Susan Riley | November 2015

Periscope PD: STEAM Like a Board Game

When was the last time you had a good old fashioned board games night?

A friend of mine from high school runs a successful game night service in Hollywood, and I’m always amazed at the innovative ways he makes old games fun again.  Personally, my favorite board games nights are the ones with our favorite board games.  There’s nothing like spending some quality time around the Monopoly board.

This got me thinking. So much of how we approach Arts Integration and STEAM is like using board games strategies.  We start out tentatively trying to get the hang of the game by watching others’ moves and trying to learn the rules.  After all, you can’t play the game if you don’t have a clear idea of what you’re supposed to do.  Once we have a level of comfort, we start to become more bold in our moves and choices.  We take a few more risks with the understanding that even if we wind up starting at the beginning again, we’ve learned some important lessons along the way.

In today’s Periscope PD, I’m offering up my three favorite board games: Trouble, Clue and Life and a few lessons we can learn from them as we integrate the arts in and through our curriculum.

Remember, every board games are more fun when there is more than one player.  Arts Integration and STEAM share that concept too… when you connect with other teachers, everything becomes more exciting.  This week, I hope you’ll take a calculated risk, ask great questions, and be prepared for the curveballs that will inevitably come your way.  Together, we can master the STEAM integration board games!

Now it’s your turn: what’s your favorite board games to play?  

What lessons can you bring from that game to your classroom?  

About the Author

Susan Riley is the founder and CEO of The Institute for Arts Integration and STEAM. She focuses on teacher professional development in arts integration, STEAM, 21st century learning skills, and technology. She is also a published author and frequent presenter at national conferences on Arts Integration and STEAM education. Susan holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from the prestigious Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ and a Master of Science in Education Administration from McDaniel College in Westminster, MD. She lives in Westminster, MD with her husband and daughter. Email Susan