Class Realm: A Winner is You! Competition in the Classroom

via ClassRealm @ClassRealm,

Kids love winning. Then again, who doesn’t? Winning is a great feeling even if there was nothing on the line. I can win a game of pick up basketball and ride that sense of accomplishment all day. It’s even better if the game wasn’t a complete blow out. That means I defeated a worthy opponent! What a wonderful feeling! Then again, if I lost it’s no big deal. It was just a game of basketball after all.

One day whist playing Mario Kart Wii online I saw that I was up against a player who’s level was at 9999. Maxed out! My only thought was that he was one of the best or most dedicated Mario Kart players in the world. I beat him. Skidded past him at the finish line after he was taken down by a blue shell. I was elated! I took pictures! I called my parents (ok, I didn’t do that). Point being, I got nothing out of that race except some experience points and self satisfaction.

Students want this feeling in the classroom. They love to compete with their friends and see who can out do one another. I’m not really talking about grades. Although many students compare grades during the school week it’s not something they really brag about. Getting an A on your science test isn’t as cool as hit that game winning shot in double over time. ClassRealm is still going strong in my classroom and the aspect of competition hit a dizzying high this week. My three top level students decided they were going to out write, out read, out participate, and out help each other. In other words they were pushing themselves to be the top in the class, level wise. My other students caught on instantly and began pushing themselves as well. What do they get for all this hard work they are putting in? Tallies on a sheet. Levels that won’t matter in a months time. What they don’t realize is that this competition is motivating them to do better, to do more. They may go on to 7th grade and forget all about ClassRealm (I hope not…), but one of those papers they wrote, one of those books they read, one of those times they participated to earn an experience point may prove beneficial. That’s the kind of competition you want in school. One with an outcome that seems menial later on, but pushes students to improve. The best part is that they’re all winners, they just don’t know it.

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