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My co-Title I teacher and I hosted a small game night for students in 3rd-5th grade who get extra support in reading. Our first idea of game night was to send home games with every family who attended. We'd show them how to play and then they would take the games home. Our district coordinator thought that it would be wiser to purchase a bunch of games, then have a lending library. That way our budget would work, and we could share the experiences with more families.
We had 10 families attend tonight's event. We taught the group how to play Basta! (think Scattergories) and gave them a make-and-take bag with letters, categories, a 3-minute timer, golf pencils, and lots of paper. While different home languages were spoken by these families, we were able to communicate how to play and keep score.
The other games we purchased were Boggle, Apples to Apples Junior, and Bananagrams (in English and Spanish). We loaned out nearly all the games tonight as the families were leaving. The biggest hit? Apples to Apples Junior. They love that someone gets to be the judge and there's really no wrong answers. Every answer is considered, and they are learning some great vocabulary.
Even though it was on the small scale, I think we made a big impact. The families had personal attention from our principal and assistant principal, two teacher assistants, and two reading teachers. We sat and played with the families and shared laughter and excitement. It was time well spent.