What Gaming Looked Like in My Classroom

It was a mix of excitement (“We’re going to play video games?”) to chatter (“How did you do that?” – “Here, like this.” — “Cool. Thanks.”) to challenge (“Why is this sooooo hard … wait … I got it … yeah!”) to surprise (“Some of these games have shooters? In school?”) as I brought my four classes of sixth graders into Gamestar Mechanic yesterday in preparation for a future project around game design and visual literacy. When I mentioned they will be able to design and publish a game to a gaming community of other kids, and maybe take part in a national contest around game design, they were all ears and ready for action. (see yesterday’s post)

At one point, I had a student on my Mac with the Interactive Board up and running. I looked over and a crowd of kids were at the board, giving him advice. Apparently, he gotten to a level he could not master, and his classmates came over to help give him advice at the board. That was one of those “cool” moments for me, when they came together to solve a tricky game challenge.

I had one student who informed me that Minecraft has a teacher’s “shell” that might be perfect for the classroom and “you should really check that out, Mr. H” as I nodded, and made a mental note to do a little more research on Minecraft (which I did and found this wiki all about Minecraft and the classroom). When it comes to gaming, we teachers have to be open to the ideas of our students (but, we also need to be cautious that some of the games they play are not appropriate for school).

We had some odd technical difficulties that had me a bit more crazed than usual, but we found solutions and work-arounds, and the kids were more adaptive than I was at times, it seemed to me (don’t worry – I kept my cool .. no cursing ensued). I never got a real chance to have a full reflective conversation afterwards with them about their thoughts about Gamestar Mechanic. They were gaming right up until the end of class. I had to pry the laptops out of their fingers and kick them out of my room (slight exaggeration but still …)

We’ll be back. And I am certain a high number of kids were playing last night, too.
Peace (in the games),


  1. Hey Kevin, I like the new look of your blog! I’m happy to see you got the Gamestar into your classroom. Are they better at getting through the stages than I was?!? They must really love your class.

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