Getting started with games in the classroom

Happy New Year Friends of Spielbound!

I'm excited for what 2015 holds for Spielbound and I hope that you've been enjoying the engagement that our game library provides.  I've been personally enjoying the relaxed environment at the cafe and library.

One of the central goals of Spielbound is to help teachers find ways to enhance student learning and engagement with board games.  In order to do that we want to find ways to help teachers see pathways for using games in schools.  So how can we help with the professional development of teachers whose schedules are already packed?  Go to the movies, of course!

On March 9th at 7 PM Spielbound and Filmstreams invite you to a special, one-time screening of the documentary World Peace and Other 4th-Grade Achievements.  The event is open to all, but area educators and their families are especially encouraged to attend.  The film highlights the efforts of rural Virginia teacher John Hunter to use the non-violence principles of Mahatma Ghandi to help his students understand peaceful discourse.  His World Peace Game helps students to see the value of collaboration and communication in resolving conflicts.  This inspiring story will be followed by a Question and Answer session with a special panel.

As Teacher Outreach Coordinator I'm excited to say that this is what Spielbound is all about!  

Filmstreams is located at 1340 Mike Fahey St. (formerly Webster Street).  Free parking is available behind the theatre.  Teachers receive discounted admission. Concessions are available.  For more information about ticket prices or any other question you may have, go to .

You don't have to wait until March to get started with games in your school.  Being a teacher myself I understand how hard it can be to carve out time in an already packed curriculum.  How do we even start?

We have to be flexible.  We're naturally cautious with curriculum development because we have big shoes to fill for the expectations of our communities.  You may be wondering, what might my options be?

is a game for the History classrom: a two-player game simulating the forty-five year dance of intrigue, prestige, and occasional flares of warfare between the Soviet Union and the United States during the Cold War.

One option is to find a game that fits into your curriculum and addresses your standards directly.  Spielbound can help you find one that meets your content or skill standards and uses the classroom time you have available.  Games can be adapted to fit appropriately into curricular time.  We can work through how many copies of a game may be needed.  You can borrow Spielbound's copies of that game and we can get you special pricing on additional copies using your school budget or donated funds.  We can work through how to most efficiently help your students to understand the game.  Will they learn as they play?  Will you model it for them? Finally, we can develop questions that will really help students focus on the concepts within the game that are most important for learning the standards.

Maybe you don't want a workhorse activity.  Maybe enhancement and differentiation is what you need.  Spielbound can help you find a game that could be a great enhancement for high ability learners.  Or maybe you need a game to help engage students that are seeking more success in school.  Games can be used in before or after school programs, as differentiation in a layered curriculum, as alternate assessment or as brain-boosting activities for those cold indoor recess days.  Many games play in very short periods of time: as little as five minutes.  Even if the "rulebook" of a game suggests a longer play time, we can help you adapt the game to the time that you need or for differing abilities.  Remember, there is nothing sacred about the rulebook.

Ready to get creative?  We can help you write a game that will fit your classroom and students perfectly.  Let's be honest, teachers love having ownership in crafting their own activities.  Let's make it happen.  It might make some time, but we can do it together!

Don't be afraid to contact me at teachers [at] if you have any questions about the Board Game Cafe or bringing games to your classroom.  I'm passionate about creative engagement and I want to help meet your needs.