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Mrs. Varela from Northridge CA is requesting Other through DonorsChoose, the #1 classroom funding site for teachers.

Play, Think, Achieve: Educational Games for Middle School

My students need educational games that will teach them creative and critical thinking skills in a different format.

  • $625 goal

Hooray! This project is fully funded

Hooray! This project is fully funded

My Students

"It's my turn to play chess!" Who knew chess would become the coolest activity in the classroom? Students who have difficulty with skills such as predicting, problem solving, and pattern application are all of a sudden tripping over themselves to "get to" do exactly this at our one chess board.

My 6th grade students come from a low-income neighborhood.

They have huge hearts and big dreams about being the first generation in their family to go to college. Unfortunately, their skills don't exactly match their ambitions. They are reading at 3rd and 4th grade reading levels. Many of them are still not proficient with their multiplication tables. They struggle with grade level vocabulary and writing skills. They don't have the background knowledge to understand and analyze many of the science concepts. As the day moves forward I can see their little eyes cloud over when they hit their information intake limit. They would have an easier time with school if they spent their time developing their brain and learning to use critical thinking skills...without knowing they were actually doing that.

My Project

I have one student who pretends to understand everything, but doesn't turn in very much work because he doesn't understand very much at all. Imagine this little boy surrounded by friends teaching him to play chess. That is my classroom right now. Now, imagine this little boy sticking a character card on his head and having to figure out what questions to ask to discern his headband personality. Or perhaps you may imagine him struggling, but persevering to build a solar powered robot because that just sounds incredibly cool to him. I have another student who struggles with every concept in the class that is not tangible. Now imagine her developing her thinking skills by copying patterns in which she must account for both shape and color. Or imagine her rolling dice and creating her own story based on what she rolled as she proudly tells the other players what she was able to put together.

Each item in this proposal will serve to build students' thinking skills and raise their self-esteem as they succeed not only in the various games they play, but also in class.

They will be better able to handle the challenging curriculum which they have signed up to take during middle school, so that some years down the line they will be accepted at Stanford, Brown, LSU or whatever other university they have their hearts set on.

Read More
Mrs. Varela
Grades 6-8
Nearly all students from low‑income households

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3 donors3 donors have given to this project.

This project will reach 23 students.

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Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
Snap Circuits SC-300 • Amazon $46.00 1 $46.00
Thames & Kosmos Air + Water Power • Amazon $44.41 1 $44.41
Educational Insights Geosafari Motorized Solar System • Amazon $31.99 1 $31.99
Thames and Kosmos Chemistry Chem C500 • Amazon $31.67 1 $31.67
Mosaic Mysteries by Discovery Toys • Amazon $25.98 1 $25.98
Spirograph Deluxe Design Set • Amazon $22.99 1 $22.99
Wordplay For Kids Board Game • Amazon $21.99 1 $21.99
OWI 14-in-1 Solar Robot • Amazon $21.99 1 $21.99
Brain Quest Smart Game • Amazon $19.97 1 $19.97
Learning Resources Itrax Critical Thinking Game • Amazon $19.77 1 $19.77
Simon Game - Basic Fun SIMON The Electronic Memory Retro Game w/ Touch Technology 1897 • Amazon $19.05 1 $19.05
Apples to Apples Junior - The Game of Crazy Combinations! • Amazon $18.83 1 $18.83
Don't Say It Game • Amazon $15.88 1 $15.88
No Stress Chess • Amazon $14.99 1 $14.99
Encore Game 2008 • Amazon $13.36 1 $13.36
Bananagrams • Amazon $13.17 1 $13.17
Elenco 12 Slide With 36 Assorted Specimens • Amazon $12.98 1 $12.98
Toysmith Windmill Generator • Amazon $12.38 1 $12.38
HedBanz Game - Edition may vary • Amazon $12.17 1 $12.17
Rubik the Void • Amazon $11.99 1 $11.99
Rubik's Cube • Amazon $11.98 1 $11.98
4M Weather Station Kit • Amazon $8.95 1 $8.95

Materials cost


Vendor shipping charges


State sales tax


3rd party payment processing fee


Fulfillment labor & materials


Total project cost


Suggested donation to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


Total project goal


How we calculate what's needed

Total project goal


3 Donors


Donations toward project cost


Donations to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


Excluded support for DonorsChoose


Still needed View calculationHide calculation


Our team works hard to negotiate the best pricing and selections available.

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Project Activity

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