Integrating new technology into your classroom takes time. It’s like trying to figure out how a totally unexpected piece fits into a jigsaw puzzle you’ve been assembling — you can see that the big picture is a fuzzy cat with a ball of yarn, but this new piece looks nothing like either of those.
That’s why we’ve worked hard to make Classcraft as easy to learn and adopt as possible. We’re proud when we hear from teachers who have had great success customizing the game for their classroom and building off it in fun, exciting ways that we hadn’t even anticipated.
Classcraft is a little like the butterfly in the jigsaw puzzle — it’s so small and simple, but once you see what it is and where it goes, it really makes the picture come alive. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to see amazing shifts in your classroom, either. Below are five expert tips on how to make Classcraft more exciting every time you play.
Add funny, extreme events
It can be difficult to get students focused at the beginning of class, but starting each day off with a random event is a great trick for getting their minds off the latest gossip and on what you’re about to teach them. We have nearly a hundred events pre-made, but you can customize any of these or create your own. Go nuts — the funnier or more extreme they are, the more kids will love them.
A favorite of ours was made by a teacher: “A Pirate’s Life for Ye” has students addressing the teacher (or “Gamemaster”) as Captain and speaking in pirate accents for the rest of class, or else they lose HP. Another popular event is a classic: In “The Chant of the Master,” the teacher has to sing a song of a student’s choosing. Kids really get a kick out of that one. When class is fun, so is learning.
Award XP for the unexpected
Surprise keeps students on their toes. If there’s a chance they can make something good happen for their team or character, kids will pay more attention in class and work harder to impress you.
Reward them on the fly with XP (Experience Points) for showing positive behavior inside the classroom — such as helping peers with their work or remembering to clean up — as well as outside it, like if the football or soccer team wins a match or students participate in charity events or fundraisers for their school.
Keep the action going
Classcraft can take up as little as five minutes of your class period, but the more involved you are with the game, the more your students will be, too.
Take away or reward HP (Health Points) and XP (Experience Points) as much as possible. Keeping the game going means establishing a visible link between what’s happening in class and what’s happening in the game, and that helps boost students’ participation, motivation, and thus performance.
Integrate quick challenges
Another way to keep students engaged is to invent quick, fun challenges on the spot.
Have a random player answer a question in exchange for XP, or reward the team that can solve the problem the fastest — and get the answer correct to boot. The possibilities for how you make Classcraft a motivating presence in your classroom are endless.
Play around with the powers
Some powers are customizable, meaning you can change their effects to your liking. This is a great way to ensure that you’re getting the most out of the way the game is played.
For example, if you’d rather “Prayer” enable a healer to get the class a bonus question on a test — rather than access his/her notes during an exam — all it takes is a few clicks, and it’s done.
What are your secrets for making Classcraft even more exciting from day to day?
Blog post by community & social media manager Stephanie Carmichael. Classcraft founder Shawn Young consulted on this article.
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