05-25-2012 01:43 PM
I am an elementary teacher and I have always looked for ways to encourage my students using every avenue possible. In my classroom we have used toilet paper to experience what it is like to be caterpillars, mimicked Mary Shelly in an annual scary story contest, and created a seven foot model of the sun placing it over a hundred and fifty feet away from our two inch models of the earth just so my students could understand the size and distances we were talking about in class. So when I got Little Big Planet 2 last September my mind exploded with ideas to work the Playstation 3 into my classroom.
I began work late last September in making a mini game that my students could enjoy based around sorting synonyms and antonyms. In January I asked my principal if I could share the project with her. We set up a meeting and I started to get cold feet that she would think it was lame or be disapproving because of the negative stigma around games. My wife encouraged me to be who I am as a gamer and be confident since I had done something original. The day of our meeting my principal sat, listened and watched as I played through the game. She asked what my goal was with doing this. I told her that I had several ideas for skill based levels in math and reading and that I would also like to start a club where the kids could design their own levels using LBP and other games like Modnation on the PS3 and games like LBP and Sound Shapes on the Vita. She told me that she needed to check on something before she gave me the okay to pursue any of those ideas, but that she was pretty impressed with what I had done.
About a month later she called me to the office to let me know that I could use whatever I created in my room and if I could find the funding that I would be permitted start an after school club. What more is she encouraged me to come up with a way to work it into a camp my school is doing over the summer.
At this point my kids have played LBP as a reading station twice and I will likely bring it in for them to enjoy before the summer. They are excited about all things Little Big Planet. In my free time, which is not much, I am crafting some things for them. I am also seeking different local businesses and organizations to see if I can get help funding the club. Nothing has happened yet, but I am hoping that in the near future that my school will learn through Playing, Creating and Sharing. Long live play, y’all.
05-23-2012 06:21 PM
Thanks a lot. It has been a great year, my first in this district. I have a bunch of pictures. Sadly though, without having families of the kids in the pictures sign waivers, I can not. I have a few of the game playing on a television and kids hands holding the controllers, but nothing that really conveys how much fun it has been to have in the classroom. If I can get funding or donations for the club I hope to start a blog to share what the kids are creating.
For what it is worth this is the LBP.me link to the hub for the game my students have been playing. From the hub you can get to the three different difficulty levels:
Early on I realized that I had to make a hub that walked the kids through the grabinator mechanic. I teach in a rural area and some of my students had never touched a Playstation controller.
Thanks for the encouragement.