I haven’t written at all this year… Geez. I just moved from a little town in New Mexico all the way to Reading, Pennsylvania. I’m mostly unpacked now and I can start thinking about gamification again.
I tried to gamify my class last year and I did a poor job. I used Classcraft, had a theme that neither the students nor I was excited about, was overly ambitious with game mechanics, and I just dropped the ball. This doesn’t mean I’m not going to gamify this year; I just have some things I need to fix:
1.) Pick a theme I am passionate about.
2.) Preplan more storyline and get some of the bones of the story figured out before the year starts.
3.) Make my own spreadsheet, so I is customized to what I need. (No offense meant to Michael Matera, who has an amazing spreadsheet that just does so much more than I need right now…)
4.) Pick 2 mechanics. Just 2. And then repeatedly talk myself out of doing more.
Right now I’m thinking generic superheroes. Maybe the students are in training. I’m not sure yet, but I have all summer to figure it out.
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.