Sunday, April 15, 2012

Critical Thinking Activity - Free Games Giveaway

I wrote a post a couple months ago about a critical thinking activity I used to use in class where students would play several board or card games and write about the results.  I am giving away some of those games to two random winners.  A winner can choose the hi-tech or no-tech prize package.  Here are the details.

Hi-Tech -If there’s an iPad in the classroom, consider choosing these two games if you win. In both cases the iPad makes the games easier to learn and they can be played in a shorter time.

Hey, That’s My Fish - After playing this on the iPad I will probably never go back to the board game!  This is a very simple, fun game of picking up the most fish on an ever shrinking ice flow.  

Through the Desert - This game is a little more heavy on the strategy than the first, but again it is greatly improved by letting the iPad handle the details.  Players earn points by placing colored camels on hexes.  Points come from connecting to water holes and oases as well as by making the longest chains in each color.

No-Tech - If you prefer actual board and card games (the way I always ran the activity) you can choose two copies of What’s It To Ya?.

What’s It To Ya? - This is the original edition of my game Oh, Really!.  I used to use it in class to start lessons on life goals.  This article is probably the best source to see how I use it in class.  Two copies of this game will provide enough cards for 16 players to play and you could break that up into four groups of four easily.  With some index cards you can easily make additional cards so four groups of eight can play.  

And since I’m flexible - If you win and you already have some or both of the games we can talk about a substitute given a comparable price and educational value.

To enter:
Leave a brief comment on this post according to the directions below and be sure to follow this blog by clicking “Join This Site” in the upper right of this page.  I will pick two random entries from the comments below and as long as they meet all requirements here they will win the prize of their choice*.

I’m basing this giveaway on my Oh, Really! (What’s It to Ya?) game where players must rank items in order of importance.  So to enter, add a comment below and list the five sets of skills below in order from most important to be taught in school down to least important (in your opinion).  Just write the bold words in your list.  Also, include one brief sentence or so about your rankings overall.  There are no right or wrong answers, so as long as you list them, explain yourself and follow the blog you are eligible for the drawing*.

The skills to be ranked are:

  • Technology - Using computers, other devices and technology resources to find, process and present information effectively
  • Social - Getting along with others
  • Math - Math basics and beyond, as required by state and national standards
  • Communication - Presenting information effectively in writing, public speaking or other forms
  • Learning - Skills for learning how to learn
Since this blog is frequented by game designers, educators and many others I look forward to seeing a varied list of rankings!

*More details for the prize giveaway:
  • The drawing will take place on April 30, 2012.  
  • Use an email address or provide information when you comment so that I can contact you if your entry is selected.
  • Two eligible comments on this post will be randomly selected.  If the authors have followed the blog and met the requirements above in their comments they will be contacted to choose their prize package from those above.
  • For the no-tech prize option, the winner must be in the 48 continental United States.
  • For the hi-tech prize option, the winner will receive the apps as a gift in iTunes.
  • This is an informal drawing and prize giveaway.  I reserve the right to adapt the rules in a fair manner if necessary.  For example a winning entry may be disqualified if the entrant does not respond in a reasonable timeframe or if an reasonable substitute cannot be agreed upon for a prize.  
  • If a selected entry is found to be incomplete or if it is later disqualified, another entry will be drawn until I have given away two prize packages.
  • The winners will be announced as a comment on this blog post.


  1. 5. Technology: especially if meta, as learning how to learn tech is only getting more important.
    4. Social: probably should be higher, but it's okay to leave something for other people to teach.
    3. Communication: essential for construction of their own understanding as well as dissemination.
    2. Math: that's why they're in my class. Plus the better problem solvers they become the better their life will be.
    1. Learning: learning how to learn, what could be more important to learn?

  2. 1. Learning- it is very important in order to learn anything!
    2. Communication- Must be taught! You need to know how to express your feelings
    3. Math- You need to understand basic math in life...
    4. Social- You need this!! How to make friends ect..
    5. Technology- In this age you need to keep up to date....

    I think that these skills are important from 1 being most important to 5 being the least important! Thanks for the chance to win this great prize!!

    You can contact me via email- chrisziegler69(at)gmail(dot)com

  3. 1. Learning - How we learn determines what we learn, how we apply what we learn and how we will eventually teach others.
    2. Communication - Again, looking beyond just the individual, this skill allows for knowledge to be passed on to another learner.
    3. Math - More than just the numbers, the ability to think critically and problem solve is truly invaluable.
    4. Social - Caught more than taught, but still essential.
    5. Technology - It is the future in present form and must be learned in order to be ready for whatever comes next in life.

    I think the best learning method would be one that consistently incorporates ALL of these elements somewhat simultaneously. Grasping their relationship to one another through actual application and shared experience would be an incredible learning environment for anyone. Thanks for the contest!

  4. 1. Learning - this will serve you well your whole life for everything.
    2. Social - we live in a world full of people, we gotta get along (I teach middle school).
    3. Communication - you have to get your ideas across to others successfully.
    4. Tech - you need to know how to communicate and do business in the 21st century.
    5. Math - many of the basic skills can be done with a calculator so tech takes care of this one.

  5. Most to least:


    I feel that communication is most important. Communication is how you convey ideas. You could be the smartest most well taught person in your field, but if you can't convey your ideas, they won't go anywhere. Technology is the least, because I feel that technology does a good job of already teaching and promoting itself. It is naturally interesting and students will pursue it outside of the class situation.

  6. 1. Learning -
    2. Technology -
    3. Communication -
    4. Social -
    5. Math -

    Learning to learn (and love learning) is of utmost importance. Learning to properly use Technology will enable Communication with the vast world through your Social networks, and make Math accessible with their immense computing power.

  7. Congratulations to Jimmy and Al! Their comments were randomly selected for the drawing. They both chose the apps. Thanks to those of you who participated for your comments!

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