Thursday, June 6, 2013

Bounty System?

Hello World-

Stay with me on this one... I'm going somewhere with it.

I still consider myself to be a "young man," unless my parents or an authority figure address me as such :).

Anyways through three years of marriage, I have managed to maintain possession of an xbox.  Video games these days always have extra things to do in them.  These "achievements" give you additional gamerscore points on xbox.  It's kind of a way to show off and brag to your friends.

Check out the following sites or previous blog posts of mine to get an idea of what I'm talking about:

If You Can't Beat Them, Join Them

Random Thoughts for Next Year

Using Badges (Edudemic)

So with my ideas for a flipped classroom, I know that differentiation will come naturally.  I plan to divide my kids into "project groups" and "reading groups."  This way kids can pick their own groups to work on large assignments while I will assign them into groups based on our reading data to assist them.  This way if our MAP scores tell us a large group needs to work on cause and effect, making predictions, etc. I can tailor their reading through Edmodo to do so.

Regardless, there are going to be kids who get done early.  I have always had a hard time keeping these kids busy because there are other students who honestly just need my help more.  So here is my idea... a bounty system.

From Dog the Bounty Hunter to the Borderlands franchise to the Wild West, bounties are collected when someone accepts a task and completes it for compensation.  So in my class, I am considering posting specific research tasks on a "bounty board."  These would be similar to the student contracts that I discussed before, giving students who have completed their assigned tasks something to explore.

Take the Civil War for example.  There are so many topics, battles, people, and technology that could be explored in so much more detail.  I could select some of these topics that I have research or readings for and post them to the bounty board.  Students who finish work early (or those who wish to do something extra that they found interesting) can accept an assignment off the bounty board.

I plan to do a running points system for the students' grades this year.  Taking an assignment off the board will be similar to creating their own using a student contract.  Both of these will be extra assignments that can add points to the grade.  It is extra work to improve the grade, but not simply free points.  If the work is poor, the grade will be also.

The badge and level systems will be added into the bounty system.  Doing extra work will earn extra experience, which will lead to more rapid acceleration through the ranks.  Students will quickly see (I hope) that going above and beyond is worth it, and will be recognized!


This will hopefully accelerate students who are ready and keep them engaged in relevant content while I can continue to facilitate and provide additional instruction to those who need it.

It's win-win.  They get positive recognition and perhaps more tangible associations to "leveling up," and I get more out of students than I hopefully would have without any sort of system.

Let me know what you think!

Mr. J.

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