Classcraft and Elementary School



Share your ideas here!

- Mélysa Fréchette, Community Manager, support@classcraft.com


Jeff, My school is very anti weapon (even images) if it has nothing to do with like subject matter. I just tried to roll out Classcraft for the first time this year and my students were really excited about it. However one of our admin saw the Warriors with a spear and now we are having a full fledge conversation on if I can still use this in my classroom even though it's only an image. I'm really bummed and hope I can convince them to let me use it because my students love it. If it was possible to get rid of the weapon then I would have a better chance of being able to use it but at them moment it's 50/50. Fingers crossed because I love using this in class. 

I think this is good for kids in 3rd grade and up. We use it in our 5th grade classes and LOVE it. The kids are 100% engaged. We use the volume meter with the timer going so kids can help pace themselver during their independent center work, and be rewarded if they keep their voices at a whisper so I can work with other kids. I even have a "math around the room" and they all do it quietly and with their group without going over the noise level I set. I had my formal observation - 3rd year teacher so I get one in the BOY and one at the EOY and my principal LOVED it. He even subbed in another 5th grade class for a couple hours when we couldn't find a sub, and he LOVED the random event, and all of it. He was able to see how valuable it is to keep our more challenging students engaged in class. I can't imagine teaching without it. We did for the first 2 weeks of school, but man, life is so much better as a teacher with classcraft!

I start the day with an Event and a Wheel of Destiny (individual). then minimize the game.  At the end of class I award  XP points to teams who followed the behavior matrix (adopted by school) and do another Wheel of Destiny (team).  Before they leave class I also award points to the teams who have the cleanest areas. Throughout class I keep a written record of students who have lost points for behavior ( I do not allow their team to save them) and during my planning period I will subtract the HP.  

For Book of Laments I try to make it a little light hearted.  For example, if you go into the book of laments you might have to respond to the teacher "Yes, my most awesome teacher" every time u are called upon.  Another favorite is every time the teacher calls on you, you must stand and solute the teacher.  Also, they might have to be a personal assistant to one the students in the classroom (carry their books, their lunch tray and etc.) 

For powers I try to think about what they like:  Eating a healthy snack in class, listening to music on the their iPad, working in the hallway, sitting with 3 friends at the VIP table for lunch, being responsible for the recess equipment. 

 

 

Sometimes the kids will try to negotiate for more XP points. It's funny, but I like it.

Did any elementary teacher catch grief for having a game with weapons in it?  I'm just trying to anticipate possible drama from people with free time...

I wish there was a weapons free option for younger students too.  They have vivid imaginations and it would be nice if they had options that didn't have swords.

I am just starting to explore this program, having seen it on facebook today. I teach 3rd grade, and am a little concerned because it talks about "falling in battle" and has warriors, etc. How intense is this game--do they actually fight? Is there blood, guts, and actual fighting, or is it more of the idea of being warriors?  Can anyone advise me about this and help me get started?

I will give XP, HP, and GP for a silent transition from table to floor and visa versa. I also do them for walking through the hallway, coming in from recess, transitioning from switch classes (we are a triad), blurting out answers (HP), being disrespectful to teacher and/or classmates, helping a classmate, being on task and many more!

Hi Jennifer, 

Great idea! Thanks for sharing!

Thanks for sharing. I am just beginning this. Do you have any tips for using classcraft in elementary classrooms. Do you actually keep your projector on all day? How do you keep CC from interrupting instruction? 

Hi, Deborah. I'm just getting started as well, but I found that if I keep it open, but not on the screen all the time it's much easier to give and take away points. I also use the stopwatch and timer. Sometimes I say the students name who is receiving the xp/gp as way to get the whole classes attention. I usually get attention very quickly. Sometimes I just start giving the xp/gp and wait to see who starts paying attention. Depends on the situation and my mood! lol Sometimes I even say several names and tell them to stand until I give them their points. That too gets attention. We are an open concept school, which means we have no walls in between classrooms (yes, its very difficult) so using this to keep voices down and students on track really helps. I have a huge screen called a Promethean board. It's basically an interactive TV and it commands a lot of attention quickly. I make reference to CC several times a day to help it from interrupting instruction. I answer questions about it during appropriate times as well. They have learned the appropriate times as we have morning meetings and we discuss a lot then as well. They LOVE that they can get a free griffon if the parents sign up as well. Please let me know if you have any further questions!

Thanks, Jennifer! I am going to try this tomorrow and we'll see how it goes. What grade are you working with? 

 

My district took one look at the TOS and said that I can't use your site, which personally, I don't understand the 18+ requirement either. Is there a parent form that can be sent out to be signed and returned?

What do you mean by TOS?

Hi Graham,

Our Privacy Policy was updated quite recently (December 2016). We have taken the Student Privacy Pledge and are FERPA and COPPA compliant. To answer your question, we do provide a sample COPPA Consent Form, which you can find here. Let me know if there's any additional information you would need to pass along to your district. I'd be happy to help!

(Julia, if I'm not mistaken, TOS refers to our Terms of Service. 🙂 )

Thank you! That's exactly what I was looking for. I'm trying to convince some people in our IMS department that this is a worthwhile program so if I can pilot it with at least one class, I'll have an easier time convincing them. :)

That's great! Let me know if you have any further questions. 😀

Anne-Marie,

I'm needing some additional contact information to add to a Technology Council form. We cannot use any programs without our district approval I can see above that you are in compliance with FERPA and COPPA but our school Tech Council would need contact information such as a telephone number, email, etc. Thank you.

 

Hi, Linda!

I'll be happy to give you James's information in a ticket. You can expect to hear from me in a minute. 🙂

Craig, I'm the only one in my school that uses it consistently. I have not had in blow backs from admin, District,or fellow teachers.

Hi Angela, can you talk more about why it would be good to have an option without swords, as related to young students' imaginations?

Rebecca, It is the concept of the hero, and the group of heroes to complete the quests of the game master.  There is no animated violence in any of it.  The powers can be changed by you if you feel something is inappropriate for your class in any way, but they seem to have done their work to make it all inclusive.  Even the magic doesn't really need to be called magic.  It is action points (AP) for those parents that have an issue with magic.

Hi! I am curious if anyone has some questing examples. I am not sure how to create quests that don’t disrupt learning, are fun for kids and easy for me to manage. At the elementary stage I’m interested in example quests.

Is there any way to take the weapons off from the characters. I am using this as a fun Friday behavior and I would love to have it up on the board but I am nervous about the children seeing the weapons. The kids love this so much. 

Hi Kambry,

I can understand your concern. However, at the moment, we do not have any way to hide the weapons from our characters. The weapons are purely aesthetic and are never used to attack in Classcraft. They are part of the fantasy elements and I believe many other elementary teachers could tell you that the students see them as art more than weapons.

Kambry I have the students character pictures on the wall out in the hallway.   I give them "gems" for achievements in class as well as take pictures of their projects to put in their characters treasure chest.  No one at my school has complained about the weapons the warriors carry.  As Nicolas has said, since they are not used to attack nor are they held in a aggressive manner, I don't believe anyone minds the weapons.

I teach 4th grade and have my students all day.  Here is my typical use of classcraft in the day:

In the morning I start the day with the Forest Run timer.  Their goal is to get in and get to their entry task faster than the day before. 

I give them 5 - 10 minutes to do armor purchases,  pet training etc after our entry task (I do typing in the morning so they already have their computers out).

During this time we do 2 - 4 random events (depending on if the events are instant or require some actions).

I have a computer station that is used for powers and students can use it at any time (unless I am instructing or we are testing) to use their powers.

I have a clipboard with a sheet that I use as my "power tracker" so that I can see who is using what powers.  This is useful both to see what powers are actually getting used and to see if a student should be doing something.  For example, "Warrior Training" allows a student a stuffed animal at their desk.  If I walk past the tracker and don't see the power written there then I know they aren't supposed to have the stuffed animal.  I compare this tracker to the game feed to make sure they actually used the power.  Writing it on the tracker without actually using the power is instant Book of Laments.

I use the White Mountain  timer for my centers to let them know how long they have and when to switch.

I use the Makus Valley for tests and other "the room must be silent or at a reasonable level" events.  You have to be careful with that one though because I find my easily distracted students spend more time watching the volume meter than working.

Additionally I use Classdojo like a clip chart and convert the points into HP/XP each morning (or rather my computer specialist does).  This is for the benefit of parents and subs who don't understand CC but have used CD previously.  I originally did it with CC but found the temptation of doing something they shouldn't on the admin account was to great.  This way I have the CD admin account up so they can give or take points from themselves and if they do something they shouldn't it is easily undone.  Or rather it doesn't matter because CC is the primary thing we use.

I use the quests as supplementary information for things I am teaching.  I allow them to work on the quests when they finish early or anytime they are waiting for the rest of the class to complete something.  I usually do one or two quests as a class to make sure everyone understands how the quests work before releasing them to work on their own. I don't have time to write my own quests so I usually just modify quests shared by other teachers.  My favorite quest line can be found here:

https://help.classcraft.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/360001218034-4th-Grade-Math-and-Reading-Quests-UPDATED-12-total-    (thanks Amanda Moore, you rock!)

I have the students character profile on the wall out in the hall (which they can change once every 20 levels).  They get gems for every achievement they earn in class (see post below) and I take pictures of all their posters they make (class photographer actually does this).  This creates a "treasure chest" of accomplishments and work they have done in class.  

I use the boss battles to review our vocabulary words as a whole class.  I will also do boss battles in small groups (you have to mark the whole class absent except the group so only they come up) to give everyone an opportunity to answer questions as well as test comprehension at the lowest level.

I use the Wheel of Destiny anytime to keep selection of students random.  I love that it actually tracks who has been chosen so everyone eventually gets a chance. 

I have artifact cards that are used as extra powers (see post below).

And finally the students can earn achievement cards for accomplishing certain things in class (see post below).

 

I mentioned above that I do achievement cards and artifact cards in my classroom.  I use a website called https://mtgcardsmith.com/  to create the cards. 

I use the armor sets from Classcraft instead of random internet pictures because it increases student investment in the game and they get really excited about seeing the armors.  Plus I teach 4th grade so it keeps me from accidentally showing something that might offend a parent ;-) See link at the bottom for the files I use to print my cards and below for how I use them:

Artifacts - these cards are printed larger than a normal collecting card and are given to students at random for doing good things or as a random event.  They are larger because I place them in the front of the classroom in the pockets used for student book boxes and write the name of the student it belongs to with a dry erase marker on it.  Then at any time they can say, "Mr. Vail I would like to activate my card and I take it down and do whatever the card says.

Achievement Cards - This is by far the most popular use for the cards.  These are like achievements you earn in a video game for doing certain things in the class.  Getting a 100% on a spelling test, helping another student learn something, doing a class job for a month and so on.  The cards are the size of a baseball card and the kids collect them in their data binder in a 9 slot sheet protector.

  They get a sheet that tells them what all the achievements are and they work really hard to be the first to get one or to have the most.  I see them showing them off to their classmates and they will show them to parents at conferences.

I have a book that has all the achievements cards pre-made so I can hand them out when one is earned.  I write their name on a sheet that I have after each page of cards so that I can keep track of who gets which cards and so I know who has which cards.  The best part about this is the kids are really good at tracking their own stuff and never forget to let me know when they have earned one which I like because that means the system requires less moderation on my part.  

Below is a link with the files I use to print the cards.  You can create the cards in cardsmith then import them into the powerpoint.  I print 30 of the common ones (I have 30 students) and only as many as needed for the more rare ones.  For example I only need 6 (1 print) of Power Player because 1 maybe two students will earn than one as opposed to improved score on a spelling test as that eventually everyone will get that one.

My username on cardsmith is Fewiel and you can contact me with questions at dvail@psd1.org.  I will include pictures of the different books and placement tomorrow when I am in my classroom.  Please let me know what you think!

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/z5ig7eekjnz31br/AABuV53KwdF9Aiqi4VJGvrhBa?dl=0 

Here are the picture examples of how the achievement cards look and the artifacts:

The reason I have a card up there for the Book of Laments is that I have an achievement for staying out of it.  I don't have a good enough memory to remember who has been in the book of laments and so I write their name on the card.   At the end of the trimester anyone who doesn't have their name on the tracker card gets the achievement and then I throw the tracker card away and start over.

Would you mind sharing your daily events, powers, and consequences? I also teach 4th grade and would love to compare because I am not so nuts over my consequences and powers especially. Thank you for all you have shared!

 

Tina, I would love to share.    Below is a link to import it all, and after a visual display so you know what your importing. 

https://game.classcraft.com/import/settings/ubFNgnLM6bBZeecAo

Here is a list of my Random Events:



SOAR tickets are a PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention System) reward we give out to students.  The ATTACK! ones I bring up a picture of the creature listed (I have a folder I created with just pictures of the creatures) and they have to throw an arrow with a rubber suction cup on the end.  Let me know if you have any questions about them.








 

 

Here is a list of the powers I use.  The most popular powers by far are Sticky Situation, Warrior Training, Friendly Teleportation, and Grand Feast.  The power tracker helps me to to know which ones are popular and when I see a power is hardly ever being used I will either remove it or make it less costly. 

Additionally I tried to make their powers based on their class.  Meaning most of the healer powers are collaborative, mage powers are mostly individual, and warriors are a mix.

MAGE POWERS:



WARRIOR POWERS:



HEALER POWERS:

 



 

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