Thursday, 7 April 2016

Gamification and Y10 English

Despite my mobile data having had taken a beating yesterday, my students had an absolutely awesome learning session in class.

Using my mobile hotspot and a student generously allowing hers to be used also - we had a tutu with Quizlet's new Beta Live game.

Students were split into three teams once they'd all signed in. Questions about the Romeo and Juliet characters came up on their devices and students had to answer correctly and more importantly - work as a team.

They learnt quickly how it works - showing that this age level are way more quick to engage with this type of technology. Had we more time in the previous lesson - the Y12s may have hooked in to it more effectively. Might need to make their one more visual too.

Each team's names are around the questions - it lights up red or green based on the question answered by the team mate. Questions are switched between the teams so only one team can answer at a time.

On the projector was a scale for each team - counting from 0-12. The first team to get to 12 wins.

The issue being that if one of your team members gets a question wrong, then all of your points are pushed back down to 0.
As I was flitting around the room I saw students collaborating, students helping each other, supporting each other and succeeding with each other and also commiserating with each other.

One group figured the system out and realised to win they needed to be in one group - not spread out over the class so that they could discuss the answer first before answering - to avoid losing points with a wrong answer.

Another group - while working together were incredibly loud, excited and proud of each other's failures and success and kept pushing forward. A truly growth mindset group. These guys eventually won.

The next game we played was with Kahoot. Looking at a full test of 30 questions on Romeo and Juliet - this time some worked in pairs, others individually. Still the same collaboration and shared success was felt in the class.

The students quickly unlearnt their learning with the previous game and without any explanation from me - figured out how to play Kahoot. The music stopped at one point and one student asked where it was. Clearly, a multitasker and natural gamer :)

Playing Kahoot - with this class was a great way to see how much knowledge they had gained from the past few weeks, my weeny discussions and suggestions around understanding R&J.

When they read questions, answered them - it was in complete silence - then when they found the answer out there was either excited yelling as they won or sad gutted sounds if they lost. Others took a more competitive approach - worked together to discuss answer and answered quickly to gain the most points.

It was incredibly cool to see how much they actually did remember. Made me very proud. It was just such a shame that there were at least 8 students away who would have benefitted from this lesson.

Last game was to see how they'd fare with Language Techniques. As yet we've only brushed over a few and discussed iambic pentameter at length to help them understand the meter when speaking as  Shakespearean characters.

Not surprisingly - we had students guessing - but getting things right, using the lang techniques on the wall to help, and asking me or their peers for help. Sometimes I'd help - but learning for themselves is so much more powerful and I shouldn't have helped as much as I did.

Regardless - this lesson was awesome. Definitely need to do this again.

What I loved was the building up of growth mindsets, the gamer competitiveness and support, the focus on the right answer but also understanding the wrong answers helped for next time we do this.

One particular student who struggles with giving up has been working on actively building a growth mindset. Just a couple looks from me showed her to step it up and at one point in the game she was actually coming first to her great delight. Very cool moment. She was buzzing!! :)

Looking forward to seeing them again today and doing a quick evaluation with them about their understanding and learning.

Probably the one thing that frustrated me was that one of my students was using my phone so I had no way of taking photos of how awesome this class lesson was! The only proof I have is when I asked that student to take pics of the leaderboard at the end of the R&J and Lang Tech games.

Looking forward to the next time we do this and will try to implement this in my other classes and see if it is as successful with the seniors. It has been great in the past but this senior group is an interesting bunch. Could go either way.

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