User Generated Education

Education as it should be – passion-based.

Posts Tagged ‘student-centric education

Video Game Design with Elementary Learners

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In order to support interest and passion driven learning (all – I mean all – of my students play video games) as well as address cross-curricular content area integration of language arts, science, and technology standards, I had my gifted elementary learners, grades 2 through 6, do a semester long project on video game design.

Standards Addressed

English Language Arts Common Core State Standards

  • Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character’s thoughts, words, or actions).
  • Make connections between the text of a story or drama and a visual or oral presentation of the text, identifying where each version reflects specific descriptions and directions in the text.
  • Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.
  • Reference – http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/

Next Generation Science Standards

  • Define a simple design problem that can be solved through the development of an object, tool, process, or system and includes several criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.
  • Generate and compare multiple solutions to a problem based on how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the design problem.
  • Reference – https://www.nextgenscience.org/

ISTE NETS for Students

  • 4a – Students know and use a deliberate design process for generating ideas, testing theories, creating innovative artifacts or solving authentic problems.
  • 4b – Students select and use digital tools to plan and manage a design process that considers design constraints and calculated risks.
  • 4c – Students develop, test and refine prototypes as part of a cyclical design process
  • 4d – Students exhibit a tolerance for ambiguity, perseverance and the capacity to work with open-ended problems.
  • Reference – https://www.iste.org/standards/standards/for-students

Unit Overview

The overview for this unit:

  • Introduction to Storytelling
  • Storyboarding with Storyboad That
  • Storyboard Presentations, Feedback, and Revisions
  • Create a Video
  • Design a Logo

Introduction to Storytelling

The following video and articles were reviewed with the learners:

Storyboarding with Storyboard That

Learners used Storyboard That to create the storyboards for their video games.

Storyboard That is a graphic organizer and storyboard creator . The program provides pre-made scenes, characters, text boxes, shapes, and other images to choose from,  Students are able to drag and drop these items into their chosen layout. Scenes are organized into locational and thematic categories (e.g. school). Characters are organized similarly and can be customized with hair color, eye color, and other edits. Text boxes allow the student to give voice to their characters. Shapes and additional images add props to the story. (https://www.edsurge.com/product-reviews/storyboard-that-product)

It was continually reinforced that their storyboards needed to include strong characters, settings, and plot.

Feedback

Learners presented their storyboards to their classmates. Their classmates asked questions and gave feedback using the questions from How To Write A Good Game Story http://www.paladinstudios.com/2012/08/06/how-to-write-a-good-game-story-and-get-filthy-rich/

They made revisions and additions based on the feedback they received.

Create a Video Game

Learners were then given the choice to create their video games using one of the following platforms:

Create a Logo for the Game

Finally, learners were asked to design a logo for their games. To add another element of fun, learners decorated sugar cookies with their game logo.

Examples

The Adventures of Jack by a 6th Grade Boy

the-adventures-of-jack-highres.png

His video game was created using Sploder:

His Game Logo:

IMG_8487

Save Mother by a 4th Grade Girl

the-trip-highres

Her video game was created by Bloxels:

Her Game Logo:

IMG_8482

Sam and the Dark Lord by a 2nd Grade Boy

blob-highres.png

His video game was created using Sploder:

His Game Logo:

IMG_2427

Written by Jackie Gerstein, Ed.D.

May 5, 2017 at 12:00 am

Teach Every Class As If It Were the Last

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The best advice I was ever given in my counselor education was to approach each counseling session with every client as if it were the last one.  The rationale is that you never know if the client might decide not to show up again.

I have taken this advice into my teaching.  My teaching experiences include elementary gifted and PE, and teacher education courses.  Some classes last an hour, some a full day (gifted kids and weekend intensives for pre- and in-service teachers).  I bring this philosophy into the classroom in all my teaching – no matter the age or content.  The learners are giving me their time, literally pieces of their lives.  It becomes my responsibility to provide them with experiences worthy of their time.  In most of my teaching situations, I would see them again for the next class – but one never knows.  I have had a handful of students who suddenly went missing-in-action due to family conflicts, emergencies, etc.

In terms of what this means in my teaching practices, I strive to bring magic and joy into my classroom.  I want students to shiver with positive anticipation and energy when they enter class that day – not knowing exactly what to expect, but knowing it will be something exciting.

I work towards having my students experience one or more of the following:

  • An “Aha” – a new insight about the content, self, or the world-at-large.
  • A feeling of being an important part of and connected to the world.
  • A rise in self-esteem (Note: Seeing a student’s eyes light up/body posture change – observing the growth in self-worth is the most amazing thing I have ever witnessed.)
  • A new question to explore.
  • A new topic of personal interest.
  • A new friend to learn more about.
  • A flow experience.

I work towards and have a desire for every student to leave each class qualitatively different than when he or she came to class that day.  This is a lofty goal but really adds to the creativity, engagement, and joy I attempt to infuse into each class session.

Written by Jackie Gerstein, Ed.D.

December 31, 2011 at 11:29 pm

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