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Blended Learning, EdTech, Edublogger, Education

#Gamification Reflection Time!

Gamification so far has been great!  I love that my administrators have given me the freedom to go with this model and have been supportive in providing encouraging feedback about different issues that have developed.  Most of these issues have been very minor and nothing big enough that I can even recall them right now…

Over the past few weeks I have had time to really think about how to make it better, tighter, more involved.  Here are some of the things that I have struggled with this year and my thoughts on how to improve going forward.

Issue:  Getting the students to purchase things from the market.  A comment made by a student was that a couple of the items were too good to use.  When I pressed for more information on this, his answer was enlightening: “Sometimes you want the item, but then never use it because it is too good – use it and its gone.  What if I needed later?”

Solution: Have the students suggest items that they would like to be able to purchase and work with them to create a fair economy.  Nothing too expensive or too cheap for what it provides the student.

Issue:  Some of my students will work super hard, get a little bit ahead, then sit around and hang out.  Wasting time they could be creating artifacts that they could share with others.  Then when they start to get a little behind – they turn on the afterburners again.

Solution: I need to be more aware of this situation developing and use my teacher genius to help students see what kind of cool things that they can do.  Even though students are working at their own pace – I can give all students goals and rewards to reach each week.  Right now its all kinda vague – I just ask the kids to work (which most of them do).

Issue: Getting the students to want to take a few days to work on a specific artifact to document their learning.  Right now they try and squeeze everything into one class period, often creating decent work, but not super, duper awesome items.

Solution: Offer double points to go with the better market system.  A couple of my students started doing this over the past week and I allowed them to earn double the normal credits.  This seemed to light a cool fire in their eyes – they truly took time!  I loved watching them work over several days (and a lunch for one kiddo).

One other thing that I will try and do is tie all of the rewards into a specific game/thing.  This year all of the items that I have created in the market are all over the place: genie lamp, potion of wisdom, etc.  But next year I will try and put all of these things into one common theme.  I never even thought about this during my development process.

I am already thinking in my brain: everything in the market relates to Doctor Who (tardis, sonic screwdriver, cyber-man, companion…), or Zombie Apocalypse (full body armor, blood transfusion, fall-out shelter…), or SnapChat (the students are already here, why not make it a game), or Angry Birds (boomerang, triple shot, ice breaker…).  I could still tie the reward that I want them to have into the process, just need to change the name to tie them all together.

I will also create a game board for the students to see, that way they know what is coming and how they can use it.  I sort of did this this year, but not in a way that was linear enough for the students to follow.  I had layouts for each quest (unit) but I have been the only one using them (even though copies are out in my room, even though I have handed them out).  I need to take the time to give them a map, complete with levels they can achieve and when they can achieve them, locations of special item drops, etc.

Totally stoked to continue this journey!!

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About Scott

My name is Scott. After 18.5 years as a high school math teacher in public education I have made the move to become a full time PhD student. This decisions was difficult, but has been one of the most rewarding things that I have ever done. Teaching in high school was an incredible experience for me, so leaving an environment that I loved for the unknown was a challenge. As I high school teacher, I taught almost every math course that could be offered. I was able to earn National Board Certification in Young Adult Math. I was honored as my building Teacher of the Year, no mean feat at Edmond Memorial High School!! My career changed as I became fascinated with educational technology and all of the things that it can do for teachers. I flipped my class. I used iPads and blogging (in high school math!!). I started using gamification and mastery learning. I changed my practice. I chose to go back to school to learn as much as I could. To bring that knowledge from academia and research to the teacher on the front line. I have had the opportunity to present at several conferences and share what I have learned with others. Its through these connections that we can be the best teachers we can for our students. They deserve it and we sell ourselves short when we don't give it. I love talking with teachers about change. About incorporating educational technology. About the power that they have to change lives. My blog space is me, it shares my passions and frustrations, my joys and my learnings. If you are interested in what I am studying, please visit my graduate school pages. If you are interested in the flipped classroom, I have some links to get your started. I would love to meet you! Do not hesitate to reach out! I would enjoy the opportunity to work with your staff or trade ideas with your teachers - let me know! Have a great day! #BeBrilliant

Discussion

2 thoughts on “#Gamification Reflection Time!

  1. We have certain standards that must be taught every six weeks. The students then have to test over the standards at the end of the six weeks. I would love to “gamify” my classroom but would like to know how this model makes sure each student learns the standards required for that six weeks grading period.

    Like

    Posted by A Russ | December 14, 2014, 6:53 pm
    • Add gaming elements to your classroom culture. Finish up that homework on standard 1 – get a cool item to be used in class later. Pass the quiz? Get some loot. Pass the test? Have a popcorn. I use the mastery model because I don’t that time restriction. But if I did need students to reach certain deadlines – I would incorporate those deadlines into their learning. With testing – try setting up a class test day. Students sign up to take it. Those that do not, have to take a different test before or after school. Be firm on this. Most kids will take the test AND since they signed up for it, they usually prepare better. Having those six-week standards is a challenge, but think about how to put some of these things into our classroom – the kids will love it!

      Thanks for posting!

      Like

      Posted by haselwoodmath | December 14, 2014, 9:52 pm

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