Friday, May 5, 2017

Modifying Board Games

With only a few months left of school, spring fever has definitely hit! And when students are less motivated, what better way to renew their energy than with a game? Unfortunately, I’ve never found a game that meets my exact needs for any student. Luckily, every game can be modified!

There are several games such as Hearing Aid Bingo which is both an app and a physical game and allows students to work on the names of the parts of their amplification such as tone hook, tubing, etc. Adding language frames, as in the examples below, allows me to simplify or make the game more challenging, depending on the needs of my student. I can also have students complete a diagram as they get each piece for extra practice. 

For instance, I may write a frame on the board like, Do you have the part of the hearing aid that__(function)_____? The student then has the relative clause model and can fill in with the function of the part while also working on asking questions.  A more complex frame may be, Do you have the part of the transmitter that _(function)___ before / after the sound travels through the_(transmitter part)___? This frame includes a relative and a temporal clause and requires the student to think about how the sound travels as well as the function of the part that they need. Additionally, students work on auditory skills while listening to their playing partner use the same type of language.

Another way to modify games is to include the students! Rule the School has scenarios that ask students to think about particular situations in which listening may be challenging, and state how they could handle such a challenge. I often pick out the cards that apply to my students but also have them create their own cards. I now have a bank of cards created by several students who don’t necessarily know each other, but who are eager to see what challenges other kids have. This shared experience also inspires students who may be uncomfortable or unwilling to discuss their own access difficulties. They become more motivated knowing that their card will be read by other students with hearing loss and that they may be helping that other person.

And as always, including peers with typical hearing on occasion is valuable for everyone. The peers learn about the challenges of hearing loss without directly focusing on the personal experiences of my students, which creates more understanding and awareness.

Who’s ready to play?!? 

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