Roman Sturgis Take care of each other and make good decisions.

March 6, 2017

Mr. Robot Teacher part II

Filed under: Blog — Roman @ 10:35 pm

After reading Ready Player One, I turned one of my high school English classes into a “video game”. Kids work at their own pace through levels. Like video games, kids often don’t pass the level on the first try. They take my feedback and try again until they pass. Each level gets harder. Achievements are unlocked for excellent work (Nutella sandwiches, 30 minutes of time working outside the classroom) and hidden “bonus levels” allow for extra points. Level 1 is reading and responding to WWI. Level 2 is reading and responding to T. S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land”. Level 3 is reading and responding to The Great Gatsby. This has profoundly changed my workflow and ability to give timely, authentic feedback in class. By avoiding the pressure of turning around a stack of the same assignment night after night, I grade the assignments right there with the student. Since students are working at their own pace, I can differentiate assignments on the fly as needed. When students finish the game, they can go back and play levels again for a better score, or move on to independent study (creative writing workshop/readers workshop).

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