We love playing games in speech. But sometimes it backfires on us. What should we do when our speech students can't handle playing a game?!
I am with you. I love keeping my speech room fun and engaging. It helps with motivation. It helps make learning fun. I love using games. I love using board games like Jenga, Trouble, and Connect 4 paired with any task card to make it exciting. CLICK HERE to read about my favorite games to use in speech! I also love using task card games that I have created (or found others on TpT). CLICK HERE to see what I am talking about!
But what do we do when our speech students misbehave while playing the games?
What are some issues you might face?
- Students cannot handle losing.
- Students are “sore winners.”
- Students unable to wait patiently for their turn.
- Students getting too loud and rowdy while playing.
- Students unable to focus on the task/learning at hand because they are too focused on the game.
- Too many things going on and distracting students.
Those are just some samples of what could possibly go wrong with games…from experience! I am not perfect…I have experienced these negative behaviors. So they can’t handle a game but you don’t want the sessions to be boring and not as motivating. What can you do?!
No Winners in Speech!
If your issue is that you have students that struggle handling winning or losing…don’t have a winner! End the game before it is really over “sorry time is up!” You will get groans but it will prevent other issues!
No prize for the speech winner!
My students know that there is never a prize. The winner usually has to clean up the game. The others in the group get a kick out of the fact that they don’t have to help and are happy to have lost the game!
Games only at the end of the speech session
If your students are struggling to stay focused on the learning part of the session due to games….get the learning done first and let them earn a game at the end of the session. Use a token board, let them vote on the game, set a timer, whatever works best for you!
You are one team – the speech team!
Instead of having students compete against each other…let them work together towards a goal. I like playing games like Who Wants To Be A Millionaire (you can find free and readymade games HERE). Students have to collaborate, interact, and be patient with each other to work towards a goal. This way no one is a winner but everyone wins.
Games only before holidays
You can have students earn or look forward to special treats to play a game. Make it rare. Surprise them with it. Let them wonder when it will happen or you can make it a known thing. The choice is yours.
Role play how to play games in speech
Show them how it is done. Show them what not to do. Show them how it comes across when they misbehave or are rude to others. Let them role play too. Let them “see” the right way and the wrong way. This is great for those students that don’t seem to realize what they are doing wrong.
Make speech fun without games
You still can make it fun without bringing out the board games. You can use videos, technology, or just high-interest topics. There are other solutions. Trust me..I use them often! My students LOVE when I bring out the Chromebook and use technology. CLICK HERE to read about my favorite ways to incorporate mini movies into my speech room!
So there you have it. Those are several ways you can still incorporate games with groups or with students that struggle to handle games appropriately. Don’t be afraid to change things up and systems up. If a behavior system isn’t working…change it up. If students are misbehaving or not handling things the same way as they used to…change it up. Don’t be afraid of change. Don’t be afraid of trying something new. Your students will benefit from a new form of structure in the speech room. Our main goal is working towards their speech goals. Yes, we want to have fun but we need to get the job done first!
Are you sick and tired of your students constantly asking to play a game when they first walk into your speech room? I have free signs available for you to display!