I know I said I wasn’t going to gamify my classes this year, but I couldn’t help it. Gamifying just looks like so much fun.
I started by picking a Harry Potter theme, spent a month making a bunch of game cards, and then changed my mind a week before school started. I felt confined by the storyline. So, now I need to rebrand all those cards.
I now have a Dungeons and Dragons themed game. On the first day of school, they are going to be randomly sorted into They are going to start in a cave. They were dropped in there by an evil wizard. They are stuck in one part of the cave and they must solve a logic puzzle to get out of the room and to the main part of the cave. This puzzle will be the “Snape Logic Puzzle” from the end of The Chamber of Secrets. — I already bought the bottles and made different versions, so I am using them. — From there they will make decisions as a class about which paths within the cave they want to take. Each path will lead to a different content sub-standard. Before they leave the cave, they will have completed all of the content for the first standard.
We will round out the first three days, with other team building activities and with “Integers” as our first substandard. Students will pick team names on the second day of school and will pick their character type on the third day. They will be able to choose between Mage, Warrior, Ranger, and Rogue.
I am still incorporating ideas from the Harry Potter books, such as the troll fight on Halloween, but I am now going to incorporate ideas from The Lord of the Rings series, the Divergent series, and The Hunger Games series. I am hoping I will make the time to blog about the progress of the game.
My classes will get computer access once a week. During that day, students will have options:
- Watch Khan Academy videos for failed sub-standards in preparation to retry.
- Retry a failed sub-standard.
- Work on side-quests.
I am due back to work on Monday and my student’s will have their first day on Wednesday. I try to remember to update next weekend about how the week went.
I made an activity for my students to review for a test on converting between graphs, tables, and equations. I gave each student a blank template divided into 12 pieces. This consisted of 4 problems each with a graph, table, and equation. Students made up their own problems, checked with me, and then cut the page into 12 pieces. Students then traded with another student. They then matched the graph, table, and equations together. The kids that knew what they were doing enjoyed the activity. Unprepared students struggled.
If I use this activity again I think I should do it over 2 class periods. I think pairing students up, so there are 8 problems per pair to match would make things more interesting too. Something to think about next year.