Today was the day. It happens every year. We roll the dice in Classcraft and today, pulled the random event that sets certain odd behaviors and actions into motion in my class.
What normally is a very talkative class became eerily silent this morning. For all of about 10 minutes. And then all havoc broke loose as students figure out how to "game the game." Then we got to listen to speech-to-text computer voices saying the lyrics to really bad songs. Then new students chimed it by talking to each other from across the room via speech to text. It wasn't long before teenage humor mayhem took over.
There was much giggling. And more interaction between students than ever, as they prepared to present their new game prototypes to another class this week. Those who often float under the radar, sitting off to the side texting their friends, where now texting their team mates about the project. Why? Because they could.
There is an inherent playfulness that I relish, in any learning environment. How do we cultivate this in all of our classrooms? Find games to play....at EVERY opportunity.
We sang Karaoke this morning in my Digital Media class, which led to students humming and singing through the rest of class, a nice way to wake up on a Monday morning!
We tossed coins on a big answer poster on the floor, from across the room as a formative assessment. Students begged me for another quiz question!
Scratch off tests.
Name that Tune.
Thumb wrestling. (Look up Massive Multi-player thumb wrestling for a great short whole class game.)
It doesn't matter what it is. Gamification is where it's at when it comes to increasing student engagement.
Lisa Gottfried is a CTE teacher with 20 years experience as CEO of her own Video and Motion Graphics Production house. She currently teaches Intro to Digital Media, Video Production and Game/3D Design. She loves her job and her students!