Last Spring, I tried out a new gamification way to do Modified Choice. It was inspired by a session I saw at NAEA San Diego. I did this with my year-long “advanced” classes that had done a lot of other theme work and skill builders.
This year ALL my classes were year-long (instead of the usual trimester or semester) and mixed grades. Plus with the new testing system sucking up 6 long weeks, where different kids each period would be gone for testing… I knew I had to do something more open ended. I revamped my student tracking forms and example resources from last year’s Studio Challenge.
Along the way we have had some issues… Many kids just starting little things and then never finishing them, or losing projects so they essentially have nothing to show for their work and have no evidence of learning. Kids loosing their tracking form (where I have signed off on finished projects.) Centers getting out of control messy and some blatant misuse of materials. A handful of kids are individually banned from sculpture or clay due to those type of situations.
But along the way we have had some great successes. Lots of interest in new materials and new techniques based on the daily 5 min demo. Lots of fun with paint and back ground techniques. Lots of peer tutoring and guidance from friends. And a few good collaborations.
Because it is tracked with points, we do have a few kids that are whipping through projects to just get the points. They aren’t putting the effort that I would like to see sometimes, but they are still having some good experiences.
I like that there is specific things to do for the kids that can’t think of anything, but open ended things for those that can. I like that I don’t have to “grade” anything… I just stamp and sign off when completed. When “stamping for points” (as this kids have started to call it) we have a quick conversation about the content, techniques and/or quality of the piece and how they could take it further. We do have a leader board for the top points in each class, and some kids are doing a lot of art homework to stay in the lead.
I am also printing out some “medals” with my 3-D printer. Any student that completes ALL 6 challenges in a category will get the physical token for that center. A few kids are pretty excited about this. A couple are even trying to earn them all.