Generating a classroom environment where students feel secure and confident in their own capabilities can endorse a hard working and positive attitude among students. Education, however, commonly focuses on academic achievements and rewarding the most successful students, which can discourage those whose are less academically skilled. As a twenty-first century teacher how do you approach this issue?
Whole class games offer a great opportunity to engage students of all academic abilities in enjoyable yet educational activities. This can range from traditional games like keyword bingo, vocabulary hangman or subject-specific charades to technology-based activities such as Quizalize or interactive whiteboard games.
Here are 5 key attributes promoted through whole class games which build students’ confidence in the classroom:
Whole class games can be adaptable, therefore when teachers are planning and preparing lessons they can modify the content to meet their students’ unique needs. All students will therefore be able to complete the game and successfully achieve the intended learning outcome, because the questions asked and keywords used have been differentiated to suit students’ academic capabilities.
Quizalize, for example, is an interactive whole class team game which allows teachers to create their own quiz content to assess students learning. This innovative edtech resource allows teachers to construct unique classroom quizzes which contain questions of various complexities. Students will feel a great sense of achievement because they can work alongside their peers, regardless of their academic ability, in a whole class game. They can also observe their progress visually in real-time as their name moves across the screen or their character scores baskets in the Hoops game ( to see how Quizalize is played in class, click here).
Positive reinforcement is another key element of whole class team games which can improve students’ confidence in their own capabilities. By praising students for their accomplishments and highlighting their successes during whole class activities it can boost self-esteem, especially for those who are less academically skilled as their achievements may not always be explicitly recognized.
While playing Quizalize in the classroom, for example, the results are displayed in real-time, therefore teachers can instantly praise and encourage their students as they work through the questions. Moreover, once the quiz is complete, students can view their results on the Zzish dashboards to see how well they performed, and celebrate their achievements (Click this link to discover more about Zzish data dashboards).
In Chisholm Trail Middle School they have developed a concept called ‘Purpling-Out’, where students aim to achieve 100% pass rate in order to receive a complete row of purple ticks on the Zzish data dashboard. Students’ self-confidence is heightened as they observe their improvements over time and successfully ‘purple-out’. (Click here to read more about how Chisholm Trail Middle School use Quizalize as a whole class team game).
Incorporating whole class team games into classroom routines can develop a productive atmosphere where students are inspired to work diligently in order to succeed in the daily whole class challenge. Awareness of repeated class activities will develop students’ determination as they strive to improve on their previous result. Students can also encourage each other as they pursue the same goal.
When using Quizalize, for example, teachers determine the number of times students can attempt each quiz and whether there will be a time restriction. This can be altered according to student’s level of understanding and made more difficult as subject knowledge improves (Discover more about the game settings via this link). Students will also learn to persevere with challenging tasks, as they engage in subject-specific quizzes each day which assess their knowledge.
The informality of whole class games reveals students’ academic ability as well as their personal characteristics, and teachers learn more about their students as individuals. This positive interaction heightens the professional relationship between teachers and students as they engage in meaningful communication and celebrate successes together. As teachers become aware of individual and whole class learning gaps during whole class games it can endorse discussions between teachers and students about their individual academic progress, and promote personalized learning experiences.
Quizalize, for example, endorses communication between teachers and students as the results are presented in real-time in a gamified format. This direct insight allows teachers to instantly respond to students’ needs in order to encourage and/or provide additional support for individuals during the whole class activity. Quizalize results are also presented in a comprehensive data spreadsheet in Zzish, which displays students’ achievements and identifies individual as well as whole class learning disparities. Zzish dashboards show exactly who needs help, the exact questions they found difficult and which learning objectives they achieved; this promotes personalised learning experiences in the classroom as teachers can plan lessons to meet their students unique educational requirements (To learn more about Zzish data dashboards click here).
Finally, whole class team games facilitate cooperation amongst peers, as they work alongside each other on the same activity. The ability to work with others is a vital life skill, therefore engaging in whole class games on a daily basis can promote effective collaboration and cultivate a productive working atmosphere in the classroom.
For example, Quizalize endorses cooperation because students are working alongside their peers in order to successfully complete the quiz. Hoops is particularly useful for promoting collaboration amongst mixed ability groups because students work together in order to beat the computer, and higher achieving students can support their peers with the more complex questions (Click here to read more about the Hoops game mode).
In conclusion, whole class team games provide an exciting way to boost students’ confidence and develop a productive classroom atmosphere. Students’ personal sense of achievement, self-esteem, determination, communication and cooperation can all be enhanced as they engage in innovative whole class assessment challenges. So why not try whole class team games in your class today?
For the purpose of this blog post Quizalize has been utilized as the example of an effective classroom game, but we’d love to know the whole class games you use in school. Comment below to tell us more.