Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Teachers Get Active Promoting Playnormous Serious Games

A Houston-based school district is using Playnormous Serious Games in its classrooms



Via: Playnormous - Playnormous Monster iMac Giveaway Winners For Public and Private Schools and Libraries

Teachers get active with Playnormous' iMacs

As early as September 2009, Playnormous Health Games began giving away free iMac computers to qualified public and private school teachers and librarians nationwide who used the company's online video games promoting health.

Teachers submitted their Playnormous stories, which were later judged by a panel of leading researchers and key players from around the country.

The first SBISD teacher to receive a prize was Valley Oaks' prekindergarten teacher Patti Portice. In her entry, she highlights her students increased use of higher level vocabulary, their increased interest in good nutrition, and their excitement about playing games with students in higher grade levels.

"They love Bubble Rubble (one of the website's many games) and have played that with their older, reader buddies from 4th grade. The 4th-graders read the activities, and our kids move the mouse for Chicken Dawg to 'eat' the bubble," Portice said.

Valley Oaks' first- and second-grade Gifted and Talented teacher Becky Lee told a similar story via video. Her students enjoyed spending time playing games like Lunch Crunch learning about which foods are good for the body.

"Make healthy choices. It's good for your body," said Cael, one of Lee's many students.

Theresa Trevino, a second-grade teacher at Rummel Creek Elementary, utilized her class blog to gain feedback from students on student learning about healthy and unhealthy foods. Her students created Playnormous trading cards in addition to a healthy foods animation.

"I learned from the games that I have played on Playnormous to eat healthy and to not sit in front of the TV all day long. I learned that I need to go outside and ride my bike, play tennis or do some activity that is not inside the house," said Izzy, one of Trevino's students.

Ann King, a health fitness teacher at Westchester Academy for International Studies, created a month long blog that discussed different ways that her students were using the firm’s website.

From walking through the lunch lines deciding what's healthy and what's not, to creating their own special nutrition games, King's students were well-educated on nutrition before the school year's end.

Rummel Creek's Helen Brasher, a first-grade English as a Second Language and Gifted and Talented teacher, challenged students to eat three fruits and five vegetables every day. Though the transition to healthy living isn't always easy, Brasher helped her students by incorporating Playnormous games to keep them on their toes.

"What're you going to pick after school for your snack? Oranges? Watermelons? Don't forget, we're trying to meet our goal," she told students as they discussed their in-class 'Food Diaries'.

Lou Ann Timmreck, a kindergarten teacher at Rummel Creek Elementary, taught her class how to live healthy in four different ways.

First, she focused on teaching her students how to identify which foods are actually vegetables using Playnormous' 'Lunch Crunch' game.

After fine tuning their identification skills, students applied their knowledge by planting vegetables in their very own class garden. Timmreck then focused on how to cook with healthier foods, such as creating whole grain from scratch. Following activities, her students shared their feelings and opinions about healthy living on Playnormous' 'Shared Writing' page.

First-grade teacher Meredith McKim of Rummel Creek Elementary took her experience to the next level. Not only did she have students trick the lunch ladies with healthy brownies, she also sent home a survey for parents to see just how effective her nutritional lessons really were.

"The results," Playnormous says, "were beyond anything we could have hoped for!"

• 82% of parents reported an increase in their child's knowledge of nutrition
• 71% of parents reported their child making better choices about his/her nutrition
• 43% of parents reported their child having better attitudes about trying new foods
• 24% of parents reported their child increasing physical activity

To play your favorite health-promoting game, visit http://www.playnormous.com/