I know, I know…it’s been a very long time since my last Classcraft post. Probably nobody noticed because probably nobody reads these posts but I wanted to finish out the series anyway. So let’s dive right in!
This week’s post is all about the awesome premium features that you get when you, well, go premium. I debated for a long time on whether or not to upgrade and finally decided, what the heck. I shelled out the money and it was totally worth it. Today, I’m going to point out a couple of the premium features that I use most often. I’ll try to keep it brief but there’s a lot to love about it so hang on.
One of the first features that I really like (and plan to work on making more of during the summer) are the Quests. The basic idea behind these is that you create a story and a series of tasks for students to work through and complete. Students earn XP and GP (gold points) as they complete the various tasks. You can even differentiate the quests by having students who don’t quite grasp something or don’t finish a task correctly go on a different “path” and do some remediation, which is pretty nifty. You can have the higher-level students take different paths to more advanced activities. Students can move through on their own or you can have them turn stuff in and wait for you to “okay” them through to the next task.
Now, quests do take quite a lot of time to set up. The one pictured above, the Five Pillars of Islam, took me a few hours and I didn’t even do differentiated stuff. So don’t expect that you can sit down and crank a quest out in an hour. But if you have the time, it’s definitely worth it. My students loved this Quest and wished we could have done more.
Classcraft is also great about posting Quests on their website and forum that you can use in your classroom!
I’m not going to beat a dead horse and go over Boss Battles again. But suffice it to say that when you go premium, you can create many more Boss Battles and use them over and over. Boss Battles are one of my favorite features and I love them even more with the premium upgrade.
Perhaps one of my favorite Premium features is the Makus Valley Volume Meter. When you set it up, you choose how much XP and GP students earn if they don’t go over the Volume Meter limit. You can also choose to take HP if they do go over.
When the Volume Meter starts up, it has a purple bar that goes further right the louder your students get. You can drag the vertical pink line to set the point that you don’t want your students to cross. If the purple bar goes across the line…whoops! They’ve failed. You can choose to give them a “false alarm” or they will lose the HP points that you’ve set.
I’ll admit. I upgraded to premium in the beginning solely for this feature. And it worked! My students were so invested in Classcraft that they didn’t want to lose points and they really wanted the XP. I had students who would violently shush the class if the purple bar even tiptoed close to the pink line. While it didn’t always work – group work is really loud, after all – it definitely helped. I think integrating it from the beginning this year will pay off.
Finally, let’s talk Gold Pieces. These are a lot like Experience Points except you can only use them in the Premium version (I think students get a preset number in the free version but you can’t give them anymore). These are the elite points. These are what students use to buy new armor, pets, and other cool, nifty things in the game. I didn’t do a whole lot with GP last year since I added it late and I always just gave XP points but I plan to utilize it much more this year.
And, that’s it! Those are the main Premium features that I use in the classroom. There is also a stopwatch, a countdown, and a grade converter but I haven’t really had cause to use them yet. Maybe this year!
So what do you think? Are you totally sold on Classcraft? I hope I’ve helped you get started and learn some more about this awesome program. I’m presenting it at a PD in July – wish me luck as I hate talking in front of adults. But I love Classcraft so I’m gonna do my best! Please let me know in the comments what you think about Classcraft!
For now, that’s a wrap!