Let’s be real for a second – general music can be a tough buy in, especially at the middle school and high school level. Take it from someone who is currently teaching 8th grade general music and high school appreciation.
This year, I started using ClassCraft and it has been really awesome!
Classcraft is a free online educational role-playing game that teachers and students play together in the classroom. Acting as a gamification layer around any existing curriculum, the game transforms the way a class is experienced throughout the school year.
The Basics of ClassCraft
Experience points(XP) – rewards student behavior, XP allow students to level up and learn powers, which they can use for themselves or their team
Examples of how students can earn XP in my class:
- completes the bell ringer before class officially starts (incentive for them to come to class and be ready to start on time)
- asks relevant question
- answers question correctly
- active participation in group work
Health points(HP) – discourages negative student behavior, HP is the life force of their character – if they lose too much HP, they will fall in battle
Examples of how students can lose HP in my class:
- late to class without valid excuse
- did not participate in group work
- off topic chatting
- turning in assignments late
Gold pieces(GP) – extra reward for student behavior(part of the paid plan) or earned when leveling up(available in free plan), GP allows students to purchase gear for their character
Examples of how students can gain GP in my class:
- early to class (certain number of minutes before class begins)
- handing in an assignment a day early
- helping another student
Other Great Features
Random Events – I like to start my class with random events. Students can gain/lose HP, GP, or XP. It’s a great way to get class started. I created a few of my own.
Boss Battles – students or teams of students can “battle” bosses by answering questions. I use this as a review in class or to reinforce what we’ve learned in class that day.
Treasures of Tavuros – converts grades on assignments or tests into XP
Quests(paid feature) – students can follow a story line and complete tasks to earn XP and GP. I’ve been using quests to reinforce what we are learning in class
- Gamify your classroom without tons of work on your end
- Customizable to fit your needs/classroom
- Offers a free version that has most features
- Engages older students
- Connects to Google Classroom
- There’s a bit of a learning curve (now that I’ve been using it for a few months, I’m finally feeling more comfortable but it does take some time to learn)
- Lacking a community – I just wish there was an active community for teachers who are using this platform. ClassCraft has a teacher forum on their website but it is not very active and as far as I know, there isn’t a ClassCraft teacher FB group.
What I’ve Learned
I have been using ClassCraft for entire semester now and I’ve learned some important lessons that I will use next semester.
- If your school is one-to-one, have kids sign in to ClassCraft as part of the bell ringer. Then, if they complete the bellringer early, they can work on a quest or change their character’s clothing.
- Give kids time in class to work on ClassCraft. It’s great for a quick brain break, transitions, or those last few minutes.
- Customize the random events for your school/class. There are a lot of great pre-made options but my students enjoyed the ones that were specifically related to their own school.
- Don’t be afraid to ask your students for feedback and make changes throughout the semester
I LOVE this! It’s reminiscent in my mind of the Hogwarts house system. I like the idea of helping students learn to work together as a community 🙂