How to Gamify Reviewing: Ms. Kinkoph Style

When people think about gamification most people think about traditional types of games.  I think that most people think of students playing games like Jeopardy or Deal or No Deal.  I have created many games like these to help my students review and learn.  It really is my first foray into creating a culture where games play a part of a students learning.   

When I was younger my 8th grade teacher had a game called News Game she got weekly and was kind of like jeopardy where we played in groups.  She also kept all the results and at the end of the quarter we played a large final round for several days.  So you could win a week and you could win the final end round.  We never won anything, but man did I have fun playing every week.  In honor of Ms. Kinkoph my 8th grade SS teacher,  I have a few games below that you can try out in your classroom. 

The most popular game that I have used and was given by my wife from her memories of a teacher using it in the classroom is called Jepperball.  Jeopardy is probably the easiest game to create as a review game.  There are ppt templates all over the internet and now you can even use one that is connected to your Google account.  Thanks Richard Byrne!

1.       Create Jeopardy template like you are going to play a regular game of jeopardy.
2.       Split the class into two groups.  I have always played with two teams and each person gets to be the spokesperson at least once or twice.  The spokesperson can ask his or her team what they think the answer is.  Only the answer given by the spokesperson can be considered right. 
3.       Student are allowed to use their notes or review sheets.
4.       If the spokesperson gets the answer correct they are then allowed to shoot the ball into the basket.  They can choose to go for 1, 3 or 5 points.  I put tape on the floor different distances for each point value.  If they want to be safe they might go for one point and just drop it in.  Most boys love to try to go for the 5 bonus points to prove their athletic prowess and take the risk.  It really is fun to watch. 
5.       The added point values help teams that might have fallen behind catch back up.  On the jeopardy board I keep the point values simple from 1-5 points.  

This game has been tremendously popular for years in my classroom.  When I taught self-contained special ed they really liked this one because they all were given many chances because my classes were so small.  That year I tried other games and they always told me that they were fun, but not as fun as Jepperball.  This game has a way of engaging students who might not be as good at the knowledge part a way of being involved.  It also causes the students to discuss, move around, and engage with their review materials that might not happen when they go home.  

Deal or No Deal
When I taught in the Bridge Program with students who had autism this was a favorite of theirs.  It probably had something to do with the fact it was more challenging and had some risk involved.  I also had really small classes then and it allowed them all multiple chances to pick a case and answer a question. 

1.       You need to create a set of questions.  I used the Jeopardy board for this to help me remember what questions were harder and which were easier.  You could just write them out on paper.  You need more questions than jeopardy in case they get them wrong. 

2.       I then turned another jeopardy board into the board of cases.  I numbered them so they wouldn’t know what was in them. 

3.       I split the class into to two teams.

4.       Each person gets a chance to answer a question and talk with their team about what they think the answer might be. 

5.       Once they get the correct answer I offered them a deal that is sometimes better or sometimes worse than what is in it.  The point vales are 1-5. 

6.       It is fun to watch them get all riled up and excited when they get a big case. 

7.       Here are some pictures of what it looked liked:

HSA 52 Card Pickup
This game I created when trying to come up with other things that I could do to review for the 10th grade state test in Maryland.  Most students enjoyed this one and I used questions from old tests to help them work through how to answer them.  This could work for other large exams like semester or final exams because there are so many questions.

1.       You will need to create a board that has a question for each card in the deck.  It should look something like this when you are done:  

2.       Split the students into two teams. 
3.       The same spokesperson rules apply here as well.
4.       You will need a deck of cards. 
5.       When it is a spokesperson’s turn they get to choose a card.  What card they choose is the question I selected on the board.
6.       They can answer with their group.  If they get it right they get the points associated with the card.  So if they pick a 10 they get 10 pts. 
7.       The game is really random and most liked playing.
This is the simplest form of gamification in the classroom.  It is a little traditional, but it is a great way to start.  All of the games get students using discourse, taking risks, and reviewing their material.  I recommend having them do a review sheet first that can help them during the game.  They are reviewing material the entire time this way and I have had students I the pas thank me because they felt like they needed to do less at home.  Give these couple a try.  It takes a little work at first, but once your game is created it is available as long as you don’t lose the file.