I have attempted (and I think have been successful) gamifying grammar in my classroom. Here are the details:
Why you selected this theme/game:
My motivation for my gamification project was to give students motivation to practice grammar topics. I looked through a couple of platforms (Chorewars and others I cannot remember), before deciding on Classcraft. I have to admit, I was confused at first. I did not understand how it worked so I did some playing around (because heaven forbid I read directions first…and of course that is where I ended up). I came up with the conclusion that the free version was more of a behavior management type game. While I liked that idea, my goal was grammar. I wanted something for the students to get engaged with grammar. Direction reading and playing around led to me purchasing the premium version so I could add my own content (and train pets!) I began adding content and away I went.
Game Name: Classcraft
Link to Game: classcraft.com
Student example: username-klint
Audience: 10-12 ELL students. This content is geared towards advanced ELL students but different classes/content could be added to meet the needs of lower language students.
Learning Goal(s) of the Game:
At first my learning goal for this game was to use this as a tool to create motivation to practice grammar (since grammar can be so boring). I have slightly changed it to also included motivation for behavior as well (for example, more points for working the entire class, being engaged in discussions, points taken away for being disruptive). I have even told the students I am not above being bribed for XP points 🙂
With ClassCraft, students each have Health points, Experience Points, Action points, Gold Pieces, and power points.
- Health Points can be lost for negative behaviors. These points can be restored with the help of teammates.Some of these consequences were built in but the teacher is able to go and adapt to meet her class.
- Experience Points (XP) are gained by completing activities or showing appropriate behavior. Since I have the premium version, I have added class content, or assignments, for the students to complete. I have assigned XP and gold pieces to each task that they students can collect when the task is completed. Currently, I have it set for students to level up after 500 XP but this can also be adjusted. I also award XP for positive behaviors and this is where I also allow the students to bribe me 🙂
- Action Points (AP) are used for powers. If students want to use their powers to help teammates out, then they use AP. If they don’t have enough AP then they can’t use powers.
- .Power Points (PP) are gained when students level up. It is with these that students can buy powers; powers cost between 1 and 3 PP.
- Gold pieces are used to buy things. Students can customize their clothing and train their pets.
- Here are more detailed directions and explanations if you would like to take a look: Classcraft teacher
As students complete assignments and show positive classroom behavior, they gain points. As the Gamemaster, I can award points for anything or take away points for anything. The more points students gain, the faster they level up and right now there is a competition going on with my students to be have the most XP. I have told my students that the student with the most XP at the end of the semester will when a $10 gift card.
Right now, my outcome for this is to get students practicing different areas of grammar. If you were to check out the game, you would see I have included present and past tense activities. I will continue to add grammar areas where I feel my students need more work. I think I will probably expand this into other areas as well, such as reading or listening activities.
For the future, I would like to make this more individual as well as group, such as each student will have assignments under his/her name and those assignments are tailored to that student’s needs. I think this would allow for more individualized learning and a more student-centered classroom.
My students ask everyday if we are going to work on ClassCraft. Like everything, there are students who are really into it, and others who don’t but it seems to be going over well for the most part. Students have made comments about completing more work than they did before (and I have to agree). I have students working together, asking questions…it’s almost like a real class :). They have asked if we are going to continue it next semester. The answer is yes…for as long as they continue to be engaged in their own learning we will continue the game.