Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Classcraft in Technology

It has been a year since I started using Classcraft to Gamify my classroom experience. I have learned a TON about my students by giving them a chance to work with something that they all have experience with - video games.  While I had been using my own in house "system" for gaining levels, I think that Classcraft helps provide a common, controlled area for me to track my students progress,

Last April I wrote a Guest Blog on the Classcraft Blog .  At the time I had been using Classcraft in my Language Arts Class.  I had 105 kids that I saw for 60 Minute Blocks, every day of the school year.  My primary focus was to encourage independent reading - in Classcraft the students would earn XP based upon the amount of pages that they read.  It worked beautifully (check out the blog post for more info).

However, this year it has changed.  I am no longer teaching 105 7th grade students every single day in Language Arts, Now, I am now teaching a trimester course in my middle school for Technology.  I see 7th and 8th Graders on a rotating schedule for a grand total of 30 days each - roughly 200 at a time during each trimester...

My issue:  How can I incorporate Classcraft into such a short time with so many students, and will it work?  By the end of the year I will have seen close to 600 students!

 Well, after the first Trimester - so far so good.

I have now added 400+ students into 20 different Classcraft Classes and have been able to incorporate the gamified environment into technology.  Here is a quick run down of the additional work my students have completed - not for a grade or extra credit - just simply for XP and Gold:
  • Students now have the ability to create 3D Models on Tinkercad for XP - I have received over 100 since September - No Grade - No Extra Credit - Just work and XP
  • Students can complete additional levels of Coding for the Hour of Code - Beyond what we do together in class - Students have completed a combined 265 extra levels - No Grade No Extra Credit - Just Work and XP
  • Scratch - Students can create animated cards, animate their name, create games etc. on Scratch.  I currently have a dozen students working on their games they have created using Scratch - Not Graded for Class - Just Work and XP
  • Students can use my cameras (video and still) to create Promos/Advertisements/Recaps etc - about the happenings in our middle school - We have recorded over 2 hours of additional footage and taken 500+ pictures - No Grade No Extra Credit - Just work and XP
  • I have a Tech Club that meets after school - we code our LEGO NXT Robots, Complete in Battle Bot competition with them, Fly our Drones, Code of Scratch and more.  Again - Not for a grade, Not for Extra Credit, just for the love and passion of the work (and of course some XP)
I will revisit my use of Classcraft after this trimester is complete!