Monday, July 8, 2013

Edugaming 2013 Day 1

I'm attending the edugaming workshop once again at our local community college.  LOVE IT (said in a sing-song voice)!!  
Today our main speaker/collaborator was Curtis Murphy.  Check out some of his work here.
Here are a few did-bits for you:

"yes, but" vs. "yes, and"

Allow me to walk you through a situation.  Close you eyes and image this.  Just kidding, open your eyes and read.  You are in the process of creating a lesson plan.  You show it to a colleague for his feedback and here are two possible responses that you receive:

  • "I like what you're doing here, but I think it would be more effective if your closing activity were rewritten so that blah, blah, blah, blah.  
  • "I like what you're doing here, and I wonder if it would be more effective if your closing activity were rewritten so that blah, blah, blah, blah.  
See the difference?  I think I would be more defensive of my work if someone responded like the first bullet.  One of my fellow workshop cohorts summarized it this way.  "When you say 'yes, but' you are judging, when you say 'yes, and' you make yourself a collaborator."  

Elements of Game Design


You know Flow.  It's where you are totally immersed in something so that nothing else exists. I see it in my son ALL. THE. TIME.  He's playing a video game and I call his name.  Nothing.  I call his name again.  Nothing.  I mention that the house is on fire.  Nothing.  He is so involved in the game that I don't exist anymore.  

This is where we want our students, so immersed in our class that the outside world doesn't exist anymore.  Curtis was kind enough to give us a recipe for flow:

1) Clear Tasks

2) Feedback

3) No Distractions (That means you)

4) Just Right Challenge


1) Core - I love the quote he gave us for this.  This is terrible but I didn't write down who said the quote.  Sorry ;(
"Your garden is not complete until there is nothing else to remove".  

2) Limited Choice - Give choices but not too many or you will overwhelm your students.

3) Intuitive - your game should be intuitive.

4) Player's Perspective - try to envision yourself as the player.  


Intrinsic is greater than Extrinsic

Extrinsic replaces Intrinsic, so at all costs, do not use extrinsic


1) Pose a Question or a Challenge

2) Allow Struggle

3) Conclusion

Other Stuff

Our workshop coordinators gave us a small homework assignment:  to pick 2-3 topics that our students struggle with.  I'm thinking about working on Domain and Range.  However if that falls through, I'm not sure.  

My thoughts so far....

There is this country called "something catchy" that is in the shape of a square, has 24 cities, a capital city, and is surrounded on all four sides by 4 other square countries.  The 4 outside countries are all at war with Something Catchy and are trying to take it over by capturing the capital city, which is directly in the center of the country.  

Each city in Something Catchy has a formation of soldiers trying to protect that particular city.  The cities look like 10x10 coordinate grids with a lineup of an army.  Perhaps they are in formation like a circle, or a line segment, or some curve (nothing that goes off the 10x10 grid because I don't know how to handle that with the weapon described below).  

The 4 other countries have this weapon that can shoot in an area of a rectangle.  When they shoot their weapon it must cover an area in the city so that every soldier in that formation is hit, but not extra wasted space.  

For this city I would need to set my weapon to -4 < x < 8 and 2 < y < 6 in order to capture this city.

It would fire it's ammunition like this and take out all the soldiers with nothing extra wasted.

I haven't figured it all out yet, but I will let you know when I do.  I'm thinking about calling it "Domain Rangers".  I still need to think of something catchy to call my country.  Any ideas.

P.S.  I started reading Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess.  Loving it so far.  


  1. I really like where this game is going. I am a first year math teacher and I remember teaching domain and range and being bored out of my mind. I did find some ways to incorporate input and output and bring it into the real world, but to be able to round out the lesson with a game, or use the game as a discovery pre-teaching would make it much more interesting.

    I am interested to see where your ideas end up and will definitely follow you on teacherspayteachers,as I am constantly searching for content that brings the material to life for my students.

    I also appreciated your blog about what you enjoy teaching and choosing this over other topics that might be perceived to be more popular or impressive. I applaud your self-discovery!

  2. Hello, my name is Nikki Sato. I really like the name "edugaming". We offer a logic math puzzle called "KenKen"( and offering free Classroom program to teachers for free. Kids really love KenKen puzzles since it is fun, engaging puzzle. We have over 30,000 teachers embracing our program and it's counting. Please check it out and if you like it, please share it with your collegues and friends!