About halfway through last year (my first year of teaching), I began to see the connection between motivation and my special education students. For most, they seemed defeated by learning. Because of their struggles, many were unmotivated in class, not wanting to try and fail at something again. I was trying to find a way to change the mindset of grading and my classroom to go beyond just numbers and points off. A colleague and I started discussing the idea of gamifying our classes to help our students. Since it was halfway through the year, it was too late to get started. Over the summer I prepped and outlined how my gamification would look, unsure of whether it would really end up benefiting my students.
Every week I am going to document the process in my classroom: to evaluate student engagement and achievement, as well as the failures and complications that arise. I told my students they're my guinea pigs. If things don't work, they're going to be the first to know. We'll see how it goes!