Top 7.5 Ways to Use
Legends of Learning Playlists

Game-based learning produces strong performance results and engagement. Playlists help teachers manage and deploy games for their classrooms to achieve those results. They are an incredibly versatile tool that provide strategic lesson plan architecture, real-time data and control, and performance analytics.

To help teachers we’ve compiled a list of the top seven (and a half) ways teachers can use playlists with their students:

1. Introduce science content – LoL playlists can provide a great introduction to new concepts. Each game contains a significant amount of content, so students can visualize new science concepts in a fun, interactive environment before listening to a lecture or opening a textbook.

2. Mid-unit refresh – After a few days of teaching the same topic, it can start to get stale for students. Reinforce and invigorate your lessons by deploying a playlist in the middle of the unit. Keep it fresh with a little fun!

3. Homework – Looking for take-home exercises that don’t involve a worksheet? Now you can build a playlist and set it to launch at a future date, for a set period of time. Your students might even want to do their homework!

4. Monday warm-up – It’s amazing how much students can forget content over the weekend. Use games and quiz questions in Legends of Learning playlists to ease them back into the swing of learning science for the week.

5. Assess progress – One of the best features playlists offer are assessment questions. This item lets you gage student knowledge and progress anywhere in a playlist; before, after, or in between games. You will know whether students are getting the larger lesson or not in real-time.

6. Stations – If your students are rotating through stations, between labs and other activities, playlists are a perfect addition; you can build them to last as little as ten minutes. This is a good option for classrooms that do not have one-to-one device access.

7. Test Review – Study guides, jeopardy, and practice tests help students prepare for tests from many different angles. Playlists add another element, mixing engaging gameplay with strong subject matter review.

7.5. Past unit recall – In that same vein (thus, the 7.5), if your students need to review foundational concepts you taught them months ago, launch a playlist for their blast from the past! This can be particularly useful for highlighting NGSS Crosscutting Concepts (CCC), which you can read about on our blog.

You can learn more about playlists on our help site. Log in today, and create a playlist for your next lesson!

Personalize Your Test Prep with Science Games

Teachers, do you hear that? It’s the sound of summer. But before you get there, there is this little thing called testing that comes up in the spring. Did you know in spring testing is more common than flowers? A key to successful testing is preparing students so content is fresh and top of mind.

Nearly every school in the country is testing this week, tested in the last week couple weeks or is testing in the next couple weeks. For example, in Baltimore students are taking the PARCC exams for the next three weeks while in Virginia they will be tested on the SOL.

All of this makes testing at this time of year extremely challenging for teachers. Teachers have to find a way to keep students motivated and engaged in class so they do their best on exams.

The key to student success on exams depends a lot on how confident they feel in the material they are being tested on. That means practice. Students need to prepare for test taking in a way that’s fun and engaging so they aren’t wracked with nerves when they are taking the real test.

How can you achieve this worthy goal? By playing games of course!

It might sound crazy, but games are exactly the right tool to pull out of the tool belt right now. Think about it. Students are a little stir crazy. They can hear summer coming and spring break is either just around the corner or just gone by. Students really need some engagement, and science games offer just that.

In our pilot of short curricula games last year, our research statistically proved that when students learn with games they have higher levels of simple fact recall and are thus able to give more sophisticated answers to complex questions on tests.

But don’t take our word for it. We have a lot of teacher Ambassadors who have already thought of some great ways to use games to prep for their exams. Here are some of their suggestions:

Renee Ekhoff, Nebraska

Recently, we were studying adaptations and natural selection. We used the life science games — Walter’s Travels and Survival of the Fittest — to identify adaptations, both behavioral and physical. The students applied their practice to their review for the quiz and for the adaptation poster. It was awesome to see students using adaptations they had learned through the games on their projects! — Renee Ekhoff, Nebraska

Ann Pottebaum, Iowa

I have previewed the games and selected ones that best fit our learning objectives. I have projected the games up, and we have worked through them together to introduce the site/types of games available to study for exams.

The students thought they were great. What an interactive way to study and review as we finished our units on atoms, molecules, compounds and bonding! — Anne Pottebaum, Iowa

Caitlin Unterman, Virginia

We used the natural resources games to help review renewable vs nonrenewable sources. We also used the oceanography (weather and the ocean) to review ocean currents. — Caitlin Unterman, Virginia

Elizabeth Lewellen, California

LOL has been an invaluable tool for helping my students prepare for the state test. Students have been giving me personal requests for the topics they feel they need to review the most.

Every student is different. With LOL I just launch a playlist for the different topics requested, and in this way I’m differentiating the review practice for each student. It’s awesome. Its empowering for me and the students feel very catered to when they feel their personal needs for instructional focus are being met. — Elizabeth Lewellen, California

Mariana Garcia-Serrato, California

For test prep in 8th grade, I displayed the complete list of LOL learning objectives. Students were invited to peruse them and decide which ones each of them wanted to review.

Then I created different playlists for groups and individuals based on their perceived needs, with a couple of special invites for concepts that were covered in previous years. Having that list of discrete learning objectives proved an easy way for them to decide what to study! — Mariana Garcia-Serrato, California

If you want to play the games for yourself, sign up today on the Legends of Learning platform. To become an ambassador, visit our site and fill out this simple form (https://www.legendsoflearning.com/join-us/).

Good luck with testing and the rest of your school year!

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