Last year, I attempted gamification of my classroom on several occasions (see earlier posts). Most of my students didn’t buy in, and I was on the fence on whether it was intrinsic or extrinsic reward, but I’m not one to give up, so I’m trying again this year.
I have a new teaching partner, Jennifer McKenzie, who is open to gamifying our classes, and we started today! A little background information: our Board, HWDSB, is in the midst of the Transforming Learning Everywhere initiative, and our schools are infusing technology to support the collaborative inquiry model of learning, to engage and to prepare them for their digital future. In a few weeks, each of our students will be issued an iPad mini that they will be responsible for. A big job for our little guys, but I think they can handle it. Jen and I considered how to ensure that our students will be ready and we came up with a list of how they could show responsibility, caring and independence.
We took our list and turned them into tasks, then took the tasks and turned them into a quest. Once students complete the quest, they become masters and we would know that they have the skills to be responsible for their ipads and any other technology that they would be using through the year.
Each task involves experience points; after achieving 1000 points, they level up. Our goal is that, by the time the iPads are issued, all our students will have completed 7 levels, mastering the necessary skills and feeling good about their accomplishments.
This I know: these grade fives are all gamers and they are all enthusiastic about earning XP, levelling up and being at the top of the leaderboard. Last year, that was not the case. I have a feeling this will be a more successful year in gamification.