I have decorated the room with Pokémon decals, and have printed the PokéMath sticker awards for every student (see my previous PokéMath introduction and setup post to learn more about getting started and set up), and I have created a Pokémon-themed class website. The students were introduced to how the PokéMath “game” will work in class, and it succeeded in generating a lot of excitement! About 40% of the students said they play Pokémon Go, so they were obviously excited… but several others also seemed interested in the idea of collecting monsters as they master math skills!
Some students asked “Can we work on these Khan Academy skills and try to catch them at home or on the weekends?” (YES!)
One student said “I didn’t think I was going to like math this year, but this changes everything!” (YES!)
Another student was so into it, he started brainstorming ways to improve it and make it more fun (and improve his chances to “Catch ’em all”): “Could you make it so the one for Band can also be caught if you spend, like, a lot of points?” (apparently, he is not in band, but still wants to have a chance to get them all. I don’t want to exclude anybody from that opportunity, so I’m changing it, due to his suggestion! Band participation or 500 ClassDojo points…)
He also asked “Is there a way we could challenge our friends?” (to a duel, like in the actual game)
“No, not right now…” I replied. “I know that would be fun, but I haven’t thought of a good way to do it yet. For now, it will just be collecting them, but if we come up with a good way to play with them, that could be fun…”
“Maybe students could, like, answer questions, and then get bonuses based on the type of Pokémon” (hey, that’s not a bad idea, I thought)
“Yeah, we’ll keep brainstorming, and if I can figure out a way to make it work, we’ll do it.”
Well, based on that kid’s insightful proposals, I may have figured out a good system for “battles” to take the interactivity, gamification (and motivation) to the next level!
Introducing… PokéMath Duels!
This is something I plan to try at some point… maybe once a week (on Fridays, for example), or just one question/duel each day. Students will be able to actually use the monsters in their pokédex to win “battles” or challenges vs their table partners!
These duels will be a simplified version of how the game actually works:
- Each student in the pair will (secretly) choose a monster in his/her pokédex to use for the duel. They will write the monster name on their whiteboard.
- A question/problem will be shown on the projector for students to answer. Each student will write their answer on the whiteboard within a certain time limit (depending on the problem.)
- If the student gets the answer right, their chosen pokémon scores a hit! The hit will have a strength that is modified by: (a) rarity (power) of the pokémon, and (b) the opponent’s pokémon type (each type has strengths and weaknesses against other types.)
- If both pokémon score a hit (both students get correct answer), the one with the stronger hit wins the duel! The winning student is rewarded with ClassDojo points (in my class, I have a “Superstar” behavior that is worth 3 points.)
Updated resources including the Duel Instructions and Modifier Table as well as desk labels for Gyms/Teams will be found in the PokéMath Google Drive folder!