides the opportunity to assign quizzes and view student scores for games, quizzes, and virtual labs. Registration also has the advantage of students being able to directly submit their scores to you via email. Several activities are also available as downloads at iTunes. Bioman is available as an iOS app and on any device with a modern web browser and Internet access. The older version, in Flash, is still available, too.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): body systems (56), cells (103), classification (29), dna (63), ecology (130), evolution (106), game based learning (159), genetics (89), human body (125), meiosis (14), photosynthesis (33), respiration (17), scientific method (67)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site to your class on an interactive whiteboard or projector to review and reinforce concepts. If you are lucky enough to have access to iPads for your students, you could have the activities downloaded as apps to use for stations or early finishers. Be sure to include this site on your class webpage for students to access both in and outside of class for further practice. Have students create animated movies online using Biteable, reviewed here, to demonstrate biology concepts. Use an online flashcard maker, like Flashcard Stash, reviewed here, to review concepts before quizzes and tests.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Scholastic Family Playground - Scholastic

Grades
K to 2
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Scholastic Family Playground offers games, stories, videos, and more for early elementary students. Familiar stories and characters are the foundation for activities: Clifford, The...more
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Scholastic Family Playground offers games, stories, videos, and more for early elementary students. Familiar stories and characters are the foundation for activities: Clifford, The Magic School Bus, Word Girl, and others. Use the interactive menu at the top of the page to browse the site.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): game based learning (159), literacy (110), preK (287)

In the Classroom

Create a link to the Family Playground on classroom computers for use as a literacy center. Be sure to share a link to the site with parents on your class web page or newsletter. Take advantage of printables to use with classroom read alouds.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

Comments

I must appreciate the way you have expressed your feelings through your blog! Temple, TAMPS, Grades: 0 - 12

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Dice Roll - S Riley Teacherled

Grades
K to 8
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Virtual dice can be addicting when trying to figure out what number will come up next, and they are quiet! You'll never have these dice roll off the table and ...more
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Virtual dice can be addicting when trying to figure out what number will come up next, and they are quiet! You'll never have these dice roll off the table and under furniture. Choose from one, two, or three virtual die at a time. Simply click Roll and start the guessing.

tag(s): game based learning (159), mental math (26), operations (113), probability (131)

In the Classroom

Have fun in your classroom with virtual dice on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use this with young students just learning to count. Have students take a guess about what number will "win." Use as an incentive and allow a student to roll the dice to meet a class goal. Set a goal of a large number, and every time a small goal is achieved, roll the dice and keep adding. Keep track until the class achieves the sum given. Practice basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division facts. Have team competitions and choose winners by even/odd, the greatest/least sum, greatest/least product or quotient. Allow students to work in small groups to play the mathematical practice games. For larger digits, roll two die simultaneously and get the greater number. Do the same to get double or triple digit numbers. Encourage your students to practice at home and play against their parents. Any time you need a dice, go to your bookmarked site. In older grades study probability and chance. Use the data and create line plots or graphs in various forms. Be sure to incorporate mean, median, and mode.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Online Music Games - Russian Music Games

Grades
K to 12
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This site offers a virtual guitar, piano, drum, and more. Create compositions, record, and play them back. Ear training techniques supplement actual music lessons or memory. Catchy...more
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This site offers a virtual guitar, piano, drum, and more. Create compositions, record, and play them back. Ear training techniques supplement actual music lessons or memory. Catchy games teach music while focusing on fun. Use this tool in English or Russian.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): game based learning (159), music theory (44), musical instruments (48), musical notation (38)

In the Classroom

In music class, present basic information virtually using technology to catch your students' interest. No music classes? Present basic musical information to your students. Any students who require differentiation can learn music basics at centers to build their musical repertoire. During Readers' Theater, create masterpieces to promote the mood in the plot. Create centers with this tool to increase creativity with a gift rarely used in most classrooms, music.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Branches of Power - Annenberg Classroom

Grades
4 to 12
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Sunnylands Civics Games offers a small but excellent selection of games about the Constitution and related topics. Topics include Branches of Power, The First Amendment, the Bill of...more
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Sunnylands Civics Games offers a small but excellent selection of games about the Constitution and related topics. Topics include Branches of Power, The First Amendment, the Bill of Rights, and more. You can try to be the leader of the Legislative Branch. Choose three main issues and the most productive way to succeed in your cause. Most activities begin with a short video followed by questions. Most activities also include a glossary of terms used.

tag(s): bill of rights (27), branches of government (61), constitution (93), game based learning (159), supreme court (25)

In the Classroom

Use the Sunnylands Civics Games to introduce Constitution-related topics to your class using an interactive whiteboard or projector. View videos together and pause as needed to discuss information. Challenge students to try the interactive activities on individual computers or at home. Enhance learning by having students use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about Americans described in the games. Modify classroom technology use by having students create interactive timelines (with photos, text, and more) using Sutori, reviewed here, to trace the path of a bill or the writing of the Constitution.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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0h h1 - Martin Kool

Grades
3 to 12
9 Favorites 2  Comments
Oh h1 is an addicting and challenging interactive for problem solving and logic. Choose from four different grid sizes to play. Click on squares to make them red or blue. ...more
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Oh h1 is an addicting and challenging interactive for problem solving and logic. Choose from four different grid sizes to play. Click on squares to make them red or blue. The goal is to never have more than 2 squares of the same color in a row, and to have equal numbers of colors in all rows and columns. The rules are explained as you play. Increase difficulty by increasing the number of grids and completing in the shortest elapsed time.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (173), game based learning (159), logic (238), problem solving (284), puzzles (200)

In the Classroom

Oh h1 is perfect for use on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use this site as a computer learning center or on individual computers. Challenge students to increase difficulty levels and elapsed time. Share this engaging site with your gifted students for some mind stretching fun! Be sure to include a link on your class website or blog (parents may want to try this one too). Have students challenge their parents to see who can complete puzzles the quickest!

Comments

Great for logic practice. Melissa, , Grades: 0 - 5
Fun logic game-kids won't realize they are learning. Tammy, OR, Grades: 0 - 9

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