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Many teachers are looking for interesting classroom activities. In particular, ideas that can be adapted to teaching various subjects and lesson plans, but which encourage students to participate and engage their interest, tend to be most sought out. Most wanted of all, are those classroom activities which can be fun for students, but which are flexible enough to have almost any educational content selected by the teacher. Educational versions of bingo, fit all these criteria, and also have the benefit of not requiring expensive or specialist materials - a key factor given the financial constraints that today's educators work under.
Educational versions of bingo are played almost exactly like the normal game of bingo (with the teacher acting as bingo caller), but using bingo cards containing items chosen by the teacher. The items on the cards are selected by the teacher depending on the particular subject being taught, and might be letters, numbers words, phrases, foreign language words, geographical places, names of historical figures, or almost anything else.
Depending on the subject, the mechanics of the game may also be varied.
* Younger kids could simply play a recognition game trying to find on their cards sight words (such as words from the Dolch sight word list) read out by their teacher.
* In other classes, the teacher might give a clue, and the students have to find the matching square. In a reading class, teaching phonemic awareness, the clue might be a word, and students might be required to identify the first letter of the word and find it on their bingo cards. In a math class, the clue might be a math problem, which the students must solve, and then find the answer on their bingo card. In a foreign language class, the teacher may read out a word in English, and students might be required to find the French equivalent on their bingo card, Really, there are endless possible variations.
Of course all these ideas require bingo cards printed with items that the teacher has selected for the particular class. Since it is obviously not a good use of teachers' time to spend hours manually preparing bingo cards, an automated approach to preparing bingo cards is needed. Fortunately there is an answer - a computer and bingo card maker software makes light work of preparing custom bingo cards containing anything that the teacher might want.