Game Time: 5 Ways to Eliminate Arguments and Regain Valuable Time

"Can I go first?" "Can I be blue?" How many times do you find yourself defusing an argument over who will be the first player in the game or who will be the blue game piece? Value instruction time is often lost when these disputes arise and distract students from the focus of the session. I am excited to share 5 tips to eliminate these arguments and allow you to regain valuable time.

Customize Game Pieces

Each year I create "customized" game pieces by selecting clipart that resembles each student. Allowing your students to participate in the selection process of their game piece will instill ownership and help maximize "buy-in." I print the 4-inch images on card stock and laminate for added durability. These pieces will easily stand with binder clips allowing students to move them around the game board. A variety of games require the use of game pieces including, Candy Land, Chutes and Ladders and Monopoly (affiliate links).  

Ask Siri 

I have discovered that Siri can answer a variety of questions and can be a valuable resource in your classroom. When determining who will take the first turn, I will ask my students to pick a number between one and ten. Then, I will ask Siri the same question. She will randomly select a number and the student that was the closet, will be the first player.

Tap Roulette

This is a quick tool to help select player order. Students will place one finger in the "black" space and the instructor will tap, "Pick Finger." The light will cycle to each finger and then select a random student. You can also you this tool for answering questions or to accumulate points during a game. For example, the student that is selected gets one point and so on and so forth.

Quiz Button 

Another app to select player order is Quiz Button HD. This app allows you to select the number of players in your group. Once the timer gets to "0," each player will tap their letter and the player order will be determined based on how quickly the letter is tapped. 

Roll a Die 

This last tip is to roll a die. The highest number will take the first turn. Very simple, yet it eliminates all of the arguments for who will go first and gives you back valuable instruction time. 

If you have any other suggestions, I would love to hear them in the comments! Want to save this idea or share it with others? Pin the image below.