Teach Through Games: Dweebies

Teach Through Games: Dweebies

dweebiesAge level: Early Elementary, Upper Elementary

Description: I have yet to meet a student who hasn’t fallen for Dweebies. The cards are entertaining to look at, and while the game is simple to play it involves strategy that allows for critical thinking and high-level observation skills. Players take turns playing cards in a grid format. If a player lays down a Dweebie on a row or column in which the same Dweebie is the other end, that player gets to pick up the entire row or column of cards. The goal of the game is to collect the most cards.

Skills & Modifications: I use these materials without actually playing the game to work on basic skills with early elementary students. I find it especially helpful with K-2 students who need assistance with Pre-K skills such as matching, but need more age-appropriate materials. I play the game as designed for older students. As designed, the game naturally practices higher order scanning skills and problem solving. Some students have difficulty fanning out their card and holding them in their hand. If your student struggles to hold cards in his/her hand, you may want to use a cardholder, such as this one.

  • Expressive Language/Feature – I love using these cards with kindergartners and first graders to play “Tell me about” or “Let’s talk about.” There are many details for each Dweebie, so it’s a great tool for describing a variety of features of the Dweebie pictured.
  • Alike and Different – Students have to determine how two pictures of Dweebies are alike and different. They can compare the color of the Dweebie, whether or not it’s wearing a hat, or notice that one is holding a fishing rod while the other is holding a violin. It’s also good for working on student understanding  of words such as “all” and “some.” For this I’ll lay out 3-4 cards and ask the student “Tell me one thing ALL the Dweebies have in common.”
  • Matching – This is also a great resource for practicing matching with older students who are still struggling with the skill. You can introduce it in a field of three and ask them to match one card or you can make it a game of Memory with 10-20 card turned facedown. Just be sure that you pulled out the right number of matches!
  • Scanning – This game requires higher order scanning skills, because the students has to scan his/her own cards, the cards on the table, AND the placement of the cards on the table. For some students I have them place their own cards face up on the table in front of them, and I help them through minimal prompting scan each area and make decisions about what card to place.
  • Problem Solving – Students have to use their scanning skills and solve the problem of where to place a card to be able to pick up the most cards. For some students, I have them think out loud to describe each step of how they are making their decision. This way I can help correct any errors in their problem solving strategy. There is some strategy based on trying to find the longest row or column of cards that you can collect, but there is also strategy in keeping track of the number of dots in the corner of each card, which indicates how many of that Dweebie are included in the deck. For some students I also create a sign with steps for problem solving:

dweebies problem solving

Pros: The cards are highly motivating. It’s easy to use the materials for a variety of skills. It’s also easy to modify it based on your student’s needs.

Cons: For students who struggle with maintaining attention, this may not be the best game. Some students are motivated to see what card will be placed next, but others need a more interactive element in order to maintain attention and get good practice at key skills from playing the game.

Cost: $9.99 You should invest in this game if: these materials would be motivating for your students and you aree looking for a  game for playing with siblings and peers because it’s easy to modify it for each player.

ABLLS: A10, B5, C55, G16, H40, K15

VB-MAPP: VP-MTS 5, VP-MTS 6, VP-MTS 8, Listener Responding 9

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