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MES online games for students 
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Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2006 10:46 am
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Location: Nagano, Japan
Post MES online games for students
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Image

Well, after 7 years, I'm finally getting around to it. I have started making the online games for students that will eventually match most of the MES flashcard sets and the ESL young learners curriculum as well.

Here is the first game: (beta)
MES Games - Animals

If you have time, please check it out. Let me know what you think. I'd like to know if there are any problems, what you like about the unit and any suggestions you might have to make them better.

Of course, any questions about the program are certainly welcome as well.

Thanks!

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Last edited by mesmark on Sat Dec 31, 2011 11:38 am, edited 1 time in total.



Wed Dec 07, 2011 9:54 am
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Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 8:57 pm
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Hi Mark,
I thought your games were very clever and provided a lot of practice. Just a few comments:
Having the audio is fantastic. It makes such a huge difference to have that option. There is such a wide variety of games that students can play for a long time without getting tired of it. I also like that you include the option of words and or pictures.

It is a great way to get input on grammar, too. Hearing both the positive and negative answers in a complete sentence is nice, since many beginning students get stuck there. I like the golf game that has you make questions and answers in a complete sentence. I also like that in the spelling game both the noun and the noun WITH the article are considered correct.

Now for a few suggestions;
It would help to have a bit more time to read the word in the concentration game. It is OK if the word is the first one chose, but if it is the second one, students barely have enough to read the word.

Sometimes the buttons needed to be pushed are hard to understand. It took me awhile to figure out the shooting gallery. Especially if the students are younger and can't read the English on the different buttons to click, it can be confusing. Maybe you could color coordinate the buttons (ie the button to get the next question etc) That way you could still change the buttons by theme but still leave the user with a clear image of what buttons to push next.

Otherwise, great job. Thank you for providing yet again another wonderful resource!


Thu Dec 08, 2011 2:28 pm
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Location: Nagano, Japan
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Thank you very much for the thorough review. It's great to get both positive feedback and thoughts and advice on how to improve the activities.

I'm also glad to hear that you tried a few options with the spelling game. I have it set up to accept up to 5 different words or variations. It makes it possible to do both UK and US spellings or variations like "bike" or "bicycle".

I made the Memory game with pictures first. Then later figured out how I could add words in as well. The first time I played with the words showing, I had the same reaction. "Wow! You gotta speed read." I'm going to just try to get the activities together and up on a new site. Then I'll try to work on the timing a bit to give students a little more chance to read those second cards.

I will add a beginning screen for the golf game and the Shoot Out game. I know they need a little more explanation. Up to this point, I've just been trying to get everything to work. I would like to have a couple more games, but it seems like time to polish things up.

I have figured out how to make the videos much smaller, so they load quicker and I added words to the videos as well. I will try to add a preloader (that works) to the main menu and hopefully a few more sounds here and there.

If anyone else has any thoughts on the program, please let me know.

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Fri Dec 09, 2011 6:29 pm
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OK, after 4 weeks of tinkering with this, I think I've finished the first program. I added 2 more grammar games (Homerun Derby and Basketball) and one more listening/Q&A activity (Slap).

So, now there are:
2 learning activities
2 vocabulary building activities
3 listening activities
1 spelling game
3 grammar builders

If the students can do most of that, then they should be set. :smt023

Now I just have to make one for the other sets :smt024

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Mon Dec 19, 2011 3:44 pm
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Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2011 11:31 pm
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Location: Germany
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Hi Mark,
I think the games are great! I have tried most of them myself and today I tested them on my son (8) and his friend (7) (who is one of my English classes - my son is bilingual, although German is his stronger language since we live in Germany). They enjoyed them! They would have played longer if I would have let them (I had other things to do on the computer :-D ).

I don't have a computer in my "classroom" (such as it is). For me this might be a fun way to give "homework" or a tip to give parents whose kids want some extra practise. I think they will be tickled to find the same images they know from class. I agree with "funwithstories" that the audio is helpful (most of my classes do no reading or spelling). I also want to mention that I appreciate the other nice sound effect touches - such as the kid's voices, the rattle of the carts on the shooting game, and things like that. These might be taken for granted but they definitely add to the playing pleasure.

My only comment is that "the hand" in Slap was too fast for my son. Now, not being in my classes he's not familiar with the images and might have required some extra observing time for this reason. After being beat by "The hand" a few times he realized he should have a careful look at the cards before starting the race and managed to beat it a few times, but barely. I gave it a try myself and except for once I did thoroughly beat "the hand" (phew! Might have had to step down as EFL teacher otherwise!). But you might want to get some more feedback on that one.

Otherwise, thanks for another useful resource!


Thu Dec 22, 2011 5:47 am
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Thanks for the the thorough review. It's great to hear that some of the smaller things are noticed.

"The Hand" is pretty fast. The timing on those things is difficult to judge. I want it to be fast enough that it is a challenge, but not so fast that it's discouraging. There is a trick to getting better results. If you tell the students to look at the pictures and not the green hand, they'll be able to respond faster. The same goes for the Shoot Out game. For younger students there is a matter of dexterity and coordination. So, I could make different levels, like beginner, intermediate and advanced. I've had that option on another game.

I've made 15 units so far and now I'm trying to get everything together on a site. Once I get the site up and running, I'll make some pages that explain more about the games and how I imagine them being used. Also, hopefully I'll get more feedback on the games, difficulty level, timing and such.

Thanks again for going through the site and especially for taking the time to write up your feedback.

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Thu Dec 29, 2011 12:43 pm
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Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2006 10:46 am
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Location: Nagano, Japan
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The site is officially up and running now. --> MES Games

I made a contents menu that is (hopefully) user friendly for children that can't read or can't read so well. There are probably quite a few errors in the games themselves. If you find any, please let me know. I'll correct them as soon as possible.

Happy learning!

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Build up! Be positive! Teach hard!


Sat Dec 31, 2011 11:43 am
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Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2008 7:29 am
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Post Custom lists
Great work once again!
Is it possible to create custom lists as we do with your worksheets etc?


Fri Jan 06, 2012 5:51 am
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Right now, it's not possible. I assume at a minimum it would require some sort of database upload and retrieval process. Beyond that, an account set up that would let teachers save, access, and edit the information would be ideal. For the data and images, it wouldn't be that difficult to do, but getting the audio to match up would be the tricky part.

While hopefully the site is useful, it is limiting in the current model. You can only get the vocabulary in the current groups and the grammar is restricted to the MES curriculum at this point. Having a feature where teachers can control the content is something I'm definitely thinking about. The more flexible the programs are the more useful they'll be to teachers.

It does take about two hours to write up all of the questions and data for the grammar games. I'm not sure people would really want to make that many. :) They would also certainly want a way to save the data if they did spend the time creating a custom unit.

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Fri Jan 06, 2012 9:03 am
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Joined: Sat May 07, 2011 7:52 pm
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Hi MES, thanks for the extra activies,I greatly appreciate all these useful resources. I noticed the only thing missing from the website is stories to go along with all this new vocabulary. What we do in our practise sessions is prepare a simple story that turns out to be sort of a madlib, its quite fun sometimes plus it can get the grammar involved. Since the state exam requirements here are based on ESL learners reading abilities, we must learn how to spell. I have found success starting out with images, then images inserted into the simple sentences, then image+spelling until the learner is ready for spelling only. For young learners this can be quite tedious, so there is plenty of games (thanks MES) in the meantime to keep things fresh.

Once again just commend you guys there for all the great stuff, I highly reccomend your site to anyone serious about ESL, keep up the good work, for our sake :lol:


Sat Jan 21, 2012 2:17 pm
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Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2011 4:25 pm
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Post Re: MES online games for students
New games are great - any way of getting them to go "full screen"? - it looks better when I project the image onto the wall.


Sun Feb 19, 2012 11:51 am
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