Friday, February 16, 2007

Successful Standardized Test Practice Part 2

This was my second week of the "beat sap" game. I wasn't sure going in how students would react to the same game for the second week. I continued to think of what Gee's says in What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Literacy and Learning about why video games are educational. One emphasis he makes is the increasing difficulty as the player's proficiency increases. So, this week, since my students were familiar with the game, I changed a few minor rules. I allowed a few less points possible per group per prompt and as we went through each prompt, I decreased their allotted time by 30 seconds.

Students were excited to play it again, and I saw some advancement in their answers. They were not happy when I said it would be harder, but judging from their actions when they played, it was not a bad thing in their eyes. They were ready to go, and as the time decreased, their energy did as well. The first two rounds left the students just off pace to reach their goal points, and when they noticed this, they stepped up. I heard wonderful details and answers for some boring prompts. While students did not "beat sap" by as many points as last week, they were proud of their work. One student asked if I would make it harder next week. I replied "yes" and he left the room saying they'd still be able to win. Not bad for a group who was discouraged by the thought of having to come up with responses to prompts. Next week is week three of four. They need to win three out of the four games. I'll report again next week. In the meantime, I welcome any comments, suggestions, or questions.

1 comment:

LaurenB said...

I am wondering if there is any way that you can get student responses to this activity when it is done. Perhaps a questionnaire about the activity? I would be interested in seeing what they thought was successful about the activity and then compare that to what Gee has written.