Parents and educators sometimes focus more attention on the potential dangers than on the potential benefits of electronics video games, but they are a part of modern childhood. If you are selective on what game your child plays, then they become powerful tools to help children develop certain life and problem-solving skills. The game I chose is a powerful tool to help children apply what they are learning in the classroom. It can also be used at home and in the classroom.
Once I played The Hamster Run game multiple times, and as I progressed through the levels, I began to understand how it could be implemented into my future classroom. As I play the game, I place my feet in the shoes of the students who I would be teaching someday. For example, the grades of Kindergarten through grade 2 would find just as many benefits in this game as would third through fifth grades.
The standard I would assess students on during the completion of this game for Kindergarten through grade 2 within the technology subject is: to demonstrate the ability to follow a simple design process: identify a problem, think about ways to solve the problem, develop possible solutions, and share and evaluate solutions with others (K-2.DT.2.b). This standard is demonstrated throughout this game because students are using their engineering and problem-solving skills to help the hamster reach the carrot. For example, in the level below students must think first what shape or line they need to use to help the hamster reach the carrot, then they must figure out where that shape(s) or line(s) must be placed in the path for the hamster.
Once the shapes are placed where they should be in order for the hamster to reach the carrot, the hamster will then start running the path the student has made for it. This is shown below:
Then the screen will say how great you did!
This is appropriate for these grade levels because students are learning about different shapes. Those include squares, triangles, rectangles and lines. Therefore, this game would apply to a K-2 lesson. One lesson I could use this game as an activity for my students to partake in is when I am explaining how squares, rectangles and triangles are all similar but different. For example, a triangle has a diagonal line while squares and rectangles have vertical and horizontal lines. This game will be used as an engineering aspect of my math lesson I give.
This game could also be applicable and appropriate for the grades of third through fifth. The standard that is appropriate for these grade levels is within the technology subject of Ohio Learning Standards. After the completion of this game, students will be able to plan and implement a design process: identify a problem, think about ways to solve the problem, develop possible solutions, test and evaluate solution(s), present a possible solution, and redesign to improve the solution (3-5.DT.2.b). The levels that could be most applicable to these grade levels are the upper levels. Once you finish level six, you are able to create your own path for the hamster. Therefore, that aspect of the game would be age appropriate for this age group or even those who are excelling/above level learners. This is the level where students create their own path for the hamster.
Overall, this game is developmentally appropriate for a variety of ages and grade levels. It is applicable to not only a variety of ages, but also a variety of learners. It works for those who are above their level and want a challenge or for those who need to go at a slower pace. Ruff Ruffman tells you exactly what to do and how it could be done.
In our reading presented to us from Chapters 3-5 titled, “Mind/Shift Guide to Digital Games + Learning” by Jordan Shapiro, the author specifically states to not “meet the students where they are: help them to move incrementally from one place to another. Look for games that are fun rather than games that are cool” (Shapiro 19). This game applies to that quote because it provides a fun spin on learning for all types of student learners. It also presents a challenge to students because it is not a drill and repeat type of game, it is a problem solving/engineering game where students must apply what they learn in lessons (shapes and lines) to this game.