Gamification isn’t necessarily a new idea in education – after all, teachers have been running trivia games and playing "Around the World" for years. In fact, at least as far back as 1850, (and almost certainly long before that) teachers were using games like spelling bees in the classroom. Now, however, gamification is beginning to be adopted more and more, and in new ways, as well as being required in some school systems. The advantage of gamification is that it’s adaptable to lots of different types of material, and is easy to incorporate into simple activities without interrupting the flow of a lesson plan or making classroom management more difficult. Here are a few simple ideas of how to gamify a lesson.
Track individual success
When a student answers a question or does a task correctly, give the student a Post-it® Page Marker to keep track of his or her success. At the end of the lesson, each student can place the markers he’s received on a bulletin board or chart to keep track of his overall "score."
Track group success
Create a chart for the whole class that needs lots of people to fill it in. It can be a simple grid (which may work better for older students), but it could also be anything that fits the theme of your classroom, from a tree that needs leaves to a dragon that needs scales. As students complete tasks, levels, or assignments, have them add Post-it® Super Sticky Notes to the board – when every space is filled, reward the class as a group.
Track progress toward completion
Create a map on a bulletin board or wall that represents a challenge, quest or journey, and make a Post-it® Page Marker with each student’s name. When students complete assignments, have them move their marker along the pathway toward the end of the journey. You can also adapt this to work for the whole class as you move through levels of a workbook, chapters of a textbook or other completion goals.
Remember, the key to gamification is to keep things fun and reward students by making their progress visible and exciting.