Planning your school rollout

 

Step 1: Finding innovators and early adopters at your school

Each school has its share of innovators and early adopters, teachers who willingly seek out new tools to try in their classroom. Early adopters tend to be comfortable and positive about using new technology, and colleagues seek them out for recommendations and advice on the latest trends.

Innovators are creative and resilient, take risks to solve problems, and have built a wide network of like-minded educators. They usually propel the spread of new ideas within their school or district.

To successfully adopt Classcraft at your school, we recommend identifying a handful of your innovators and early adopters and asking them to be the first to try the game in their classes. Their influence and approval will inspire their colleagues to do the same and will position them as excellent hands-on coaches for the rest of your staff. This strategy is part of the Diffusion of Innovation Theory, which refers to how an idea gains momentum and spreads.

How to spot the innovators and early adopters at your school:

  • They are highly respected within your school
  • They stand out as leaders, not followers
  • Colleagues look to them as role models
  • They’re constantly trying new tools and recommending them to others
  • They feel comfortable with digital resources and social media
  • They’re frequent, eager volunteers when implementing new programs and curriculum
  • They actively seek out new opportunities to learn (such as through PD)
  • They’re empathetic, reflective, resilient, and aren’t afraid to take risks
  • They’ve built up a strong personal/professional learning network (PLN)

Step 2: Planning your initial school launch

A good time frame to launch Classcraft with your selected group of innovators and early adopters is 60 days but can be longer depending on your preferences and needs. Earlier in the school year works best, but the game can be implemented at any time.

Regardless of what you choose, teachers should implement the game simultaneously to best determine its usefulness in your school.

Measuring success over time

An important part of any launch is to determine how you’ll measure success. We recommend sitting down with your participating teachers to determine what behaviors you’d like to track. Ask the questions, “What are we having issues with? What do we want to fix or encourage?”

School leaders can establish these behaviors as game presets in the School Dashboard (with teachers rewarding positive behaviors with Experience Points or removing Health Points to discourage unwanted behaviors) and then track data surrounding them through the School Insights. Admin-controlled presets ensure consistency within the launch, which leads to more successful results as students can expect the same rules and values to be enforced from class to class, teacher to teacher.

Training before or during the launch

Teachers will need to sign up for the game using their district/school email, so make sure they’re added on your School Dashboard before they begin. 

Training is important to making sure your launch runs smoothly. Classcraft offers on-site and remote professional development to provide a solid foundation for implementing Classcraft. Our expert PD team will coach your teachers on best practices for using Classcraft. Educators will rethink and refine their teaching approach to achieve targeted outcomes in the areas of school climate, classroom management, social-emotional learning, and personalized learning.

You can learn more about our PD program by contacting schools@classcraft.com.

Step 3: Onboarding and supporting teachers at your school

If your initial launch is successful, the next step is to onboard other teachers so that Classcraft becomes a more integrated part of your school culture and so its positive impact is more widespread.

To add new teachers, you’ll need to set up accounts for them in your organization. Your account executive can help you with this step.

Professional development can help you increase teacher adoption and retention at your school. Classcraft offers on-site and remote professional development to provide a solid foundation for implementing Classcraft. Our expert PD team will coach your teachers on best practices for using Classcraft. Educators will rethink and refine their teaching approach to achieve targeted outcomes in the areas of school climate, classroom management, social-emotional learning, and personalized learning.

Sharing inspirational successful stories is a powerful way to get your teachers excited. Classcraft would love to help your staff connect and spread these anecdotes within your school or district. Email schools@classcraft.com to inquire about possibilities!

Additionally, you can find plenty of resources to help and support your teachers here.

Step 4: Implementing PBIS standards with Classcraft

Classcraft supports PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports). From the School Dashboard, school leaders can establish common rules in order to manage discipline consistently and reinforce the positive behaviors they choose, based on their unique school values. Consistent implementation and feedback play a key role in using PBIS successfully. You can download Classcraft’s PBIS Handbook here for a useful guide on using Classcraft with PBIS.

For PBIS schools, we recommend that admins create Experience Points (XP) presets for all teachers to use. Presets ensure that teachers are enforcing the same positive behaviors in a consistent and immediate manner for the best long-term results.

Health Points (HP), which are removed for negative behavior, are an essential part of well-balanced PBIS practice and can also be established by school leaders. PBIS supports intervention for misbehavior when it’s clearly explained, rigorous, and actionable. It emphasizes that “classroom management and preventive school discipline must be integrated and working together with effective academic instruction in a positive and safe school climate to maximize success for all students.” With Classcraft, teachers set expectations upfront for students and must be consistent and immediate in responding to behaviors, as per the game rules.

Additionally, PBIS recommends a “continuum of procedures for encouraging expected behavior” and “discouraging problem behavior,’ which fits well with Classcraft’s tiered system of removing HP, falling, and receiving pledges.

When setting up their demo class, teachers can select to use pre-made settings especially created for PBIS classes. Teachers can test these settings before integrating them to their classroom and using them to support their own PBIS efforts.

Step 5: Managing and promoting school climate and engagement

The benefits of Classcraft can spread from the classroom to the entire school by building better culture and engagement. This is more easily accomplished the more staff are onboard with using Classcraft so that the game is a consistent and organic part of students’ school day.

By using the Classcraft School Climate Index, you can monitor the pulse of school climate in your building at a glance, based on analytics data such as the ratio of positive vs. negative behavior, absenteeism, and collaboration.

Positive school climate has a significant impact on academics, helping to bridge achievement gaps and assisting students in reaching their full potential. Students learn best when they feel supported and cared for by teachers and staff, safe (such as from bullying), challenged academically, and when they feel a sense of belonging.

Research also shows that there is no correlation between socioeconomic status and perceived school climate. In fact, the negative effects of poverty, such as lower attendance, can be offset in schools with a positive school climate.  

Below are some best practices and ideas for promoting school climate and engagement:

  • Regulating power customizations so student powers are consistent from class to class

  • Regulating XP, HP, and GP behavior presets through the School Dashboard

  • Create random events that promote positive interaction with other teachers and staff members, such as janitors, bus drivers, coaches, nurses, secretaries, etc.

  • Display a school leaderboard where the top students (with the most XP) are honored each month or at the end of the year

  • Plan a schoolwide challenge week or activity days where students are recognized and awarded GP for exceptional behavior (eg., most school spirit; best classroom decorations; students with the most XP in the school; students who demonstrate a certain behavior the most, such as “helping others”)

  • Promote peer mentorships and cultivate engagement outside the classroom by allowing students to gain XP or GP when they help fellow students (eg., on the playground) or get involved in volunteer programs or extracurriculars (eg., food drives)

  • Take photos or videos of special moments in Classcraft, such as students participating in random events, and share these collectively with the school throughout the year in newsletters, on bulletin boards, in yearbooks, etc.
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