Before Jumping In...
STEAM Glow Games in Action
Why do we have STEAM class? Who are people in STEAM careers? What are some possible STEAM careers? How do we take what we know about STEAM and apply it to our life outside of school? What are the 6Cs and how does that fit with STEAM? How does our mindset affect our attitude and our work in STEAM? These were some of my driving questions I wanted students to think more about and have a deeper understanding about as it relates to themselves and the world.
Why the Glow Games?
One thing I have noticed this year is that my students have a difficult time working in groups collaboratively, so we have done a lot of collaborative work and learning how to talk to talk to one another constructively. I also learned through talking with my students, that many of them did not know how to play many games or spend time playing games at home. I feel that games are a great way for students to communicate with one another while working towards a common goal. So if students are working towards a common goal of learning, playing games as part of the learning process. According to Hope King, using games appropriately in the classroom is a great way to engage students in powerful learning and applications. On her blog she has stated two rules to keep in mind when using games for student engagement and learning:
1) No turns/no outs: When preparing a game, make sure that every single student is accountable to answer every single question independently. This ensures that each student is not having the fun until they put in the work.
When students are given the opportunity to get "out", they often will do this when they are tired of working or would rather just sit. We need to make sure that every student is always a part of the game, and that they are accountable for their learning.
2) Next level gaming: We need to make sure that games don't simply focus on memorization, but rather that they emphasize the application of a skill. Don't just get stuck on memorizing terminology, but give opportunities for the students to be able to use the terms to create and analyze.
Below I have links to two different resources - the Student Booklet and the Teacher Resources. The Student Booklet is what I copied and stapled together for students. This not only had their answer recording sheets and reflection page, but also a page of information that they might find helpful in answering some of the task card questions. The Teacher Resources has all of the task card questions, game direction sheets, and additional information I used to set up and run the STEAM Glow Games.
Below is the 6C Learner Profile Matrix we use to measure growth. I have highlighted the levels for each "C" that I feel students should reach if they are an active learning participant in the STEAM Glow Games. For the Glow Games, I asked students to self assess as part of their reflection page in their booklet and then I put their information into a spreadsheet for my own data tracking. Instead of me assessing them (our STEAM class is not graded, but rather as participation), I was curious what the students would "grade" themselves as if given the opportunity.
Classroom Set Up
I only see my students for one hour a week, so I spread our STEAM Glow Games out over the course of four weeks. Each week students rotated through two stations. I included brain breaks right before our rotation to a new station so they would have time to get up, get some wiggles out, and potentially dance out any frustrations they might have encountered.