Thursday, December 13, 2018

Welcome to the 2018-2019 School Year

I finally have the desire to blog again!  We have had two days of school so far and I am in love with every single one of my new students.  I know that it is easy to say that after only two days, even after only a few weeks, when students are on their best behavior, but I am getting a really good vibe from these kids.  The first thing I'm reflecting on is how what I'm doing and how I'm acting is affecting the class.
I have worked very hard to plan out this year with every rule, routine, and procedure with the students in mind.  How will the classroom run best for them, not so much what will make it easy for me.  I know that I have REALLY good students this year, but I am feeling very confident that we are building a great classroom culture in all of my classes.

Gamification
So I have totally bought into this!  The only problem is for me, is that I'm not that creative!  Enter Classcraft.  I love that this is all thought through and ready to implement.  Don't get me wrong it is extremely overwhelming!  There is a LOT to learn to get started with it.  The nice thing is that I started last school year with my only 7th-grade class.  Since I started my new school in February I was able to "experiment" a little bit more than if I had started in September.  After my 4 month trial (with many failures and mistakes LOL) I've decided that it was worth it to go "all in" this year with both 7th and 8th grade!
So far, I am trying to introduce it very slowly.  Building it up and also having the students build the game with me.  The first day I only showed the introductory video and the second day went over XP, HP, AP, PP, Gold and the basics of the characters.  Next week, the students will start by making their characters and teams and then work on creating behaviors, sentences, and random events.  (I've only set a few non-negotiables.)   The few 7th graders that I had last year and now again this year as 8th graders seem to be enjoying this new roll out.  They were also extremely happy that we were going to play it again this year, so that pumped up the rest of the class that had never played before.

UPDATE!
I'm not sure why I never hit submit on this post, but here we are in December.  Guess what?  I still absolutely adore every one of my students!!! That culture I thought I was building in September has firmly cemented and I only have one class that is a challenge, yet so manageable.  Classcraft is still going strong and I can't say enough about how much my students and I love it. 

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