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/