One answer- RELEVANCE and ENGAGEMENT!
Children pay attention to learning that is intrinsically interesting and nearly ALL of our children are fascinated by these games. The games have inspired them and added to their understanding of how to handle disappointments, persist through hardships and practise important skills.
Our Primary and Secondary students have written from the point of view of an athlete ready to run, calculated distances, worked on tessellating flags in isosceles triangle shapes, discussed individual performances, written persuasive pieces about drug-cheats, learned about Brazil and written reports about animals in the Amazon basin, eaten Brazilian cheese bread and provided descriptions, learned about timelines so they understand when these games began and much, much more!
Academic literacy and numeracy outcomes have markedly increased throughout this theme and of course interest has really risen.
The kids are ENGAGED and there is no learning without engagement.
I know some parents would rather see kids sitting quietly doing worksheet after worksheet at desks but is that really learning?
We believe in TEACHING and providing HANDS-ON learning so our children understand! Worksheets are used for reinforcement and consolidation so they are important.
Real learning might be messy, involve movement and lots of questions. This type of learning involves many weekly hours of thinking, looking at needs of students and planning. We will never be one size suits all! We know our students have many learning styles and cocktails of abilities.
We want ALL of our students to succeed!
We seek to stimulate children’s brains- not anesthetize them!