My colleague Linda McClure and I rolled out Classcraft this year and now have been Classcrafting for 7 months and we feel very comfortable with the program. We were excited, a bit apprehensive but dove into the program during the summer to prepare the roll out of the program. Since we have semester classes, we’ve rolled it out twice with our students and learned how to make it flow.
If you are new to Classcraft, it’s a sweet way of gamifying your class with XP, HP, AP, and GP! (Popular codes in gaming). Students level up, gain powers, and earn swag for their avatar. They work collaboratively in teams and have fun. Though there is a punitive component as students lose HP, in my class it is mostly used to reward and motivate good behaviors.
Linda created a Google Site to help students learn about the program. She let me edit and add to the site. It’s quite helpful to have another teacher on campus to collaborate with. The website, and Linda made the roll out easy: Our Info of Classcraft Site
**Note, we didn’t know exactly how it worked going in, but went ahead and trusted the reviews and the process. As we played we learned a lot, and decided what needed to be changed including various events of the day and how much points to take off for behaviors or how much to add for XP. This will be a later blog post.**
Planning: Make teams beforehand. Since my school has Google Classroom, it was easy to import names from Google for ease. I created teams of 4-6 students. Use what you know about students to try and make the teams fairly equal in abilities (prior testing, special needs, etc). It is helpful to keep teams sitting together, so work it into your seating chart. Don’t worry, you can change up teams if there are problems.
Day 1: Introduce the Game: Show short video, Discuss XP, characters, powers, HP, losing in battle, and some strategy. Students visit our Info of Classcraft Site. Students work in their
team to pick their team name, choose a crest, choose a background, and choose their character classes. Once the team submits the worksheet of information, they log into the REAL CLASSCRAFT SITE and create their character. They learn pretty fast how to even get some swag for their character as the store has some free items for their avatar.
Day 2: Students come in and set up their character a bit more. We do the Event of the Day, We discuss the powers they have and what they mean, and how to use them. Students earn XP and see how XP is given. Inevitably someone loses HP, which gives a chance for powers to be used. Explain that going to Classcraft is not what they will usually do when the enter class. Instead they do the normal warm up, but will earn points for getting started immediately.
Day 3: Normal beginning. Directions in front of the room to immediately get started on work to earn Classcraft points. (There is so much student engagement in daily warmup!) While they are working, I give XP behind the scenes. After 10 minutes, I allow students to check their Classcraft accounts for XP, do the daily event and go over leader board. We talk about strategy. (Strategic play involves helping teammates as then you earn XP faster and level up sooner). Then we get back to classwork and class proceeds with normal content.
Day 4-end of Year: Much of a repeat of Day 3, with less talking about strategy and the game, by now kids get it. I allow students to check their Classcraft for a moment during class when they receive XP or want to help their teammates. I tell them if they spend too much time on it though, it’s a distraction and they would not be able to earn XP for following directions or working. Sometimes if there is time at end of class, students may go check out Classcraft.
I have found it helpful when I have a Substitute Teacher: When I know I am out, I tell students that when there is a sub there will be no Event of the day. Instead students earn 150 points if they can earn an A for behavior. Any student that is put on the helpful list gets an additional 50 points with the sub as well.