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Make Your Class a Game with Classcraft! Part One


HELLO EVERYONE! Long time no see! I am sorry for the delay on my blog. I should have made it clear that I decided to do a month-long case study and try a classroom management tool that was as good as teachers said. When I went to the Google Summit in August, I went with an open mind. That is why I decided to finally take a chance on this new program called Classcraft. The way the website explains it is, "Classcraft transforms schools by taking the video game mechanics that provide rich and interesting play experiences and applying them to the classroom setting." In other words, GAMIFY YOUR ROOM! I am going to explain my data results below and in a separate but related post, I am going to create videos on how I GAMIFIED my classroom!

To give you a little background, my classroom follows the practice of a PBIS school. We give students opportunities to earn incentives based on positive behavior. Also, when students struggle, they have multiple opportunities before they lose their incentives for the quarter. I have used a strike system as my behavior system that uses the PBIS expectations within it. It has been very effective since I have created it a couple years ago. My student's behavior has been very positive this year and I felt they were up for the challenge if I changed something as major as my classroom management.

Overall, Classcraft has been immensely popular and effective since I have implemented it in mid-December. To sum it up, Classcraft is a video game that allows students to create an avatar that has abilities to use in the classroom. Students can have their avatar be one of three choices: Warrior, Healer, or Mage. Warriors help protect the team from losing Health Points. The Healers heal the teams Health Points. The Mages help the team improve their Action Points to use their powers. Also, with each level they surpassed, they can learn new powers that can be customizable and changed to the needs of the class! Some of their powers besides the ones that help their team are skipping morning work, switching seats for a day, listening to music during independent practice, and so much more! It's very easy to use! It was a struggle at first to implement and consistently use, but now it's part of my daily routine. Like Class Dojo, I have the website on the Promethean board during Independent Work and I give XP points throughout the day for the students who are meeting expectations. Students lose Health Points every time they are breaking the class guidelines after multiple warnings, like the PBIS expectation. Like video games, the avatars must gain experience points (XP) to level up and gain powers. To use their powers they must have enough action points (AP) to redeem it. Like most video games, you must have enough health points (HP) to survive the game and continue leveling up.

Before the game starts, the teacher, also known as the game master, has the students sign a 'Hero Pact' explaining that they agree to whatever consequences are given in the game and that the rules can be changed at any moment from the game master. The picture below is the Hero Pact they had to read and sign. I have it hanging on my Promethean board for all to see and remind them of what they agreed to.


The last two major parts of Classcraft are the Random Events and Sentences (when you lose your health points). The Random Events are a favorite for all students. I play the Random Event every day during morning meeting. Essentially, it is 20 random events that can impact a variety of things. There are 20 basic random events preset in Classcraft, but you are allowed to change them as needed. They can range from players or teams gaining XP to a Random Event called, The Equalizer, that has all students change their Health Points to 20 left. There are endless possibilities to this and the students simply love the anticipation of the randomness! One of my random events was to have all the Warriors in the room receive 500 XP if they stood for two hours straight. The students LOOOOOOOOOOOOVED IT! They stood for the entire time while completing their work! The Sentencing part is when the student loses all their health points and must go through what is called, The Book of Lament. In this part, they are required do a consequence for losing their HP and restarting their avatar. The list of consequences I have are students losing part of their recess, do an extra HW assignment, or clean the classroom at the end of the day. This part is totally customizable too! Also, in order for the players to continue, they must take HP from their teammates (your choice of how many).

Sorry if that felt long, but that was the shortest I can do to summarize the major components of the game. What is so great about these components is that most, if not all, are CUSTOMIZABLE! In my next post I am going to post a few videos explaining what I talked about here, how to set it up, and the settings I used in my classroom (which you can totally use)! NOW TO THE DATA!!!

This past week, I had students fill out a survey about Classcraft. Here are some of the results:

Forms response chart. Question title: Do you like Classcraft? . Number of responses: 21 responses.
18: Yes. 2: Kind Of. 1: No


Forms response chart. Question title: Rate Classcraft from 1 (worst) to 10 (best). Number of responses: 21 responses.


Forms response chart. Question title: Is this better than the Strike Chart? . Number of responses: 21 responses.
20: Yes. 1:Kind Of


Forms response chart. Question title: Would you recommend Mr. Sanchez continuing this? . Number of responses: 21 responses.


Here are some of the answers to the survey question, "What do you like about it/not like about it?"
- I like how it is fun to play!
- I like the random events. (x3)
- I like that it is an adventure and we all want to level up.
- I like how we can get points and use them to get rewards like nick radio and trading seats.
- I like everything about it mostly because it involves powers and magic. I also like the sounds it makes when someone dies or someone levels up.

As you can see, the students love it! The students look forward to the Random Events. They even ask me throughout every day to do another Random Event even though they know it could be negative! It's crazy! Classcraft has allowed me more instruction time, better student morale, improved collaboration, and more fun in my classroom! My class already had great morale and fun in my classroom, but this blew the door WIDE OPEN! The collaboration has gone up another level because this forced the students to team up and help each other to survive!  I'll explain more of how I do this in my classroom in part two.

I hope this gives you the confidence in trying something new like Classcraft! Part two will sum up this post in video form and explain the settings I use that are successful and use in your classroom! Please comment below any questions you have about Classcraft. It has been a success that other classrooms should try! Share this to those who struggle or who are stagnant with their classroom management! It will help those who need ideas to try! :)  Thanks again and hope to hear from you soon!


Comments

  1. I love Classcraft! My 6th graders totally get into it. They constantly ask me to upgrade to premium so they can do quests and earn GP but I haven't decided if that is worth the money yet...loved your post on it! Very informative for those who haven't used it before!

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is perfect! I like that the older kids would really get into this and try to earn those points. I can't wait to see the videos. Thanks for sharing!

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  3. I looked into that recently, but it is so helpful to read a review from someone who tried it. I will have to study this more and maybe implement it next school year!

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  4. I never heard of Classcraft before. I use Class Dojo, and my third graders respond very well to earning points. I could see them loving the video game aspect of this. Looking forward to seeing your videos!

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  5. This sounds so neat! I've used Class Dojo with my 4th graders for 3 years, but it hasn't been that great this year. I really think my students would respond well to this! Thanks for sharing this info

    ReplyDelete

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