fluco game designers

Fluco Game Designers

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In my new district, I was asked to start a STEM club of some kind at the middle school back when I interviewed and was hired. I was happy to do this, as I did want to try something new. I eventually decided on game design after having taken the Coding, App, and Game Design I training earlier in the summer. The training was meant to be used at the high school level, but I figured I could easily rework some of it to be used at the middle school level.

It took me some time to come up with my ideas on how to proceed. Unlike with previous clubs, I wanted a neat timeline of events for working with the students. I decided to use 3 different tools- Gamestar Mechanic, Minecraft, and Construct 2. I also want to have students review different games based on gameplay. I wanted there to be an end goal for the year for students as well, so I’m going to have each of them participate in the STEM National Video Game Design Challenge. I believe this will be a good way for them to put their skills to the test.

The basic idea is that students will learn gameplay mechanics by using Gamestar.

After some back and forth with the principal where we worked out details on dates and meetings, forms got sent home with student progress reports. This was probably not the best of ideas, even though it did expose the club to everyone. I ended up becoming more popular than I could have imagined.

Within the next few days, I had over 40 responses. I had to cap the numbers on the club, and in the end I ended up with 66 students. I have to split the group into two groups so that they meet every other week. I also needed volunteers, and so have ended up with 3 potential parent volunteers. Great, I was off to a good start.

Some time passed and I had to set aside my planning for a little bit due to other obligations. The week of the first meeting I began doing my final preparation. I focused on Gamestar and used their resources and lessons to design my own. I knew I needed to be prepared with so large of a group. I also began setting up Google Classroom for my group as well. I knew it would be a big help in getting information to the students. Finally, I set up the Facebook page and Twitter account for our club.

Thursday, October 6 was our first meeting. In the end I had 55 of 66 students show up. We worked in the library. Two parent volunteers showed up as well and they were a huge help in getting materials to students, as well as helping me observe and keep them on track. I could not have done it without them.

For our first meeting, we got things set up. Students completed a game designer profile I had created, and then they joined the Google Classroom and Gamestar Mechanic. We completed the first lesson on the parts of a game and they also completed episodes 1 and 2 of the first quest. We then played a match game based on the parts of a game before wrapping up and dismissing the students.

Overall I was really pleased, and so were the remarks I heard from parents as well. We’re going to meet as a whole group until behaviors keep us from doing the planned materials. They did well so far, so until something keeps us from accomplishing our goals, we’ll keep meeting in a large group.

Looking forward to the next meeting!

Positive Post Friday: 10/7/16

It’s Friday and that means it’s time for another Positive Post Friday! I didn’t post one last week because things got hectic at work and my parents visited that weekend so I was kept very busy.

Fridays mark the end of the work week. Fridays mark the start of the weekend. Fridays should end the week on a positive note. Therefore, I’m going to share 5 positive things that happened this week:

  1. Thursday was the first of Fluco Game Designers, the new club that I started at the middle school. I had 66 kids signed up before I capped club off. I had 55 kids show up yesterday and despite a few issues with pickup at the end, we had a great time! I had 2 great parent volunteers to help me out and we got a lot accomplished on Gamestar Mechanic. Ready for next week’s meeting!
  2. Social media is starting to really take off in our district. I have worked this week to gather the rest of the accounts that staff members run for clubs, activities, and the schools in general. I have a good list, so now it’s time to plan my next steps, which will include meeting with each person who manages an account.
  3. #IMMOOC has been a great activity for me, and I have loved participating with everyone on both Facebook and Twitter. I don’t always get my readings done in time, but I do try post each week. I have had some great revelations this week, and I’m so glad the book has given me so many opportunities to reflect!
  4. Today I had training on Classflow, and even got to try a Promethean board for the first time. The main part of the training was on Classflow, but we did take time to look and explore a Promethean board. I have further training on it on the 18th, so I hope to learn a lot more.
  5. #wvedchat had another successful chat group this week, this time on growth mindset. I decided we needed to do something fun with the group, and so took the idea of doing a meme challenge from #IMMOOC and applied it to our chat. I decided to do a book giveaway as well. We have had some wonderful responses, and I cannot wait to sit down and judge them all.

Your turn: Share your Positive Post Friday.

Until next Friday! Have a great weekend!

Positive Post Friday: 9/16/16

It’s Friday and that means it’s time for another Positive Post Friday!

Fridays mark the end of the work week. Fridays mark the start of the weekend. Fridays should end the week on a positive note. Therefore, I’m going to share 5 positive things that happened this week:

1. Last Friday, sign-up forms for my Fluco Game Designers club went home with progress reports. I had a huge stack returned this week. I had to cap it yesterday. I have close to 70 kids signed up, way more than I can handle in one go or in both connecting labs. I have emailed parents and snagged 2 helpers. I have a 3rd possible one. I will take all the help I can get. I am going to split the kids into two groups after the first meeting and they will meet every other week.

2. I held my first PD training in my new district. I did one on Kahoot. While I only had 2 people show up, it went very well and I loved having my Google Classroom set up so that I could easily refer to things as I went along.

3. I started designing more PD classrooms this week. I have one nearly finished for Home Connections with Facebook Pages and I will start designing my PD sessions for next month as well.

4. I started meeting with educators for my Connected Educators sessions this week. Everyone wanted to start with Twitter except one, who wanted blogs. I’m good either way, as I have a learning plan with assignments no matter which topic they choose. I’m looking forward to good things from this.

5. I presented to all administration on Thursday about social media and building our brand. It looks like we are off to a good start, and I was able to reference some of the stuff I was already doing with educators and connecting them. I hope to take the next steps soon!

Your turn: Share your Positive Post Friday.

Until next Friday! Have a great weekend!