Monday, April 30, 2018

Runaway Guilds: A Glimpse into a Gamified Classroom

  This is my first post about gamifying and I am unbelievably excited to share this look into my classroom!

Last year, I began using an app that helped me apply the basic game elements into my ELA class. I learned two things through that year.
* The excitement that these elements brought to my room was hard to deny and students were more willing to work and more excited to be a part of my learning environment.
* The structure that I had in place was a great jumping off point, yet needed to change if I was going to expand in this direction.
Students decoding the ransom letter left behind.

This year I took my theme to new heights.
We start in a post-apocalyptic world in which a secret society (the Double S) has sent us on a mission to go back in time and overthrow the king. The Double S developed a "fool-proof"plan for a time machine....
Which ends up breaking down and we are STUCK in the Middle Ages.

There are so many twists and turns in this game. One of those twists are the temptations. A temptation is something that I send to a couple random students in each class. I give the temptation a title only and ask the student if they wish to accept this temptation. Students know that if they accept this temptation, it could drastically impact the game.

Which leads us to this highlighted activity:
I sent a temptation to 8 students (2 in each of my 4 classes.)
I let them know that this choice would affect not only their game, but it would affect their guild as well.
5 of the 8 students accepted the challenge and these guilds attempted and failed to kidnap the king.

Students attempting to piece together the rebus puzzle
In this escape room scenario, the students raced to decode the following website and unlock the 3 locks using the information they have gathered about figurative language.
The goal of the runaway guild was to escape the king's forces and  keep the riches that they gathered from the castle.
The goal of the other guilds was to catch the runaway guild and take them to the dungeon.

Here is where it got interesting:
If a guild got a lock, they were able to unleash a spell on another guild to hold them back.

Here were their options:
1. The Silent Spell: The guild must continue the rest of the escape room challenge without verbal communication.

2. The 2 Minute Group Timeout: If hit with this, the entire guild would have to put their iPads in the center and wait quietly for 2 minutes (which can be grueling!)

3. The 2 Minute Individual Timeout: This allowed an opposing guild to bench a star player for 2 minutes. That person had to sit at my student center quietly and just wait!

The results of this BLEW ME AWAY!
All of the runaway guilds were captured...yet the Deep Fried Chicken Nuggets guild ALMOST escaped even after receiving over 15 minutes worth of 2 minute timeouts!
I simply love the energy that comes out of activities such as this. This was my assessment over these skills. I was taking detailed observations on who really got it and who needed a little instruction.

Thank you for stopping by and taking a look into my classroom!
I hope to do many more blog posts like this in the future!