Essential question: How do you or might you use language to change the way that your students think about learning in the classroom?
In Matera’s book, Explore Like a Pirate, he talks about the ten qualities highly successful people have in common: Confidence, Creativity, Enthusiasm, Effort, Focus, Resilience, Curiosity, Dependability, and Empathy. I think he is a “glass is half full” kind of person. The traits that he mentions are strong qualities that affect people in a positive. That type of positivity can grow on a person; they will gravitate toward those characteristics.
We can take these same type of qualities and implement them in Gamification.
- Confidence – shows when students can take risks in the game that they would not normally take in real life
- Creativity – is acted out when a student uses critical thinking to solve problems and might have to taken several different angles until they find one to complete a challenge
- Enthusiasm – is shown when a student fails at a challenge but their growth mindset drives them to continue until they complete a challenge
- Effort – is the energy required to complete a challenge
- Focus – is the motivation required to complete a challenge
- Resilience – is when student’s bounce back from failing a challenge but continues
- Curiosity – interest needed to complete complex challenges
- Dependability – is being able to trust your team member
- Empathy – the understanding that is needed with team work
“Kids start to adopt this language and take it on their own. For me, that’s the mind-blowing thing, when kids start to apply purpose-driven learning in their own responses, without that being required of them. When they start talking, in a student reflection, about how they’ve seen over the course that they’ve developed their own confidence in themselves and in their talents. They see that it’s about applying themselves, it’s about putting focused effort toward a goal. It’s about being dependable and bringing their best to class every day. I think that’s just mind blowing, when students use this language, and it’s become internalized for them” (Matera).
Children are sponges, they adapt to their surroundings. Therefore, it is no surprise that Matera would state that kids adopt to this language. Show a young student a dance, new slang, or a new way to draw a bunny – they will master the task and add their own spin. This is what the author is trying to tell us. My thought is that when students are in a classroom setting that feels comfortable, accepting, and engaging – they will bloom even if the subject is a new complex math topic.
We can roll this concept into the games that we are creating. We should give the students opportunities to use the qualities that Matera discusses and praise students that master the challenges.
Matera, M. Explore like a Pirate. Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc. 2015. Print.