He shared with me the power-ups he uses with his classroom. Power-ups that were not tangible items or special activities.
“Gosh” I thought, “I just don’t think that would work for my students. For my students, their needs and my goals for our gamification system earning tangible items and special activities was what they needed to motivate and encourage them to take big risks and to make the
big huge changes to their student skills, behaviors and to who they needed to become as learners. It is a great future, someday idea but for me but for my students and my classroom, right now, it was an idea that would need to be a someday idea.”
Weeks passed and a lull came to the game (a small lull I have come to find is a normal part of a gamified classroom). I knew it was time add another layer. It was time for another mini-game! And it was time for a mini-game that would raise all the stakes and really energize this year long game (can you believe it…we have played this game the entire school year…woo!).
I thought about his suggestion. I thought about what I had been learning about gamification from other educators. I thought about all the other gamification ideas I had gathered during my gamification journey. I knew this was time to take a step away from tangible items and special activities (they would still be part of the game but they just wouldn’t be the only motivating factor anymore).
It was time for something new, big, fresh and totally awesome!!!
I decided to combine two mini-games. I would use a mini-game my students already knew and add a whole new component to it to create a whole new, upgraded mini-game…
With each new action the energy in the room grew and built. The smiles, fun razzing and laughter filled the room. They traded and bought power ups and showed me skills I had never seen before and they learned (they learned a ton…more then they will even know and skills I could have taught them from books) and best of all…we had FUN! We had so so much FUN!!!