Additional Tips from All-Star Teachers you should Follow
Add Points with Knowledge Challenges:
@mister_cstewart has students add a new country to their team from their region of study every new unit. At the end of each unit, students then write about region-wide conclusions from class and apply relevancy from their drafted country. By the end of the course, students have a global team representative of numerous themes of study.
@ecasey77 does a "Daily Rumble" and has two students volunteer in class to challenge one another. Mr. Casey writes 5 current events questions: The student-winner gets the other player's top country. Ed started recording his questions on a Google Doc and will probably share it with you if you reach out to him via his Twitter handle and volunteer to help!
@ms_greencvhs incorporates "Face Offs" to have students compete for trades. Students have the opportunity to challenge one another for one of their countries during a one-week period: They must inform the teacher that they want to have a face off and for which country. Both students then have 2 days to prepare for the face off. During the face off students are to explain the most recent current events from the challenged country (and are expected to learn the information, not carry notes to the face off). On the day of the face off, Ms. Green has two desks face each other at the front of the room where students challenge each other. The student who initiated the challenge goes first, then the person who currently has the country tries to keep it. During the challenge, students in the class are fact-checking, and afterward everyone votes on who they believe knew the most about the country during the face off. If the student who was challenged loses, they immediately have to trade countries. If the student who challenges loses, no points or countries are exchanged. Students cannot be involved in more than one challenge within a given week.
@FANgeopolitics enables students in the bottom half of leagues to challenge students in the top half the first 15 minutes of class every Friday. He projects the Trends Map on a whiteboard and gives the challenging players a whiteboard marker. Another student picks a continent and says a country from that continent. The first students in the challenge to locate the country with a dot on the whiteboard map wins! If the student in the top-half wins, no points are added. If the student in the bottom-half wins, 50 points are either added to their team or subtracted from the top-player, their choice.
Incentivize Assignments or Behaviors with Points:
Use manual Point Adjustments in the "Manage Game" tab to get the behaviors you want. See this G-Drive folder with sample assignments from other teachers. Don't call these activities "assignments" or "homework for points" as students have grown out of those terms. Try calling them "White House Briefs" or "point challenges".
Stephanie Middleton incorporates FANpolitics into both her U.S. government and AP US History courses, which gets players paying attention to news about "their team". They also need take whatever historical period they are studying and connect it to what's happening with that topical idea today. Check out a few of her activities in our shared folder!
@ms_greencvhs uses a "Reward Task" to help add points to student teams. She will select certain existing projects or class work to be Reward Tasks and determines the amount of points based on the level of difficulty of the assignment: 25 Points for low level of difficulty, 50 points for average level of difficulty, and 100 points for a large project with high level of difficulty. She will sometimes only pick the top 5 to earn the reward or only pick 1-2 groups. Classes can vote on the project or it will be chosen by the teacher: Ms. Green's favorite is letting students vote to get them involved in the process. Once the choices are made, student assignments also make their way onto the classroom wall or Twitter, and those students earn the Reward Task points for the game.
@MrBittenbender even gives points for students noticing when he says certain states to promote listening during short lecture time-periods!
Get Students Grading their Drafts:
@JohnHonish gets students grading their drafts. After a few days of scoring, students can self-reflect and self-assess their draft strategy with a grade, an explanation, and a few tips about how to improve. You didn't research what was trending in the news before the Draft? (D+) You didn't use your resources during the draft to select higher-scoring countries in the final few rounds? (C-) You picked up an awesome free agent no one else saw immediately after the draft? (B+) Then you can formatively grade these write-ups by adding points to teams for authentic self-assessments!
Add Playoffs or Modify Scoring:
@MrHuesken organizes his students into Divisions and uses his class website in order to facilitate head-to-head match-ups every week. It's a bit more work to record weekly matchup-winners elsewhere, but you can utilize the "Reset Scores" button in the Manage Game tab to see who wins your manual match-ups each week. Gerry also has students create their own team flags as they learn about their countries and gives out some fun learning awards!
@mrconrad_lhs uses a google sheet to organize head-to-head matchups between players each week. You can use it to tally head-to-head scores for your leagues too, thanks to him!
Reward your Students!