Review by Erin Brereton, Common Sense Education | Updated September 2012

Game Classroom

Fun, game-based homework helper can supplement classwork

Common Sense says
Teachers say (1 Review)
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Grades
K-6 This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
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Pros: Games should entice kids to use the site, which also offers worksheets and other learning materials.

Cons: Quality can be inconsistent because games are from other websites; users also can't track their overall performance.

Bottom Line: Even if a few games don't pack the strongest educational punch, Game Classroom's plentiful resources make it a worthy math and language learning tool.

The site's structure makes determining which activities will work best for various age groups simple. Teachers can easily judge which materials and games can help support their curriculum; lesson plans are also available to help plan classroom activities.

Kids don't need to register to play the games, which helps ensure they'll have a safe experience on the site. However, it also means teachers won't be able to track their performance, so educators may want to encourage kids to keep a runny tally of their game scores or submit printed worksheets for approval.

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Game Classroom is a website that provides dozens of games, grouped by grade level and topic. Games are geared toward K-6 students and reinforce math and language skills, ranging from reading a clock to how literary devices like symbolism and metaphors work. 

Many games are from Scholastic, PBS, and other educational sites. However, kids don't need to leave Game Classroom to play them; they'll appear within the site browser. The site also offers videos, worksheets, and other resources on the educational topics that games touch on. 

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Because most games are housed on other sites, their instruction level and content varies. Some provide hints and second chances to guess answers; others unfortunately don't give much feedback, which could help increase comprehension. Kids will likely often need to visit the corresponding Game Classroom lesson or video section for detail on some of the concepts. Some links don't lead directly to games, which can be confusing; kids may also come across a few broken links.  

But generally, the site can give kids a solid chance to practice a number of key skills. Kindergarteners can work on their counting abilities; first-grade games focus on skills like reading and addition; fourth-grade games touch on advanced math concepts like prime numbers, multiplication, and division; and sixth-graders get help with research reports and statistics. If the games they play don't happen to include clear instruction or consistent challenges, Game Classroom's worksheets, sample math problems, learning tips, and other resources can help kids fully understand the subject.

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Overall Rating
3

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?
4

Kids should enjoy playing the diverse games, which are from a variety of sources. As a result, feedback and instruction can be inconsistent; sample problems and other materials help flesh out concepts. Videos offer additional instruction.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?
3

K-6 students learn about math and language topics ranging from counting to multiplication and statistics in games, worksheets, lesson plans, and videos. Content is listed by grade level, and games link to related resources.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?
3
Adults can sign up for an e-newsletter with activity ideas and learning tips or read past issues on the site. More than 65 lessons plans are available, and teacher profiles offer ideas for using technology in the classroom.

Teacher Reviews

3
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Featured review by
Jill P. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
East Grand School
Danforth, ME
3
Good place to find educational games for student practice of skills.

The major focus of this site is a clearinghouse of games that allow skills practice for students in grades K-6. The games are grouped in two categories- Math and Language Arts. The teacher can filter the games by grade level to find appropriate content. I have used several of the games with my students. Some games are better than others, so I would highly suggest trying the games before you assign them to students. Many have good quality content, but there is a lot of wait-time for the game to load or reset. In many of the games the player can choose a level (easy/medium/hard or slow/medium/fast) to accommodate processing times. I feel that many of these games would be great for special education students because of the repetition.
The site also includes three other types of resources for teachers- videos, lessons and worksheets. There are not many videos listed- there are certainly many better resources for finding educational videos. The video section has many more math videos than language arts videos. The lessons section is pretty good. Many of the lessons are right on the Game Classroom site itself and those are indicated by the words "Game Classroom" at the end of the lesson title. These lessons may include sample problems, learning tips, online resources, extra help problems, newsletters, and related games found on the site. Some of the lessons are links to other sites where the lesson is listed out. Lastly, the worksheet section is nothing special. There are limited topics and some of the links do not work- you will have to copy and paste the URL into a new tab to get to it. I have had more luck just googling what I am looking for.

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