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Blended Bites Blog

Could I start selling tickets?

Jessica Anderson

Ever felt just incredibly excited and impressed with how things are going? Well, I'm there. This week has been a roller coaster, but not the type of roller coaster that comes with up and down feelings. But the roller coaster that has you feeling elated at every twist and turn.

It all started Sunday night when I noticed that @haikulearning had rolled out "badges." You see, I've been on the climbing portion of the roller coaster for a long time waiting for my LMS to make the leap into gamification. And let me tell you, I'm sold. It really is everything I need it to be at this point. And it has made me excited to teach in my gamified classroom.

Besides me being excited, my students were excited to see they received new badges. Today, I even had a student throw his hands up and shout "yes, I get another badge" after my teaching candidate filled out his grade sheet and he had mastered all the objectives for level three. Smiles and enthusiasm from learning never get old!

The above example is just one instance where I've had students cheering and saying positive things about our class this week. In multiple classes I've had students whining because "the music" came on the computer.  Usually whining is a bad thing.  I even have a sign that says "whiners are not welcome" in my room. However, this whining came from students not wanting to get off the roller coaster. They were whining because they didn't want to leave earth science. You see the music goes off three minutes before the bell chimes and indicates it's time to log off their computers, wrap up, and prepare for final announcements. It's that last little stretch before they get off the ride...and they didn't want to! That's an #EDUwin in my book!

Other things I heard/saw this week:
1) "I wish we had more than one period of earth science. Like two. No three. Yes, I'd like three periods of earth science."
2)  During genius hour the music went off to indicate class was ending and no one closed their computers.
3) "I really like science this year. I didn't last year, but now it's fun."
      Note: This particular student is even showing interest in doing the Envirothon competition because         his genius hour topic is wildlife biology. How cool is that?!?
4) "I want a whole day of earth science. We could do some really cool things."
5) Students constantly asking if I've updated the leaderboard so they can see if their placement has changed after they've worked really hard to get work done.
6) Positive collaboration between students who normally don't work well together.
7) Students successfully doing 5 different assignments at one time and no management issues!

Honestly, there are more positive quotes from students but I just can't remember them right now (palm to face...should have written them down).

And the biggest thing for me was Friday approached and I was not ready to get off the ride.

I may not be selling tickets yet, but I think I'm headed down the right track.