Students watching their character instead of doing classwork

So I have some students who are obsessed with looking at their character to the point where they are not doing work in class.  Since the work is not group work, it doesn't make sense to penalize their classmates by removing HP.  I would like the ability to temporarily 'freeze' a character until they bring their grade up to an F but this is not an option in the game.  Any other suggestions for obsessive students?  (CC Support suggested I change their passwords but that was a waste of time because we log in through google + so they bypass the password component.)

I use a spare class that I save students in called "archive" because I only have kids for 9 weeks, but I get them again each year. So I save their characters. What if you created a "time out" class that they were put into that allowed for no XP gains for cooperative powers (if that's what you mean by freeze). You can adjust that in the game rules settings. Do you use quests? That would add another layer, but still workable I think.

What I mean by freeze is that they can't spend/use their GP, can't use their powers, can't swap out their character gear, and top it off with their character temporarily goes back to the initial 'look'.  They can only use powers to 'save' classmates.  Basically make it boring and uneventful to look at the character, as these students are getting obsessive and sneak checking on their character instead of working.

I could put them in another class, but they their entire team would be punished (if it results in no healers or warriors) so that's not fair to them.

Hi Tina,

To some extent, the whole point is to have the group pay the price.  Remember one of the big elements of CC is to encourage students to be responsible to each other and to help keep each other on track.   If a distracted (by CC or anything else) student falls in battle, then they'll have to serve a sentence - and you could add things to the sentences like having them come up with a plan to get back on track and going over it with you and their parents..... 

But when their teammates take a small amount of damage from them falling (and you can adjust how much Health this is if you want!), then they will probably start reminding the distracted students to stay on track.   Again, since you can adjust the amount of Health teammates take to something reasonable (such that they won't fall themselves if they aren't already in trouble), I would do that without hesitation.  

If you think about it, MOST of the health consequences are for individual behavior, not group behavior.  So this is just one more thing....   If you take health away for a student cussing in class or showing up late, what makes this any different?

Hi Laura, our school has procedures in place for cussing and arriving late so I actually don't use CC for this.  While there are a few behaviors (not being a team player, not following guidelines, messy work area) that I am ok with having the team take the fall for... the fact that some students are slackers I don't feel is something I want to punish the entire team for. Poor self-control is what we are talking about.  I just want to make the game boring enough for those students temporarily so they are motivated to get their work production up and get back in the game.

I have taken all their XP and will not give it back until their work production is back up to par, in the absence of a 'freeze' option.

It sounds like, from what you're saying, that you view Falling in Battle as quite serious and something you want to avoid.  But just a thought - it's only as serious as the consequences.   If you want to re-think the whole "punishment" side of Classcraft, you could:

  • As I mentioned, reduce the health others on the team take when one person falls in battle (even reducing it to zero if you wanted so there is NO consequence for teammates).
  • And/Or reduced the sentences so that the main consequence for a student who falls is the loss of health (and possibly AP too....).  So for example, change all your "fall in battle" consequences to "Lose X% of your Action Points."   Then you are essentially letting the students make the game boring for themselves, because if they fall they won't have the AP to do anything and it won't hurt their teammates....

Hi Tina,

I have a few students who also do this. I have found that allowing students a few minutes of free time every few days helps cut back. I also have my repeat offenders sit so that I can see their computer screen during online work time so that I can see what they are up to. I also use HP- and for repeat offenders, I don't let teammates use powers to avoid damage. 

Hi Tina,

Some good ideas here!

Are you in a one-to-one classroom setting where the students are on laptops? That is my situation, and if the students should be doing work where they don't need their laptops, I have everyone close them down and set them aside. If they need their laptops for their work, I will walk around the room and make sure that they have the right windows open and nothing inappropriate open. If a student is a repeat offender, I will move that student to a location where I can see their screen from nearly anywhere in the room.

If you are not in a non-to-one setting and students are using the game on their phones, you could have a distinct "Classcraft Time" built into your class period where powers can be used, and any other time phones should be put away.

I would also second the idea to reduce the team HP damage that happens when a student falls in battle, if that is something you are concerned about. The peer policing can be a really strong motivator. I agree that you don't want to always be punishing the whole team because one kid is goofing off, but, on the other end, part of being on a successful team is making sure that every member is doing their job and pushing each other to be better. If one student is always struggling, it is sort of a failure of the team because the other members are not helping that struggling member to improve. This is when we as teachers come in and try and help mediate and teach students appropriate collaboration and communication strategies that they will need throughout their lives.

I found myself struggling when I first started using Classcraft to want to do HP damage to students because my Sentences in the Book of Laments had me doing more work (collecting apology paragraphs, or tracking who needed to turn work in a day early, etc). I completely changed my Sentences to work with my custom item system instead (I posted it on the forums here if you're interested:

I'm not suggesting that you make a whole new system, but maybe come up with Sentences that you feel are harsh enough to keep students from wanting to drop to zero HP, but not so harsh (or adding more work on your end) that you don't want to have students falling in battle. Failure is an important part of the learning process. Part of the beauty of Classcraft is that the students see immediate consequences for their actions.

Falling in Battle is something that should hurt, but not crush the motivation of a student and their team. If they drop to 0 HP, it should be a minor setback, an inconvenience that helps to teach resilience and perseverance. Once I started thinking of the Book of Laments in that way, I found myself more willing to do HP damage which held my kids more accountable. And consistency is key!

I hope this helps some :)

Rodney's ideas about customizing the game are awesome!   And he shows just how much you can do to adjust it to meet the needs of your students.  You should definitely check out his link. 

BTW, I love the idea of using the MTG cards but w/ Classcraft pets to make getting Gear and training Pets have a positive impact on the game!  I will definitely be implementing something like that.   I already have some random events that give students XP or AP if they have bought gear or trained pets.   I just need to figure out a way to get them the cards, since right now I only teach online (and I don't want to have to email pictures out all the time.  Maybe I'll make a folder on Google Drive and share the card link only with the students who earn it....

So the kids logged on a where totally bummed they no longer had XP.  I told them that I had made a note of how much XP they had before I wiped it out and that I would return it to them if they turned all their late work in.

I got a whole bunch of late work turned in today (some assignments even turned in early LOLOL).  I told them them CC was for fun but the classwork comes first.  And I told them that if they still goof off then I am taking their AP next.  And if that still doesn't do it I am deleting their character (you could hear loud gasps throughout class!)

Only 1 kid said he didn't want to play when it was his turn to answer a question and earn XP and I said ok and moved on to the next kid. I made a super big deal about kids who did answer correctly when they leveled up!  Later on the same kid came to me and asked me about turning in late work ;)

I was a bit displeased that 1 kid had some GP left over and he was able to use it (that's 1 thing I would like to include in the freeze option if we ever get one) but at least he also got busy and turned late work in!

We shall see.....


I wouldn't say "It sounds like, from what you're saying, that you view Falling in Battle as quite serious " but rather that the behaviors I want to enforce are along the lines of keeping the class clean and working cooperatively with classmates and others similar.  Behaviors that are already addressed in grades and disciplinary procedures, I don't feel the need to duplicate.



in response to you "Are you in a one-to-one classroom setting where the students are on laptops? That is my situation, and if the students should be doing work where they don't need their laptops, I have everyone close them down and set them aside."

We are in a one-to-one setting but I teach HTML/CSS coding and they need to be on the computers 100% of the time-- doing coding not CC ;)

I enjoyed reading about your MTG ideas, thanks!

It sounds like your students are starting to turn things around!   Since you have those alternative discipline options, if for any reason it doesn't work, you can always use those - whatever the school dictates for things like being on social media/unrelated website during class or for not submitting work.  But hopefully you won't have to. 


Ambassador Kevin Campana here.  I teach 4th grade in a 1-1 district.  To avoid the issue you are having, I give my students about 10 minutes or so each morning to log in and do whatever they need to do.  Use/buy a power, update their avatar, etc.  Then we meet as a class for a small meeting and I will quickly click through everyone's avatar to see any changes.  This works for me and my 4th grade classroom in which I have the same kids all day.  Throughout the day, they do not go on unless they are given permission by me.  Depending on the type of class you are teaching/subject etc, this may not work.  I haven't read all of the responses above, so I'm not sure what you teach and the logistics of your class.  If you have multiple classes, then spending the extra time might not be an option.  Let me know if or what you've done to solve your problem.  If you are an elementary teacher, try out my suggestion of giving them the time before class even begins.  

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