Critical Thinking

Life Lessons Being Learned After School At The Board Game Club

Ring Elementary School Board Game Club members, Lucas Johnson, Jace Crandall, Colton Miller, Delaney Tomaszewski, Ireland Nary, Giana Cusimano and Gabriella McFadden with their adviser, teacher Christopher Collins, and parent volunteer, Josh Tomaszewski.

Ring Elementary School students are learning valuable life lessons and also having fun during their new Board Game Club with advisor and teacher, Christopher Collins.

Students aren’t using the typical board games like Clue or Monopoly, but educational, mostly European-style board games that stress critical thinking and collaboration along with competition.

“I went to our Principal Annette Miller to ask if we could try the new club,” said Collins. “Many people have a stigma of playing board games in the classroom and I understand as many board games have a high level of luck like Chutes and Ladders or Monopoly. The games we play in the club have less luck involved and use much more strategy, critical thinking and collaboration – all skills students will need in life. In this age of technology, I also love to see children interacting face-to-face during the game.”

The Board Game Club meets every other Thursday after school in Collins’ room. Types of board games they are using include: Flash Point, Pandora and Photosynthesis, players plant and shape an ever-changing forest as they cultivate their seeds and their strategy.

Players take their trees through their lifecycle, from seedling to full bloom to rebirth, and earn points as their leaves collect energy from the revolving sun’s rays.

The club has a parent volunteer, Josh Tomaszenski, who helps with the club too.

“My daughter told me about the club and I thought it would be a great way to spend more time with her but I also fell in love with playing board games too,” said Tomaszenski.

“At home, we were spending a lot of time playing video games and I realized that we were missing interacting with each other and the tactile way of solving a problem that board games provide. The games really challenge students to think strategically and I think games like the ones in the club help the kids expand how they learn and grow mental stimulation. Some of the games are only completed by cooperating with each other, giving them a chance to work together.”

The kids really love the Board Game Club.

“I joined the club because I loved playing the board games in Mr. Collins’ class last year,” said Ring Elementary School third grader Giana Cusimano.

“The games are set up so that you have to think a lot to play and win. I think having a club like this is fun especially because you get to play with your friends, and meet new friends too.”