As a teacher, David Jisa has used games in his classroom for years to help motivate students to learn. Some of the games, such as Roll-It Tic-Tac-Toe™, are Jisa’s own inventions, created specifically as learning tools for his students.
“My students really enjoyed playing Roll-It Tic-Tac-Toe in the classroom,” he said.
Because his students liked Roll-It Tic-Tac-Toe, he thought others might have fun playing it, too. That’s when he contacted Patch Products, a leading manufacturer and marketer of family entertainment products, to see if the company was interested in licensing the game.
Jisa, who lives in Wisconsin Dells, Wis., was familiar with Patch Products, which has its headquarters in Beloit, Wis., because Jisa used TriBond®, one of the company’s first games, during his early years of teaching.
“I wanted my game to be produced by a Wisconsin company, so I researched the Patch Products web site,” Jisa said. “The site gave step-by-step instructions on how to submit proposals for new game ideas. I followed the steps and was very fortunate to have Patch license my game.”
In Roll-It Tic-Tac-Toe, Jisa added dice to the classic game of Tic-Tac-Toe. Players roll dice and mark a corresponding number on nine Tic-Tac-Toe grids. When players get three numbers in a row—either vertically, diagonally or horizontally—they score. The family game comes in two versions—one with colored chips and game boards and another with colored markers on game sheets. It can be played with 2 to 6 people ages 7 and up.
“I have found using games in the classroom helps motivate students to learn,” Jisa said. “In creating any game, I try to involve different methods of learning. For Roll-It Tic-Tac-Toe, I was able to incorporate mathematical logical learning through placement of numbers on the game board and interpersonal learning by playing with others.”
Jisa grew up in Oconto Falls, Wis., where his favorite game was Rummy 500 because he enjoyed the strategies involved in playing the game. After graduating from high school, he spent four years in the U.S. Air Force and then attended Carroll College in Waukesha, Wis. where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English and secondary education. He now lives in Wisconsin Dells with his wife and two children.
Jisa has taught students in Wisconsin Dells for the past 15 years, first as a seventh-grade reading teacher and now as a sixth-grade language arts teacher. He also teaches a Wisconsin geography and history class at the University of Wisconsin–Platteville.
Jisa’s advice to potential game inventors: “Develop games that are easy to understand, can be played by a broad age group and won’t cost much to manufacture.”
To set up an interview with David Jisa, please contact us.