Here is a professional rule that’s served me well: Whenever you find yourself learning and enjoying learning, ask yourself, “What can schooling borrow here?” How can we sneak in here, stuff all these really good ideas about learning in a duffel bag, and bring them back to our schools and classrooms and edtech startups?
Yes, unfortunately, learning and schooling are too often cleaved. If we reflected upon how we ourselves learn anything, we would teach far differently. I appreciate your professional rule here, Dr. Meyer.
When I taught 6 grade i assigned a challenging problem to solve every two weeks. As the students worked the problem they had several tasks to complete. 1. solve the problem 2. explain in detail how you solved the problem. 3. Write all the connections you can think of to previous work that aided in the solution. This way the students had to keep revisiting the problem and expanding their understanding of what it entailed and how it fit into their learning. #3 was especially helpful to broaden their understanding of how everything we studied fit together and how what we knew could help in future solutions.
Very interesting and insightful - and I love that professional rule. At Modern Classrooms, we got one of our most impactful ideas from a course I was taking on baby sleep-training 🤣.
We've tried to address this very question with the Must/Should/Aspire-to-Do framework we give teachers: https://www.nextgenlearning.org/articles/self-pacing-the-key-to-differentiating-effectively-for-all-learners . I know many of them often see learners come back to particular lessons to complete the more challenging components when they are able. It's not quite as fun as this game, but it is a good structure for revisiting lessons and continuing to build knowledge. Would be curious what you think!
I wonder if this could transfer to creating an activity with one main goal that also includes secondary goals along the way. The secondary goals would deepen their understanding and also award extra points or validation. I did a life-size maze which had the ultimate goal of escaping the maze but there were four checkpoints and extra stamps you can find along the way. The extra stamps encouraged us to explore the maze further.
I love how we learn through the eyes of our children. I don't have any suggestions but I appreciate the perspective.
Having students re-examine the same problem using multiple strategies (systems of equations is a topic that immediately comes to mind) over the course of a unit feels super similar to replayability to me. Ditto for having multiple students explain different pathways to a solution as in Number Talks or in the Contemplate then Calculate routine from New Visions. I think this does happen in great math classrooms and is fun/exciting (though maybe less so than in the video game versions) because of the mini aha moments it generates. Examining the meanings of mathematical ideas via different representations (equations/expressions, graphs, tables) is a kind of replayability too. It might be fun / motivating to students to explicitly message these activities as “replay” and to draw the video game analogy for students.
Replayability? As in having the same class again and again? Who would that be fun for? I think replayability concept is not compatible to the classroom, of any subject. Unless it's a Minecraft camp, where the entire lesson is to play the game. The parallel concept, eliciting a form of wanting "it" again (the lesson? the class time? being in the class during the lesson?) would be to bring back the joy of learning. As in, preschoolers who love to learn, so yes, that feeling, to make that feeling come alive, for the secondary schoolers. !
I don’t have an answer but I think “play” is the key part of replay. If the play part isn’t joyful or surprising or puzzling or a story, I am not returning to it. I was struck years ago when my children were in school and the accounts that made it to our dinner table unprompted. The accounts always had one of those elements of play. It had me thinking about my teaching. What I am doing this week that is going to be replayed at the dinner table?
I'm only here to say the game is named Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker. I'd also recommend not co-opting Mummy-Me.
We did nothing to create replayability except for adding "replay" button, but kids do replay lessons a lot in Funexpected Math. Looks like it's just small kids like repeating games or rereading books.
Have you played Dark Souls? It's extra hard, so player fail a lot and have to try and try again. But they love it. It's the feeling how your game skill grows, how an almost impossible boss is easier and easier to defeat on each try.
I hope this can be done in a classroom. You can return back to an almost impossible problem you solved last week and see how it get's easier and easier to solve. Maybe even beat your previous time.
I feel like Duolingo does a pretty good job of mixing in a number of these approaches. There are badges for consistency and persistence, and a few different side challenges that you can choose to engage in at almost any time. None of those are usually tied to a specific "level", but it seems like it would be fairly easy to do so. Also, the Duolingo challenges are timed and focused on practice, but I don't see any reason challenges couldn't be done without a clock and be focused on things like exploration of variations on the level (side rooms?), connections to other levels, or development of alternative methods to "beat" a particular level.
I'm wondering if it would work to ask the kids to create a game revolving around a previous lesson. They would likely learn the topic more in-depth, and it would allow other students to revisit the concepts as players of the game.
I can imagine a fun game at the end of a week, where there is a contest of comparing alternative methods to get the same answer. An example in Algebra 1 would be to solve a quadratic the alternative methods are factoring, complete square or Quad Formula. Hand out 3,4 or 5 equations, and time the students on solving them. Could assign one group to use complete the square only, and one to use quad form only, etc. In middle school, could offer alternative to percentage calculations ( a 20% discount can be take 20% then subtract it, OR take 80% and multiply) or multiplying a 2 digit number times a one digit number.
I'm reminded of what I enjoy about teaching multiple sections of the same class. As a teacher, I have this experience of replaying the same lesson multiple times. I can make minor or major adjustments as I experience the lesson multiple times - also over multiple years. I also think teachers can help students experience replayability by making student thinking visible - so students can see and think about how *other* students chose to approach a problem. By witnessing and thinking about others ideas and approaches, students are, in a sense, replaying the concept or problem.