This is my second post about a project called Learning Design by Making Games and is directly modeled after the research of Yasmin Kafai. An overview of that research and this project is in the initial post. Other resources and links about this project can be found at the end of this post.
This update finds our students nearing the end of the second month of coding. A very big difference between Kafai’s research and this project is that we are only coding officially about one hour per week. Students are invited to code on their own time as well and many certainly do. In Kafai’s research, the students were coding their games one hour per day!
Nevertheless, students are making progress on their projects. A Scratch studio was created to contain all projects and allow easy access by the students in the class and anyone else online who is interested. If you take a look, keep in mind that all games are unfinished and will remain that way until June.
On February 1, the grade 4/5 game designers went to visit a class of grade 2 students, the target audience for the game. They worked with concrete materials together in small groups for about 45 minutes. There were a number of questions the grade 4/5s had planned to ask the younger students:
- What do the grade 2 students already know about fractions?
- What are their game preferences? What kind of games do they like playing?
- How did the grade 2 students work with the materials?
- What did the grade 2s find challenging?
- What surprised you about your interactions with the grade 2s?
The last question above became a follow up question because one of the themes of the debrief session about the grade 2 visit was that the game designers were often surprised at how quickly the grade 2s learned things. We took notes during our debrief session about the visit. On March 2, the grade 2s will be visiting the Grade 4/5 class to take a peek at the game design/coding progress and provide feedback.
Resources & Links
- Initial post about this project
- About our Project (from project blog)
- Student blogs
- Fraction Games Scratch Studio
- Learning Design by Making Games article by Yasmin Kafai is contained in Constructionism in Practice: Designing, Thinking, and Learning in a Digital World