Education

Summer Day Camps, 2017!

SUMMER DAY CAMPS

Summer Board Game Camps are coming!

This summer we will be hosting two camps for middle school-aged students interested in board games (June 14–16) and board game design (June 26–30).

Board Game Introduction Day Camp

From June 14th to June 16th, Spielbound will be hosting a three-day board game camp for middle school students. Board games can be an instrumental tool to grow and encourage skills in spatial reasoning, math, critical thinking, group work and cooperation. Throughout the days, students will have an opportunity to learn games from multiple genres with the help of Spielbound staff and volunteers. The games selected for the camp will give students a comprehensive understanding of the skills and fun to be gained through collaboration and play. The final day will end with a session where parents and Spielbound volunteers will learn games from the student in the camp. Lunch will be provided each day, send any dietary restrictions or ability limitations to greg@spielbound.org and we will work to accommodate them in advance.

Board Game Design Day Camp

From June 26th to June 30th, Spielbound will be hosting a five-day board game design camp for middle school students. Board games can be an instrumental tool to grow and encourage skills in spatial reasoning, math, critical thinking, group work and cooperation. Throughout this camp, students will have an opportunity to learn games from multiple genres with the help of Spielbound staff and volunteers, to identify the structures of board game design, and to then design a working prototype of their own original board game. They will get to work with members of Spielbound's Spielmason board game design group, who have printed and published multiple games. The games selected for the camp will give students a comprehensive understanding of the skills and fun to be gained through collaboration and play, and the design process will help them gain skills in graphic design, creative writing, and collaboration.

The camp will end on Friday the 30th with a demo session where students will teach their games to family, friends, and Spielbound volunteers from 3pm-5pm.

Lunch will be provided each day, send any dietary restrictions, ability limitations, or questions of any kind to greg@spielbound.org and we will work to accommodate them in advance.

Working on Spielbound Teacher Guides

Dr. Mark Mills drawing diagrams on a blackboard during testimony before the Congressional Joint Atomic Energy Committee hearings on atomic radioactive fallout, 1957. Hopefully integrating games into your curriculum isn't quite this complicated.

Hello readers of Spielbound.org! The summer may be in full swing but that doesn’t mean that work stops for teachers. We’re participating in summer programs, working on strategic planning, and writing next year’s lessons! At Spielbound my goal for the summer is to start some serious work on getting some teacher guides going to help classroom teachers get the basic information they need to consider using existing games as part of their curriculum.

As I started this process, my biggest goal was to incorporate the realities of classroom teaching into a resource that would help an educator take the first steps into using games. I’ve spoken on this blog before about how logistics can be a challenge in the classroom. We have standards that we must meet. This doesn’t prevent us from innovating curriculum, but it means that we have to be very efficient in squeezing as much time as possible out of our available class time. For games, that means that any teacher guide that we produce at Spielbound needs to communicate how much time it could take students to have a great experience with a game. But that’s just a beginning.

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.

Greetings from our new Teacher Outreach Coordinator!

Michael Fryda
Thanks for finding your way to Spielbound!

My name is Michael Fryda and I am the Teacher Outreach Coordinator for the organization. I'll be maintaining this blog to help you, the reader, understand what Spielbound has to offer you. I am also the contact for teachers in the Metro area who are interested in finding ways to bring board games into their curricula and after school clubs.

Why me? I'm a twelve-year veteran high school teacher and an adjunct professor of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. I teach science at Westside High School in Omaha and I've been involved in creating staff development programs and mentoring first year teachers my entire career.

I've also been sponsoring an after school game club at Westside High School since 2003. A colleague splits the duties with me. Between the two us, we reach over 100 students every Tuesday. When I started the club, I set a series of educative goals for our students. We knew a decade ago, just as we do now that games have strong capacity for teaching critical thinking, strategic thinking, and cost-benefit analysis. All of these thinking modalities are taught in school curricula. We also wanted to be sure that students had a safe, inclusive environment to be at after school. Finally, we wanted to model a positive sporting spirit with our students.