I tried a prototype of my project about gamifying social studies syllabus in class and I also discussed it with some colleagues for feedback. It was a fruitful experience as it brought my attention to very important points that I should consider while preparing for the project.
At the beginning, understanding the rules of the game was complicated for my students as I did not have time for preparing visuals. One of my students even told me, ” Miss Sally, my brother plays scrabble backward and it is much easier for me to understand” so I had to change my strategy by drawing it on the board and dividing it into levels. That made me realize how crucial it is to prepare a very simple and vivid illustrations for the project details.
After knowing the game rules, they asked about the prize of the winning group and I was glad to know that most of the prizes they asked for is related to the exam (as I already designed my project). However, because of the time factor, we negotiated other options and settled down for chocolate.
While playing the game, I found them active, enthusiastic, and motivated. They found the code game interesting and they were even interested to learn how to make their own code. They also liked how they approached their teachers in a new fun way instead of the traditional approach. As part of the game, I distributed the answer keys on some teachers and asked them to give it to students when they answer one question correctly.
Working as groups was one of the merits of the game. Students are learning better when they receive the information from each other even better than when the teacher deliver it. They were indulged into answering the sheet more when they cooperated together. On the other hand, the competition between groups acted as a catalyst for them to complete the game.
Over all, my students enjoyed gamifying the lesson and found it easier to learn that way. My colleagues liked the idea as well and were intrigued to try it in their classes as well. Without knowing it, we found ourselves creating a community of practice discussing the different methods of applying games in class. 🙂
As punishment from the gods, Sisyphus in the Greek tale was condemned to roll a boulder to the top of a mountain. Once he reached the top, the boulder would roll back down again. For eternity, Sisyphus would roll that boulder to the top, only for it to roll down again and again and again.
Is it possible for us – as teachers – to avoid having a life like Sisyphus? Could we balance the rock on the mountain-top?
Even though a truly excellent teacher can set the rock in place for hours at a time, it will not – and should not – stay put. When it does eventually come thundering down, we ascend the mountain the next time a little bit wiser than we did before. And that is the fun of the job.
Perfection is impossible, but doing a great job is not.
It is important to evaluate ourselves, but should we stop at knowing the problem and give up like Sisyphus in the Greek tale? Should we feel at the end of the day that are jobs as teachers became futile and live with that?
Because we are the masters of our own fate, the soft way of peer-reflection tremendously effective in boosting our professional development.
Awareness is the Key …. Become aware of your problems, the importance of finding solutions to these problems and where to find them, reflect on your findings, and adjust them to your own environment.
There is no shame in teaching a bad lesson; it is how it informs future lessons that matters. It is more important not to plateau, but to overcome our difficulties and turn the corner.
An excellent post for useful inspiring blogs that teachers can follow.