I'm excited to announce that Holmes Tutoring uses a new game-based platform to reinforce skills taught to students. Baamboozle is hands down awesome! It's a wonderful way for me to assess my students in a non-mundane way and is especially beneficial for my ESL students.
I love how students don't need an account to play this game. A lot of my other game-based platforms require students to have an email account or a password in order to play outside of tutoring sessions. When I create my games on Baamboozle, I have the option to share a direct link to my created games. I can send the link to parents by email and students can play as often as they would like outside of online tutoring hours! The cool thing about this platform is that there are already tons of categories made that are interactive and fun. I can find games suitable for all ages. Wow!
Baamboozle is especially beneficial for reinforcing beginning language words, colors, shapes, sounds, phonics, vocabulary, and number sense skills. I love using it as a warm-up for my ESL and toddler-aged students. Students pick a number and answer correctly to receive points. My ESL students love these games! They inadvertently practice speaking in full sentences and number sense while playing. It gets them excited to speak and they become even more confident in their speaking and listening skills as a result. Toddlers and pre-K students learn best with game-based activities and this has been a wonderful addition to their "toddler" time tutoring.
There are three options when you click on a category. You can either play, study, or upload questions and answers. I've created a game for my ESL students titled "The House." Click on the link to check it out. This is a vocabulary lesson. Students "study" the vocabulary and sentence patterns first, and then we play the game together as a warm-up before moving on to our next set of activities. The picture cards come directly from the homework activities I provide for students during the week so they have plenty of time to study beforehand. This has been by far an easy game-based program I've incorporated into my lessons. It's stress-free to use, quick to play, and fun.
Despite the rising use of technology, some parents and teachers prefer using print-based activities. I totally get it. There are some amazing print-based activities that you can use. One that I recommend for ESL students is "ESL Games for the Classroom." This is a no-prep book that is sure to get your ESL students engaged and talking.
Using "magnetic letter tiles" is another fun way to introduce and reinforce reading skills. This is wonderful for young learners. The "Coogman magnetic letters" have consonants and vowels separated by color. This allows students to create an understanding of the differences between vowels and consonants. I've personally used both virtual and tangible magnetic tiles with my students and I notice a huge difference in retention rates when students are able to use tangible objects to help with their learning.
I hope these resources help. Happy learning!!