Explore Like a Pirate: Chapter 5

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Hi everyone,

Welcome back to our book study on Explore Like a Pirate, by Michael Matera. Thanks to Rachael over at Sweet Sweet Primary for putting this book study together.

Today we are looking at Chapter 5: From the Helm: Getting to Know Your Crew. This chapter is all about the tools that will help us to create game inspired course design.

When designing game inspired courses, we have to determine what type of player your students are. According to Richard Bartle’s theory, there are four groups of gamer personalities: Achievers, Socializers, Explorers, and Killers (griefers). By knowing the type of gamer each of your students are, you can be sure to include something for all types of gamers.

I found the different types of personality fascinating. I can think of many of my students who fall into these personalities without giving the Richard Bartle test.

Achievers
Achievers are those students who want to earn points and show a level of mastery. In our classroom, Achievers are the kids who want to know they are doing well. They like to show off how they are doing and their position or advancement in the game. To motivate an Achiever, you can include daily quests and leader boards.

Socializers
Socializers play games because they enjoy interacting with others. In our classroom, often time the Socializers are our talkers. To engage Socializers while designing game inspired courses, we should think about making a team challenge that requires out of class networking. Socializers would also like the aspect of trading with others.

Explorers
Explores enjoy an open game where they can discover new areas on their own. According to Michael Matera, Explores move at their own pace and are not too concerned with mastery of the game. To motivate an Explorer, you can include locked areas or levels.

Killers(griefers)
Killers enjoy playing high action games and look to battle or beat something quickly. If the reward is worth it, Killers will take the risk. To motivate Killers, you can include collecting things or a protection aspect. Like protecting a person or a house.

Matera also talks about Jon Radoff’s four key components of game design. Aspects of his game design are: Immersion, Achievement, Cooperation, and Competition. By looking at the four categories, we can think of ways to deliver our course objectives.

Immersion
When thinking about immersion, we design a game course that allows the students to grow and explore. this is where the students become the heroes of their own stories.

Achievement
We want to give the students multiple times or opportunities to practice a skill. We have to be sure to make the work challenging but not too difficult where the kids want to give up. The more opportunities the kids have to reach a level of proficiency in the game, the more practice they get at a skill.

Cooperation
TEAMWORK! TEAMWORK! TEAMWORK!
Just like in anything, we want our students to work together. When developing game inspired courses, we need to make sure that we include ways for our kids to work together toward a common goal.

Competition
Competition is a great way to have students interact with each other and work together on a team.

Michael Matera uses The SAPS Model in his course design. This helps to include different motivating factors for all students. Some kids are motivated by status. This is where leaderboards, badges, and daily quests come into play. The students are given feedback on how they are doing and are motivated when others see how well they are doing. Another motivating factor is access. Students become more motivated and engaged when they have access to new material or things they didn’t have before, like being able to find secret areas. When designing game inspired courses, we also want to include power. You can give the students power by giving them choice. The last thing we want to think about when designing the coursework is what Michael Matera calls stuff. We want to include game related things, like a small sword or a power shield. We want to include “stuff” that is related to the game. This will keep the students instrinsically motivated.

I can’t wait to read what comes next. Join us next week for a look at Chapter 6.

Thanks for stopping by and saying hi,
Rachel

Click on the picture below to go back to Sweet Sweet Primary’s blog and read about what others have to say about Chapter 5.

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Explore Like A Pirate: Chapter 1

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Hi everyone!

Today I am really excited to be part of a new book study. We just started to read “Explore Like a Pirate”, by Michael Matera.

Today we explore chapter 1: The Call of the Explorer: Discover the Adventure that Awaits.

I don’t know about you, but I am always looking for new ways to engage my kids. I already have my students do tons of projects, partner work, group work, and play some games. But I started to think ask the question, “What more can I do?”

I have been teaching for 18 years in a New York City Public School. Over the years, I have seen curriculums, teaching methods, and whatever happened to be the fad at the time come and go. It really is heart breaking to look at your kids and see that glazed look in their eyes. That look that tells you… I am not paying any attention to you. One thing that hasn’t changed over the years is student engagement. The trick is finding what will engage your students. What worked well last year might not work this year.

This is why I turned to the book, “Explore Like a Pirate”. I am ready to really sit down and reflect on how I can better engage my students and still show my administration that the work happening in my class is “rigorous” (by the way, I really hate the word rigorous. Any time someone asks admin what it means, they can’t even give an answer.)

In chapter 1, Michael Matera speaks about how gamification is possible because all you need is creativity. We don’t have to worry about buying extra material or spending money out of our own pockets. YES! We can take our curriculum and the content we already teach and just an add extra layer to the top.

I have to be honest, I am a bit worried about the creativity part for myself and the students. I think the current education system has really stomped out any creativity. I find when I am planning lessons, I really have to sit down and think about being creative. My students…they are a totally different problem. There is very little play and creativity in our education system. Just look at our poor kindergarden students who really don’t get to play anymore. By the time they reach me in 2nd grade, the joy of learning is already on it’s way out of the door. When I tell my kids to use their imagination or be creative, they really struggle. They want to be told what to do. This is one reason that I picked up this book. I need to become more creative and engaged and so do my students.

My mind is already in a whirlwind and I have only read the first chapter. I am already thinking about how I can use gamification in my classroom in September. I am glad that I have the entire summer to read this book and reflect on my own teaching and engaging my students. I can’t wait to discuss the next chapter with you next Tuesday.

Thanks for stopping by and saying hi,

Rachel

Check out what others are saying about Chapter 1 by clicking the picture below!

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