Teacher Review for Puzzlejuice

Addicting word game: An interesting spin on Tetris!

Ashley K.
STEM Project Manager
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My Subjects Math, Science
My Rating
Learning Scores
My Students Liked It Yes
My Students Learned Yes
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time Less than 5 minutes
Great for Further application
Small group
Student-driven work
Whole class
Great with Advanced learners
How I Use It
I played this game several times with my 7th and 8th grade English students as station work and a reward for finishing the activities that we had. I gave students a choice between two other products and this one, and ALL chose this one. It is addicting and challenging (which makes it addicting). Students who were successful with the game (could keep it going for 3 or more minutes), continued to play it. Students who could not keep up the pace or multi-layered playing requirements stopped playing it after 5 minutes. I find that if my students had a good foundation of word creation (three letters or more), they could complete the game. This might help their fluency of word creation in the future and challenges them to increase their vocabulary so that they can better create words. It keeps up with high scores, and my students have requested a weekly high-score prize for this game.
My Take
I really liked how excited my students were about this game. I will continue to use this game on the classroom iPad to give students who are finished with work early an opportunity to play a language-boosting game. I will not, however, use it for every student, because of the multi-layer challenges (you need to complete the Tetris-style block puzzle and THEN create the words, while more blocks are still dropping). As a young adult, I was pleased that the directions and choices were given in "kid talk" (for instance, to end the game a player will choose "Rage Quit"), but it bordered on a line of confusion for students with language deficits (common in our school). I also liked how there are different challenges for each level, and that at the end of each game the app allows you to define the words you found.