Nintendo DS as a Center?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by gutterballjen, Jun 1, 2010.

  1. gutterballjen

    gutterballjen Comrade

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    Jun 1, 2010

    I was looking at a classroom website the other day. What intrigued me the most was that the teacher used a Nintendo DS as a literacy and a math canter. At first I thought that she was kidding, until I saw pictures of two students working away on their DS.

    What do you think about this? Is this something you would want to have in your classroom? Why or why not? I think that it would be so engaging for students, but there are so many concerns!

    What games do you think would be most appropriate for a younger primary classroom?
     
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  3. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    I actually sent out a Freecycle want for DS systems about a month ago for this reason-the logic games are excellent for fifth graders. I would most def. have these as a center, but only with provided games.
     
  4. MissSkippyjonJones

    MissSkippyjonJones Comrade

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    It sounds awesome, but knowing my students I wouldn't want to have something that could be easily broken or taken available in my classroom. Maybe if I had a smaller class and a smaller school I would consider it.
     
  5. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Many parents are trying hard to limit the time spent in front of any sort of a screen-- DS, Computer, TV.
     
  6. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    My kids would steal it or break it. It's just the truth. I can't even keep my pencil bin out. But it's a good idea!
     
  7. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    I wouldn't do this. First off my experience with even the more educationally geared DS games is that there are always some parts that are purely for fun and not as educational as you'd hope. I'm sure there are exceptions to this rule, I'm just thinking of the educational games I've bought for my kids. Also, I limit my kids DS/computer/TV time at home and I just wouldn't be thrilled about a DS center. I wouldn't mind it as a Friday Fun or other reward thing, but as a parent I wouldn't want it as a regular rotation and if I were an elementary school teacher I would not have one in my classroom.
     
  8. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    My son has several DS games that would be awesome for centers.

    However, I do not think you will have strong parental support. Many limit DS play or do not allow them at all. They may also view them as a babysitter for you.
     
  9. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    One possible solution would be to ONLY provide the games and let the students provide the DS. That way, you don't have to worry about them being stolen and - most likely - don't have to worry about your games disappearing either.

    I'm not sure it would be appropriate as a center, but I like the idea of using it as a Fun Friday activity. :thumb:
     
  10. teacher12345

    teacher12345 Cohort

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    what about using a leapster as a center for grades k-1 or even k-2? A leapster uses a lot of educational games.
     
  11. gutterballjen

    gutterballjen Comrade

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    Jun 2, 2010

    At first, I thought that it could work. After thinking about it though, I realized how tricky it would be to implement. I talked with my fiance about it, and he brought up many of the concerns that y'all did. His main concern was finding a way to secure the DS in a way that it could still be used the way it's supposed to be. My immediate concern was how parents would perceive it, as well as encouraging kids to play video games. Not that they're completely horrible, I would just rather kids play outside than push buttons.

    I also agree that the "educational" games might not be all about learning. If i was ever going to use something like this, I would make sure to play the entire thing through before deciding to use it in my classroom.

    When I first thought about it, I knew that using a gaming system in the classroom would be tricky. Now I know that it's too much for me to handle right now.

    Thanks for all of your input!
     
  12. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    The game I have (the only game...) is Brain Age. It's all math and logic games. Every single one of them. I would much rather students be playing interactive multiplication games than doing worksheets at their desks. Granted, I would even RATHER them playing those games with each other. But I suppose if you need silence (early finishers on a test), it's an alternative. Plus it keeps their score for me to check, so I know they are on task.
     
  13. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    I could see it all going very bad in my classroom!! I would be spending more time policing who's turn in is on the DS than anything else. I also have some very competitive boys that would try dominating the other children all the time.
     
  14. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    This is going to be a mighty popular center!

    I have read other's concerns and agree.

    You could use a check-out system (paper/pen) like the library uses and then lock them up whenever you leave the classroom. True...you will be policing the whole time, but would it be worth it? That would be up to you.

    I think using it as an end-of-month behavioral incentive would be good!

    Let us know what you decide to do. :love:
     
  15. gottagoodgig

    gottagoodgig Companion

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    I don't know much about DS, but think it could work. As with everything, you would need to TEACH, MODEL, TEACH, EXPLAIN, MODEL the expectations many times.

    My school has 6 Leapsters for each primary grade. We can check them out from the library and use them as a center, for early finishers, etc. The kids love them! I don't even check out the games and just let them learn with the games that come on the leapster and they still love it!

    Perhaps I would pass the DS by my P first and see what she/he thinks....
     
  16. MissSkippyjonJones

    MissSkippyjonJones Comrade

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    We had a problem this year with students having their DS on campus (which is against the school rules) and they were stolen out of backpacks. This caused a whole other set of problems.
     
  17. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    I strictly limit my own kids' screen time (TV, computer, and all video games). They don't get any on the weekdays, period. On weekends, they get an hour of whatever media they choose over the 2-day period. On a holiday (or summer vacation), they can have an hour a day. I would not like it if my kids were playing any sort of DS game at school, even the educational ones....I am just strongly anti-electronic, especially at school. I think there are many more engaging ways to get students to interact and learn. Most of them get more than enough electronics time at home. It's up to us to provide them with more varied learning experiences.
     
  18. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    I don't know much about DS's, but I don't think it's an awful idea. There is a neat video we watched at a staff meeting about how today's children are "wired" (pun not intended) to learn differently. They find technology incredibly engaging-sure, they can learn in other ways as well, but they are so interested in anything with batteries. If that's a fun way for them to learn, then it should most definitely be part of their classroom experience (speaking about technology in general).

    I think the game Jem is referring to sounds completely appropriate for school. I'm just thinking about when I was in school..."Number Munchers" was so much fun and helped me learn my math facts!
     
  19. bex

    bex Rookie

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    Working in a daycare center where other teachers allowed electronics, the thing that always irked me was the other kids tended to huddle around whoever was playing the game rather than find something to entertain themselves.

    Like MissScrimmage said, you're going to be spending a lot of time policing it, but if you use it as a reward, limit the number of students that can be at that table using it, the kids would love it.
     
  20. renmew

    renmew Rookie

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    Jun 2, 2010

    I have recently been thinking of doing the same thing. Last Christmas I made the switch with my own kids from Leapster to DS. Leapster games do not really "teach" all that much I was sad to find. DS has several games that are written better and actually teach quite well.

    Really, how is it any different from computer time in school? My students spend 25 minutes every day at a computer playing a learning game already. One of the good programs (and there are many) would make a great center IMO. I haven't asked the principal yet; thought I'd bring some samples of my own to show him instead of just asking.
     
  21. KLSSwimmer

    KLSSwimmer Habitué

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    Jun 8, 2010

    I sometimes use the Wii in my classroom, especially at the beginning of the year. We have a school fitness room which has a Wii in it. Sometimes for centers I send some of my kids into this room to use the Wii. We use it for fine motor skils and educational games.
     

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