Minds on Media continues! Gamification in Grade 6 Math class

After ECOO 2013, I really wanted to continue the spirit of the Minds on Media sessions that we experienced last week in Niagara Falls.  The Minds on Media sessions were so engaging and the ideas very exciting.  There were ten tables set up, but I only made it to four even though I stayed there the entire day.

I am looking for ideas and projects in my school to continue the spirit of these sessions.  There are so many good ideas out there, the teachers who come up with them really need an audience!

This is the new purpose of this blog – to highlight some of the great ideas of teachers that may not see the light of day.  Unfortunately, it is the nature of the profession – we come up with a great idea, then we run on to the next activity.  I hope that these posts will give our teachers a bit of a platform to share their ideas and at the same time receive some good feedback on their activities.

Today, we are visiting the grade 6 class of Mrs. Forzley.  Her students have been using games to develop a better understanding of math concepts.  Last week, I filmed a few of the games created by her students.  In the following clip, Mrs. Forzley also gives the rationale for using these games as a way to teach math concepts.

I will also include here part of a great post on gamification to supplement what we see in the video.

Your comments would be very welcome!

from Teachthought – November 2, 2013

A 6-Step Process For Adding Gamification To Your Classroom

Gamification is the integration of game-like mechanics into non-game “stuff.”

For years, schools have been gamified. Points for performance. Points accrue to earn “badges” (e.g., letter grades). Students are separated and ranked (e.g., class ranks). Winners of this “game” are celebrated (e.g., valedictorians).

While this approach offers tremendous potential that has yet to be tapped (uncovering the nuance of the learning process, for example), it can also be approached from a simpler point of view–added in to the instructional design process, which the following graphic from Mia MacMeekin takes a look at.

Rather than “gamifying” a typical unit, this graphic promotes building a unit centered around a game and featuring game-like mechanics. So a kind of game-based learning and gamification process rolled into one.

Pretty cool, no?

6 Steps To Gamifiying Instructional Design

1. Identify Learning Outcomes

2. Choose a Big Idea

3. Storyboard the Game

4. Design Learning Activities

5. Build Teams

6. Apply Game Dynamics

Day Two at #ECOO13

After an amazing Day One, I am ready to start Day Two.  I am still trying to process all I learned yesterday.  No question, the most important conversation was with MaryKay Goindi @MKGoindi.  What she had to say about math: making learning visible, the problem-solving mind set, how to record learning with Evernote, etc was truly amazing.  When I wasn’t talking to her I was trying to write down everything that was being discussed.  I wish our teachers could have been here, I think they would have loved it.

This is certainly a great education for me.

screenshot of visual captured yesterday using evernote and annotated by Educreations
screenshot of visual captured yesterday using evernote and annotated by Educreations

This is a pretty lame example of what you can record with these tools, but if I can do it anyone can!

What MaryKay had to say about teacher mindset was also extremely important.  We are asking teachers to teach math in a way very different from how they were taught.  As a principal, I realize now that I need to find opportunities for my teachers to get more training in this new mind set.  This is not just a problem at our school, it is a problem for our school board and for our province – lots to think about, lots to do.

Today, I will be starting with the keynote by Robert Baker, Director of Technology, Cincinnati Country Day School.  His topic – You Really Can Have It All

His school was the first to go 1:1 way back in 1996!  Below is a short video about his school.  Great way to start day two!