After seeing Jane McGonigal up close and personal with thousands of other people at ISTE this summer, I was more inspired than ever to integrate some gaming elements into my classroom.
I lamely attempted last year to implement a “Level Up” system with my 5th graders, where we would use Class Dojo points, and they would earn badges for certain things, and certain numbers of points in particular categories would give them new privileges. It was one of those ideas that sounded so-o good in my head…
It flopped. Not because the kids weren’t motivated – but mostly because I made the system far too complex to track.
So, I’m trying again this year, and I have simplified it immensely (though I am now adding my 3rd and 4th grade GT classes to the mix).
The picture shows a chart I created on a part of my magnetic dry-erase board that I never use because of the interactive board. This is a “faux” chart since I haven’t started classes yet. I want the students to have some input on the jobs and privileges at each level. I brainstormed some of my own for now. I bought a bunch of sticky magnets at the craft store so everything can be moved around. I also purchased some printable magnet sheets that I will be using to print out the kids’ Class Dojo avatars (I made some paper examples for the purposes of this post). I used Scotch Expressions removable tape to make the table borders.
The students will be helping me to decide how many points are necessary to achieve each level. Part of their Genius Hour time will include “challenge cards” that will enable them to earn more points (or lose them). They also earn points in class for displaying the 7 Habits, saying or doing something that makes me go, “Wow!”, or doing optional homework assignments.
And just to add a tad of technology to the mix, I am going to have the kids help me add some “heARt” to the jobs and privileges by using Aurasma to explain each one. Then, when someone gets the job of “Class Photographer,” all he or she has to do is scan the sign to see and hear the job description.
Seems simple, right?
I hope I’m not writing another post a year from now bewailing everything I did wrong…
Here are some more gamification resources if you are interested: http://www.classxp.org (sign up for their beta if you want to go all out!), Class Realm, Education Levels Up! (kind of what I was trying to do last year – but I was way over my head) or my very measly 7-pin Pinterest board for Gamification of the Classroom.