Toward the beginning of last week, I was FINALLY able to start reading EXPlore Like a Pirate in the hopes of vamping up my gamification … well … game in my classroom.
Do you ever open a book, novel or other, and think, “wow, this is going to be great!”
This was 100% my reaction to the first few pages of EXPlore Like a Pirate.
The world of gamification has always been slightly terrifying to me…if you’ve read my posts on gamification, like this one, you know that my experience with gaming is limited to Super Mario on the Nintendo gaming system of the 90’s.
Ahh, the good ole days 🙂
And I think, my lack of knowledge has actually played a part in student buy-in. “Finally, gamification provides us the avenue to support the expertise that both teachers and students bring to the classroom.” When I introduced the Mission American Government to my students, I prefaced the conversation with two main points:
- I’m creating this as an incentive and motivation for you in my classroom
- I am not a gamer, so if this doesn’t make sense, TELL ME, and we can fix it!
I think by admitting my lack of gaming experience, and by encouraging my kids to give me their input on my experiment, it showed that I value their opinion and expertise. That can be huge in the classroom!
In addition to my lack of gaming experience, the idea of being motivated by something other than grades and a personal desire to score well is quite foreign to me.
In the first chapter, Michael Matera says, “like many kids, I wasn’t very inspired by the idea of college (which seemed so far away) or by threats about what would happen if I didn’t achieve high letter grades and test scores.”
These ideas, as well as a personal disgust of failure or being less than what I could achieve (yes, I’m a type A personality gal!) were EXTREMELY motivating to me!
My parents had high expectations for my grades, and I wanted to meet those expectations, partly to keep my cell phone and car keys, but also to prove that I could meet their expectations. And I am incredibly thankful for their expectations!
Wow, this post is quickly turning into something besides a review of the first part of EXPlore Like a Pirate!!
I learned in my early days of teaching a very simple lesson: every student doesn’t learn the way I did. Every student isn’t motivated the in the same way I was…and that’s ok! Branching out to try new instructional and motivational strategies to help students succeed is part of what makes teaching fun, and EXTREMELY challenging.
I can’t wait to dive deeper into this awesome book!
Be sure to join the #XPLAP Twitter chat on Wednesdays at 7:00 PM CST to share your thoughts and learn more about the wonderful world of gamification. Or, if you’re like me and can’t jump in on Twitter, check out the Twitter chat feature over at Participate Learning to catch up on the discussion!
I’ll be sharing my thoughts on Chapter 2 soon!
Thanks for reading 🙂