This guest post is written by Justin Holbrook @JustinHolbrook, a 4th Grade Teacher in Baltimore, Maryland. Check out more of his information at the end of the post. I fondly remember the games I used to play with my family as a little kid. Legos with my mom. Monopoly with all the money missing or thrown together into a “box”. Stratomatic baseball tournaments with my dad on rainy afternoons. Even 2-on-2 basketball with my little brother outside in any temperature for hours (We are still undefeated in the neighborhood!). In all of these memories, time flew by like a race car. As a 4th grade teacher, I try to recreate these experiences for my students because I recognize the emotional connection I forged with games as a kid and their power on students’ memories. However, I think it is crucial that educators understand that there is a difference between relying on games and planning “gamification” in the classroom.
This guest post is written by Justin Holbrook @JustinHolbrook, a 4th Grade Teacher in Baltimore, Maryland. Check out more of his information at the end of the post. When thinking about designing a dream instructional block, questions start whipping through my brain like the frantic tornado scene from “The Wizard of Oz.” How much time do I have? What are the curriculum requirements selected by my leadership and/or district? What does my group of students individually need to be successful? The list goes on and on. How then do we as educators sort through these reflective questions and design our instructional blocks to be effective yet efficient?