Genius Freak

In love with the kind, the brilliant, the creative, the brave, the generous, the crazy, and the hopeful

Sometime around mid April, in the post-spring break part of the school year, I start thinking about all of the things I want to do differently, and better, next year. And I start feeling apologetic to the students of the current year, that they aren’t going to get the new and improved me of the following year, in this case Mueller 32.0.

My goal for year 32 is to get 1% better every day. Not literally, because apparently the compounding effect makes mathematically humanly impossible. And of course, it’s very vague when you are talking about teaching – What does it mean to get 1% better? It makes more sense to think of it as getting consistently a little better every day. But I like the sound of 1% a day.

So to kick off the summer I have been reading a few books to help me with that goal. Today’s reading was Level Up Your Classroom: The Quest to Gamify Your Lessons and Engage Your Students, by Jonathan Cassie.

Gamifying is an idea I have been intrigued by for a while, but haven’t quite been able to wrap my head around. But I’m getting there. This book gives some good insight into the mechanics of games (not just video games) that can be used to develop engaging opportunities for instruction and assessment.

I know some teachers have used tools like Classcraft, or systems of their own creation, to gamify their entire course. I’m not there yet. And I don’t think I actually want to be. But I am definitely going to try to adapt some of the ideas Cassie writes about in AP Lit and AP Lang in the coming year.

There should be more play in school. Sometimes play is the glue that helps learning stick. If that is an outcome of gamifying some lessons, it will be well worth the effort, and help me level up that 1%.

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