Week 9 679

Essential Question: How do you currently infuse play into your class? How might you change this as a result of some of the ideas you have encountered?

I do not currently infuse too much play into the classroom. When I do, I use games such as Kahoot and geography games to review for a quiz. I have also printed out maps of a continent and had students get into groups and keep score to study for a quiz. Other than that, I do not use games in my classroom.

My perceptions of gaming in the classroom have changed, and I feel prepared to experiment with integrating more games into my curriculum. This last platform that we learned about, ClassCraft, is one example of something I have encountered in this class that I am excited to try out.

“Badges and items are successful when they are created with purpose. They will boost your game in terms of interest, complexity, and flexibility, if they are designed with intention” (Matera, 2015). I first need to learn how to make badges and how to integrate them into my classroom.

I like Matera’s suggestion of a House Badge. This is when the whole class studies and tries to score 85% or higher in order to earn a badge. Matera (2015) said, “Students become motivated to work together and study hard, which leads to all of them feeling prepared and motivated for test day.”

Matera (2015) had the following suggestions to get started:

Route One: Story – Develop a list of possible names for items/ badges within the setting of your game world.

Route Two: Course / Content – Within your content, think of lessons and units that could generate badges/ items.

Route Three: Game – Are there elements within your game with which items/ badges could interact? Examples – XP: earn double XP on a side quest.

Another suggestion (Matera, 2015) suggested is:

Exploring Route One: Story – Find images that reflect your setting; watch a show or read a book to spark ideas for names of your badges.

Exploring Route Two: Course / Content – What are the moments in your class that deserve badge recognition?

Exploring Route Three: Game – Do students earn this badge? Or do students start with this badge and work not to lose it? – Do badges have a point system attached? I think this would be a lot of work and will take awhile to get use to.

I might start with simple suggestions such as these:

Mega Tic Tac Toe – Begin the game by asking a team a question.

Crocodile Dentist: This game is played in phases. Phase One: Give each team a set of questions to answer. Teams work through the answers and turn them in to the teacher. Give each team points for the correct answers. The team that gets the most right will go first in Phase Two. Phase Two: Each team sends up one member to press their luck with the Crocodile Dentist. They will earn point if the crocs mouth does not close. This sounds like a fun game that students would enjoy.

Graffiti is used to preview a unit. Instruct students to look at the pages of the new chapter and find key terms and then they will “graffiti” the terms on the board. This would be a good way to introduce some new vocabulary to students.

Matera (2015) states, “Games connect people; they inspire us to do the impossible by working together to reach our fullest potential. Game-based learning provides opportunities to take risks, to fail, and to try again with newly acquired knowledge of the content and ourselves.”

Shapiro (2014) adds, “Play is useful because it simulates real life experience — physical, emotional, and/or intellectual — in a safe, iterative and social environment, not because it has winners and losers.” In one study, “65 percent of teachers note that lower-performing students show increased engagement with [gaming] content, versus only 3 percent who show a decrease.” Sharing and collaboration go hand-in-hand and it is the way students play and learn today that will determine ways they will work tomorrow (Shapiro, 2014).

If I tried a few of the ideas that I have encountered here, I think I would see a difference in the way students are learning. By tapping into games and incorporating this kind of new method into my classroom, I can help my students be more engaged and excited about learning. I want them to enjoy learning, and if games can help that, then I am willing to try.


Matera, M. (2015). Explore like a pirate: Engage, enrich, and elevate your learners with gamification and game-inspired course design. Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc. Kindle Edition.

Shapiro, J. (2014). Games in The Classroom: What The Research Says. Retrieved November 1, 2016, from https://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2014/06/27/games-in-the-classroom-what-the-research-says/

6 thoughts on “Week 9 679

  1. Theresa,

    There is a high school teacher here who started using Kahoot and really loves to quiz students this way since he can watch their responses to know how many more need to respond—and most students really respond well to the competition.

    I need to learn how to make badges to integrate them into learning as well. Is using ClassCraft a good way to get started with this? I need to get into looking at this more closely.

    I remember reading about Mega Tic Tac Toe. There were several guidelines, like start up in the left corner, then go to the center, etc. What I would really enjoy is coming to your classroom and having us both try several of these ideas together. We could draw in those low motivated students together.

    It is so true that games connect people. This is true for table games as well as digital. I am more willing to take risks, because we can just finish off that game and try again with that newly acquired knowledge.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aleta, I am not sure about Classcraft since I have never used it before. Yes the tic tac toe sounded awesome but I was a little confused about the directions. That would be awesome if we could try ideas out together. 🙂


  2. I really liked the review games Matera suggested in the text. I think I am more apt to do this than to gamify a whole unit, or class. There were quite a few. I think I read too fast to understand most of them, but I can always go back and read the games carefully before playing one with students. It was funny to read this section of the text cause one of the other math teachers in my building was playing a review game with his students! He is actually a sub for a teacher that is on maternity leave, so it’s the first time I’ve seen one our school’s math teachers do this sort of thing. The students seemed engaged, some of them really excitable. It was nice to see a review game in action.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Theresa,
    I think using games is a great place to start. Even if one doesn’t end up gamifying one’s class, I’ve found using games a great motivator. For my reflection this week I posted a bunch of games I’ve used and some from my friend Alexis, who uses games extensively in her high school algebra class.

    I love finding ideas on Pinterest, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I agree with you on Matera’s house badges, what a great way to try and motivate all students to work together to do well on tests. I too use Kahoot in my class. I like that it gives me, as the teacher, instant feedback on exactly how many students are answering questions correctly or incorrectly; it’s a great formative assessment tool.

    Liked by 1 person

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