Week Four: Gaming

Tomlinson had an excellent example of a classroom where the students and teacher work hand in hand for differentiating in the classroom. I really enjoyed reading about how the students plotted themselves on a graph as to their differences then tied it all into their learning (2001, 39-41). By doing this she gained their respect and support in creating a differentiated environment. You gain the trust of your students while you are developing a relationship with the parents. Creating an easy to understand guide that helps demonstrate what this type of classroom looks like is ideal for getting parents on board with having their child in a differentiated class. Edutopia has a clear, well laid out parent guide that demonstrates this well (2012). Family Education also demonstrates this by putting out to families what it means to be in a differentiated classroom with a clear definition (2015).

Crowe has an amazing set up where she invites parents into the classroom on “Wonderful Wednesdays” to be full participants in the classroom (2004). This inclusion gains the respect of the parents. It is an environment they are now comfortable in and feel they can give input safely. This is an ideal setting for any school, to get the parents excited to be a part of their child’s education. A lot of times everyone is way too busy to slow down and think of something as simple as inviting everyone in every week at the same time to be a part of the class.

Research has been done that finds gaming to have both positives and negatives within the classroom setting. There’s a lot of information out there that is opinion based, then there are others, such as from Allen with Education Update who has found that with the excitement in gaming scores have come up between 10 and 20 percent (2001). A survey, that was just released by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center, interviewing 694 K-8 teachers who on average had 14.5 years of teaching experience was used to discover why teachers are using gaming in the classroom. The results showed that 80 percent of the teachers never use gaming devices, while 13 percent used them to cover new material, and 53 percent used them as rewards. (Korbey, 2014) Studies like this are what give gaming in the class a bad reputation. Though this is just one study with only a small sample of people others see this and think that every teacher is this way. I have found that when done correctly you can really benefit from gaming in the classroom. Even this week’s Minecraft Challenge is just that, a challenge. As an adult I really have to take my time, do my research and grow in learning while I am playing the game. And I find that I am loving it!

Allen, R. (2001, February). Can Mobile Devices Transform Education? Education Update.

53(2). Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/publications/newsletters/education-update/feb11/vol53/num02/Can-Mobile-Devices-Transform-Education%C2%A2.aspx

Crowe, C. (2004, November). Wonderful Wednesdays. Retrieved from


Edutopia. (2012). A Parent’s Guide to 21st –Century Learning. Retrieved from


Family Education Staff. (2015). What is a “Differentiated” Classroom? Retrieved from


Korbey, H. (2014, June 9). Surprising Insights: How Teachers Use Games in the Classroom.

Retrieved from http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2014/06/surprising-insights-how-teachers-use-games-in-the-classroom/

Tomlinson, C. A. (2001, April) How to Differentiate Instruction in Mixed-Ability Classroom.

Alexandria, Virginia. pp. 39-44.


2 thoughts on “Week Four: Gaming

  1. – “Wonderful Wednesday” is a good idea. It reminds me of a few years ago we had a Fly On The Wall day in our classrooms with the teachers I was working with. This invited the parents to come in and see what is going on in the classroom. I think “Wonderful Wednesday” is better though because she had it all year. I think we only had it one day. I agree there is a lot of positive and negative effect of gaming. I think it depends how the teacher is going to use it in the classroom.


    • “Fly on the Wall,” I love it! We do tend to only do things a couple times a year. We need to make sure that it feels like our doors are open anytime (which they are, parents just don’t take advantage of that fact). With an actual time every week I think it would catch on and more parents would come into the classroom.


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