Hello Parents,

     I want to welcome you to the new school year. This year, your children will not simply be taught the content; they will experience the learning. Through my years of teaching, I have a developed a system around the concepts of gamification.

     Gamification is the idea of applying the most motivational aspects of games to other industries, like education. For example, in a game, children are willing to try over and over again, simply to make it to the next level. I have found that gaming concepts, like intrinsic motivation, self-taught exploration, and learning through failing, have transferred to the classroom with great success. However, key part of this success is that the learning is student driven. 

     A new goal for me this year is to make Purpose-Driven Learning the backbone of my classroom. The purpose of school is not simply to get good grades. The purpose needs to be learning and helping the students become life-long learners. These qualities can be encouraged at home as well as in the classroom. By utilizing the keys of Purpose-Driven Learning, we can help the students understand the qualities needed to be successful in any classroom and in the world beyond school. These qualities are what highly successful people have in common: confidence, creativity, enthusiasm, effort, focus, resilience, initiative, curiosity, dependability, and empathy. Rather than only asking your child about their grades or a test they took, ask if they put forth maximum effort, were able to focus, or were a dependable group member.

     Learning to take the initiative in their schoolwork, attacking each assignment with enthusiasm, creativity, and effort, and overcoming challenges with their own curiosity and resilience builds independent learners. With parents' support of the gamification system and the encouragement of their child's ability to put the keys of Purpose-Driven Learning into action, we can work as a team to help these young learners reach their full potential.

     My class is designed to be challenging. They will be asked to complete work that will require them to explore and seek out the answers. At times, they will find great success. Other times, they will experience failure. As adults, we understand that in the struggle is where the learning takes place.

     Ultimately, your children are the players of this game we call school. Does it engage them? Does it challenge theme? Does it encourage them to explore, fail, and try again until they succeed? It is up to the students to seek out knowledge and demonstrate resilience to overcome obstacles this year. Learning in this type of environment is a proven way for students to become life-long independent learners. Please allow your child to explore the wonders of mathematics, make mistakes on their own, and learn from the journey.

E-mail is the best way to contact me for questions and comments.

Thank you!

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Classcraft’s mission is to transform the learning experience by using game mechanics to engage students and provide teachers with well-designed tools to do so. Classcraft is a free online, educational role-playing game that teachers and students play together in the classroom. By using many of the conventions traditionally found in games today, students can level up, work in teams, and earn powers that have real-world consequences. Acting as a gamification layer around any existing curriculum, the game transforms the way a class is experienced throughout the school year.