When you’re planning a task that for a wide range of students, the terms “floor” and “ceiling” are easy shortcuts to increase the range of success for all kids.
If the designers have done their jobs, the player should always feel slightly challenged, but never overwhelmed. As teachers, we should aim for the same goal: students who are stimulated but not frustrated.
Even the simplest game takes on interesting new twists when we alter the rules a bit. Let’s look at ways our students can modify checkers and turn this children’s game into something new to explore.
Sure, these may be games at heart, but you can take them to the next level by requiring students to develop strategies, write them out, and then use them to challenge you to a match! Unlike a game of chess, each of these activities are incredibly simple, so students can quickly formulate and test strategies.
Let’s tackle Torrence’s specific elements of creativity and build up students’ confidence in their creativity through vocabulary games, drawing games, and the alternative uses task.
Advanced learners and chess go hand in hand. In the past, I’ve used chess to introduce systems, introduce depth and complexity, and discuss paradoxes. However, since so many of my students understand the basics of chess, I decided to expose them to some chess-like games from other cultures.