One middle school teacher has students learning through gaming, and the students are learning problem solving and competitive skills.

Soft SkillsAt Coile Middle School in Georgia, English Language Arts teacher Paul Sellew is teaching his students the basics of the game Settlers of Catan. The game is competitive and interactive, as players gather resources such as bricks, sheep, and wheat, used for commerce and building roads, cities, and settlements.  The object is to rule the world, according to student Kumaiah Davenport.
“I’m learning how to trade and build more, for me,” she said. “You get to target people.”

“And we’re learning how to communicate with people,” said classmate Ty Colbert.

Rolling the dice also allows for the element of chance in the game.

Students learn the game over three weeks, and then teach their classmates.  Sellew is an avid game player and a 10 year teaching veteran.  He received a Foundation for Excellence in Education grant to obtain the Settlers of Catan game as well as others, including Pandemic, Red Planet, Flash Point, and Survive. The objective is to encourage critical thinking, negotiation, and creative problem solving.

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