Parejas: an input game for the hybrid classroom

In my neck of the woods, we’re teaching half our students in person while the other half are at home doing their “Digital Day” assignments. Mostly I have my At Home Little Darlings work on “asynchronous extension activities” while I’m teaching my little heart out to the In Person Crowd…but this semester we’ve implemented something new. The last 20 minutes of every class is dedicated to a game, and everyone is invited. The In Person kiddos play from my classroom and the At Home kiddos have a Google Meet link to join in.

Besides the usual suspects (Blooket, Gimkit, Kahoot and QuizletLive), I’ve been giving some of my low-tech favorite games a high-tech refresh so we can play using Google Meet. Parejas (or Memory!) is one of my favorites for giving them lots of repetitions of comprehensible language. Here’s how we played it in the Pre-Pandemic Good Ol Days. The refresh is easier to create and play…so I think this will be the version we keep playing after our lives get back to normal. (Hopefully sooner than later!)

Want a little sneak peak?! You’ll see the chat box pop up every once in a while…those are the kiddos at home playing with us!

But first a few general tech recommendations:

I start the Google Meet from my laptop, and use my laptop to present my screen and run the games. After I’ve created the Google Meet with my laptop, I join the meet from my Smart Board at the front of the classroom so my In Person kiddos can see whatever I’m presenting on my laptop. My In Person kiddos do not join the meet, but they can see what’s being presented so they can participate in person.

If we’re playing something simple like Blooket or QuizletLive, I keep my camera and mic off and communicate with my At Home kiddos using the chat. If we’re playing a game and the At Home kiddos need to hear me, it’s important to mute the Smart Board before I turn on the mic on my laptop, or else we get some awful echoing sounds. If you’re joining from multiple computers, only one mic at a time (and mute the other) or you will regret it!

Ok, back to business: Parejas

How to set up:

Use Flippity to create a matching game. You can use questions and answers, characters and descriptions, the beginning of a sentence with the end of the sentence or even pictures and descriptions. Don’t go to crazy creating a zillion pairs…to play as a whole class I think 7-9 pairs is best. Too tired to click the link but need a step by step guide to creating a Flippity Matching game? It’s OK, I got you:

Join your Google Meet (or Zoom or Teams or however you interact with your digital kiddos), share your screen and open up your Flippity Matching Game. Then click on the little 1-2-3 button at the top to put numbers on each card.

Can we just take a minute for me to tell you how rad Steve Fortna, Flippity’s creator is?! Up until a few days ago, it wasn’t possible to put numbers on the back side of the cards. I sent him an email asking if that could happen, and BAM! Now each card is numbered so we can play Parejas! I can’t thank you enough, Steve, for all your work creating this Flippin’ Awesome Tool for teachers and for being so responsive! ¡Muchísimas Gracias!

Partner up students. For us, I have the In Person kiddos partner with a student nearby, and I assign the At Home kiddos a partner. If you don’t have an even number of In Person and At Home kiddos, it works out just fine to have one partner at home and one partner at school, as you saw in the video, Will (at home) and Jesse (in school) were partnered together. If you have an awful memory (like me!!!), I find it helpful to jot down the At Home kiddo partnerships so I can remember who’s playing together and keep track of their scores.

In the video, I’ve got a small in person class, and only 3 kids playing from online. We’ve played in other classes with more students and we followed the same procedure.

How to play:

The teacher “drives” the game by calling on students, asking for numbers and revealing the cards. A pair of students will give two numbers (each kid says one number in the partnership when it’s their turn) and the teacher will reveal those cards and read them out loud. If the cards form a match, the pair gets 1 point, if not the cards are returned. Either way, now it’s the next pair’s turn to request two numbers. Kids in class just announce the card number out loud, the At Home kiddos type in their request into the chat box. Students are permitted to talk to their partner and help them make their selection….Partners at home use the Chat Box to communicate and help their partner out, but only during their turn! (They don’t want to advertise to everyone where the pairs are!) To keep everything running smoothly, its important for the teacher to call the pairs by name, since the At Home kiddos can only see the game board and teacher. If you don’t call them by name and ask for their number, they won’t know who you’re talking to!

As cards match up they disappear. Once all the cards are matched up, the game is over and the partnership with the most matches, wins! If the game went faster than you expected, just click the “reload” arrow, and play again. They game will automatically shuffle the cards when you start over.

And for the winners…

In normal years I award stamps to the winners to redeem for extra credit points at the end of the semester, just so there’s the motivation to play (and don’t worry, they EC points barely affect their grade at the end…but they don’t know that!). This year I’m using ClassDojo to keep track of their extra credit points. In Person students who win earn 1 point. At Home students who win earn double points…just a little something extra to encourage them to join us from home! At the end of each the game I project their ClassDojo little monsters and award the winners their points. Their little monsters are just so stinking adorable!

Thanks for reading and I’d love to hear what input games you’re playing with your In Person and At Home Little Darlings! If you’d like to get email updates from me (more hybrid game posts are sure to follow!) scroll all the way down to the bottom of this page to plug in your email address. I’d be honored to have you join this party!

5 comments

  1. So fun! Thank you for your awesome ideas and for sharing so generously!!! And the creator of Flippity sounds amazing!

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  2. Thanks for this idea! I used it to introduce direct object pronouns while reading the novel Esperanza with my 8th graders. I put a sentence with a DOP on one card and the matching direct object on the other. For example: One card had: Los policias los mataron durante la huelga. And the match was “4 trabajadores”. It really helped my students focus on the purpose of the DOP along with giving them lots of reading practice. Even my most reluctant student engaged well : ).

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  3. I love this idea and thanks also for the excellent Flippety video. One question– How do you keep the kids at home from writing down pairs, giving them an advantage?

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