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Showing posts from January, 2014

STAAR Wars App (In the Making)

I'm building this app as I'm teaching, one lesson at a time. When adding new things, I tell my students they have "unlocked new levels." They have been so excited seeing the new things I add each day.

So, if you're wanting to gamify, but are unsure about how much work it will require....take it slow. Build as you go! The kids will love it!
Here are some screenshots from my app, so you can see the beginning of the gamification process.

Home Screen


STAAR Wars: This houses all the introductory resources that I used for engaging them in this game. This is where the leaderboard will go, along with any other videos I make along the way.


FDP War: Fractions, Decimals, Percents This is the first war that we are fighting. I used the STAAR released test questions as my basis for the first major war (unit). Then I used backwards planning, to think of all the skills they would need to be able to do in order to answer the questions. (ordering decimals, ordering fractions, orde…

So You Want to Gamify?

Based on the popularity and interest of my last blog, Gamification, I decided to create a list of resources, for those brave enough to embark on this journey.

What is Gamification?

Top Ten Examples

How to Gamify Your Classroom

Ten Specific Ways to Gamify Your Classroom

Cool Classroom Gaming Blog

Game Platform with no programming experience required, for the serious gamer (Summer plans, anyone?)

Free App Maker for Droid and iPhone (Very basic and easy to use)

How I Gamified My Class (Not me.....some other really cool teacher)

Gamification MOOC (Summer professional development, anyone?)


Have others to add? Tweet @VenegasKeller

RELATED POSTS

GamificationOne of the newest buzzwords of education is GAMIFICATION. Put shortly, gamification means using game principles to engage and motivate students. Gamification is NOT putting a student in front of a computer all day, every day.

Gamification Mistake #1: Fair PlayI titled this post Mistake #1, because I am certain that I will make many more mistakes whil…

Gamification

One of the newest buzzwords of education is GAMIFICATION. Put shortly, gamification means using game principles to engage and motivate students. Gamification is NOT putting a student in front of a computer all day, every day, and oddly enough it is not the same as game-based learning. You can even gamify without using any technology at all, though admittedly, technology does make it easier. The point is this is not about technology or games, but about finding the elements that motivate people to persevere.

Unknowingly, I have been using elements of game design in my classroom since my first year of teaching: I level my assignmentsfrom easy to difficult, I use positive motivation often and regularly, I offer some form of reward for behavior and academic achievements. I de-emphasize failure as a negative concept, choosing to consider it as an opportunity to learn and try again.

Naturally, than, this new wave of gamifying everything has been very intriguing to me.

Yesterday, I implemente…

How Not to Use Technology in the Classroom

Technology should be used to engage and enhance, not to distract and ignore.

As somebody who identifies as neither Gen X nor Millenial, but rather someone caught in-between, I have a fascination with technology, but it is blended with an understanding that education can and does happen with pencil and paper, and that meaningful learning does not need to have a screen. My childhood classrooms had at most one computer, which was reserved primarily for those students who finished work early. I sympathize with teachers who remember the days of carbon copies, and who are frustrated by this technology infiltration.

BUT.....I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE technology in the classroom!

My students use technology almost every day in my classroom, and they do most of this with their phones.
They listen to music on their phones.They use calculators (when appropriate). They watch instructional videos. They play a variety of educational games. They perform simulations. They create videos to demonstrate their know…