Blog Post 9: Distributed Cognition

Applying technology to a classroom consists of understanding your students as a teacher and understanding what topics need to be enhanced through the technology you are using. Distributed cognition is also shown throughout any lesson, especially those listed on our class’s website. Morgan explains that, “distributed cognition is a way to understand how people interact with their environment and how they can be enabled by the environment to undertake highly complex tasks that would usually be beyond the abilities of the unassisted individual” (Morgan 127).Distributed cognition should be applied to each classroom as the teacher uses the external resources available in the environment to better each student’s learning of the curriculum. To me, distributed cognition means the application of students interacting with the resources given to me and being able to discuss those with one another to better their overall knowledge.

Based on my interest in math and my career study being within the Early Childhood Education frame, I chose to watch Mr. Pronovost in a second-grade classroom at Belle Haven Community School where he gave a lesson regarding addition and subtraction facts. Throughout his lesson, technology was used amongst the students independently, in small groups and even in whole group instruction.

These technology tools that he integrated into his lesson consisted of individual white boards for each student, markers to go with those whiteboards, iPad for himself as the teacher, MacBook/laptop for each student, iPods and a projector for Mr. Pronovost to display his instruction and practice. Starting with the whiteboards, students have individual white boards at their desks where they used these to write out their addition and subtraction problems they were working on. The addition and subtraction problems came from problems they were solving in the games on the site called Planet Turtle. On Planet Turtle, students are given basic facts. This allows them to have individual practice. Mr. Pronovost told the students that they must practice at least three games and get at least an 80% to move to DreamBox (which is another website/application) or to their iPods. These games on Planet Turtle provide the students with immediate feedback. This aspect is emphasized heavily throughout Martin’s piece of writing. He stated that, “Monitoring refers to the function of assessing the quality of the coordination between systems and providing this information as feedback” (Martin 94). These students are shown four choices to choose. Then as soon as they click an answer, they receive that immediate feedback. Mr. Pronovost can monitor the progress these students are making on this type of formative assessment called, Planet Turtle. During the time of students working on Planet Turtle he can gather the students who need extra help, while the other students are receiving immediate feedback from the game instead of him having to do that.

As the students are solving math problems on Planet Turtle, they are using headphones to listen to their game. One student told us that as you get a correct answer, you receive a point. Planet Turtle is specifically used to reinforce the addition and subtraction that they practice as a class. Once they show mastery in Planet Turtle, they can move onto DreamBox. Planet Turtle also emphasizes the action of off-loading that we talked about in class. Martin stated that, “canonical examples of off-loading include the use of a written list to aid in remembering a series of items, the use of calculators to do arithmetic during mathematical problem solving, or the use of an autocorrect function in a word processor while composing text” (Martin 94). The students used their hands to help solve math facts and they were even using the white board as a resource for them to focus on the Planet Turtle problems in the application. Off-loading allows you to use other resources to aid in solving your main goal, addition and subtraction facts in this case.

DreamBox is another application they use to practice their addition and subtraction facts and shows distributed cognition. This is more individualized instruction because this game gives them problems at their own levels, rather than providing basic facts for the entire class at the same level as Planet Turtle does. This is when the effects of and through technology term comes into play from the Salomon and Perkins piece. Scaffolding is used throughout the students’ learning in DreamBox because that application is specific to each student’s level in math. Effects of technology implies that the effects, positive or negative, that persist without the technology after a period of using it. Effects of technology help to develop cognitive ability, knowledge, and a deeper conceptual understanding while effects through technology sometimes do not just enhance cognition, like it is in DreamBox but it fundamentally reorganizes it. This is shown in DreamBox because this application is appropriate for each student, while the teacher can walk around and help those students who need the most help. This game is differentiated for each student. Another example of scaffolding/effects of technology was when Mr. Pronovost would call students over to his teacher table who needed more assistance as others are working on Planet Turtle or DreamBox.

The students are using various strategies as they show progress through these games/applications on their computers. Students could be using their hands as a helpful way to solve problems, or they could use their whiteboards to write out the addition/subtraction facts. As I watch these students solving facts on their computers, I realize that sometimes computers are not always the best tool, Mr. Pronovost even stated that himself. Therefore, they must decide what strategy is best for them as an individual.

Throughout whole group instruction, he uses the iPad as a guiding technology to then project what he is writing on that to the class as they sit on the center carpet. Once it was time for the iPods, or when students were able to move onto the iPods after completing previous work, they can play interactive games with their headphones in. Throughout these applications on the iPods and laptops the games are being constantly assessed. Each student must pass one level in order to move onto the next level. “If they passed a level,” stated Mr. Pronovost, “they have mastered a concept” which I thought was a brilliant way of phrasing it. The students also are talking to one another at the teacher table when they are solving the same math facts. All this practice and this lesson completely could be done through worksheets and lectures, but he said that would make his students heavily bored and I agree. If they are completing a worksheet, they will want to know what to do when they are done, rather than compared to a game they are constantly moving onto the next level and practicing/mastering their skills in this lesson.

Altogether, technology itself is a translation and it helps to represent ideas that Mr. Pronovost wanted to portray in his lesson of addition and subtraction facts. He can translate his ideas of solving math facts into games and interactive activities that allows them to apply their knowledge. I believe that this lesson and how the technology was integrated made the students overall “smarter.” The students were able to practice their skills according to the level they are at, and they can develop their understanding of math facts with technology. Technologies, including those involved in this specific lesson in Mr. Pronovost’s classroom, expands each student’s cognitive capabilities in any fundamental sense. With that in mind effects of and effects through technology are present in this lesson. Therefore, as Salomon states, “yes, working with certain technologies makes us smarter, at least in the sense that it leads to smarter performance” (Salomon 75). Once you begin to analyze and interpret all of the affordances of the technologies in use in a lesson, you can understand how technology can make one smarter based on the person who is using them and how they are using it to enhance their knowledge. 

Blog Post Eight: Digital Story Assessment

Digital Story Assessment

Created by: Miah Dettorre, Abigail Ruse, and Lauren Denk

Story (______/15 points)

The development of the story makes sense and is in chronological order in terms of the story itself. More specifically, there is a set beginning, middle, and end that carries the audience through the entire story. The problem or situation drives the story itself. The content of place value is articulated clearly and creatively through its structure, engagement, and character transformation.

Project Planning (_______/20 points)

The students in the learning community submit as a group a storyboard and script to show progression and evidence of solid planning. From there, they will receive comments in order to revise and improve their work. Throughout this entire process, the group members work together to evenly distribute the work and collaboratively create a digital story.

Originality, voice, creativity (_______/15 points)

The content of the digital story exhibits an original voice-over narration and a perspective that is imaginative and fruitful. The voice connects with the images or videos that are presented in the digital story to further enhance the message that is being portrayed. For this to adequately happen, students articulate their words clearly and concisely. If any words, phrases, pictures or sounds are not original from the group themselves, they must be properly cited at the end of the presentation.  

Content Understanding (______/30 points)

The presentation and its story are created to convey an understanding of the material addressed. The material being the concept of place value and how to properly shift between place value positions. In result, the audience gains further understanding of the ones, tens, and hundreds position and how many each place value holds. The story accurately presents place value terminology and how to properly shift the position of the digit in a number series. This aligns with the first Number and Operations in Base Ten standard for second grade (2.NBT.1). More specifically, this standard reads that students should understand that the three digits of a three-digit number represents amounts of hundreds, tens, and ones. The audience understands the following as special cases: a. 100 can be thought of as a bundle of ten tens – called a “hundred,” b. The numbers 100, 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, 700, 800, 900 refer to one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, or nine hundreds (and 0 tens and 0 ones). The digital story builds upon this standard and provides students with an application of the concept that has already been taught to them in school.

Presentation (_______/20 points)

The presentation of the digital story is posted on the YouTube website and onto each member’s blog page effectively, making it readily available to all. The digital story is appealing to the eye and to the ear, but at the same time, educational.  The audience is engaged and interested throughout the story itself and the presentation. This can be done through the use of purposeful drawings/pictures, sounds, effects, and transitions. All of these aspects of the digital story are clear, meaningful, and displayed in a manner that does not pull from the actual content itself, and as a result, distract the audience.

Additional Comments:

Blog Post Seven: Access to Technology

At Hannah Gibbons Cleveland Metropolitan School, I intently observed the technology that was used throughout Mrs. G’s classroom. I also talked with Mrs. G recently and had asked her a few questions pertaining to the “behind the scenes” work involving the technology in her classroom and school. She told me that the curriculum instruction specialist is the go-to person that expects all teachers to integrate certain sites for the students and he sets them up on the application called MobyMax on their iPads. He also refers them to skills navigator on the NWEA website, and when they have professional development days for math, using the site called Eureka, he will turn to Engage New York or ANet for professional development for them. The curriculum instruction specialist for Cleveland Metropolitan School District is Mr. K. The main curriculum instruction specialist for Hannah Gibbons building specifically is Dr. S. Both hold the title of curriculum instruction specialist. 

Another person who is in charge of technologies available to advance the learning of students is their library media specialist. Currently, their library media specialist works part time at their school building. Most of the Cleveland Schools have a part time library media specialist who goes back-and-forth from one school to another in the Cleveland district. Both the curriculum instruction specialist and the library media specialist help with the placement and use of technologies for the learning of the students. In my experience at the school I have seen Mr. K and Dr. S, the curriculum instruction specialists, to be more of help with the technology aspect of Mrs. G’s classroom. They also turn to Mr. B for assistance with the technology, who is an intervention specialist for K-5 and is a testing coordinator. 

Anytime the school has new things happening, such as a resource from an online site or a new piece of technology, Mr. K and Mr. B get acclimated to it first and then they show the teachers in the school. Otherwise, there are times when someone from the company the product or application itself came from will actually come out to Hannah Gibbons and give the teachers a professional development. 

In terms of what technology is offered and provided to the students in Mrs. G’s third grade classroom is 10 iPads total, and then 6 desktop computers in the back of their classroom. Mrs. G uses the 10 iPads every day, usually in center time and it is expected by their principal that they are used weekly during rotations. She has a separate rotation in centers called “Interactive” which is on the iPad. The cart of the iPads is located in the 2nd grade classroom, this cart has a total of 40 iPads for grades K through 3. Each grade gets 10 iPads. These iPads are maintained and upgraded yearly. The 6 desktop computers all have internet and are used during rotations as well, called “computers.” The headphones they use for these two types of technology are provided by the school and purchased through the school’s budget. In conclusion, there is not a one to one ratio between the students and technology devices which is different from many other schools.

 The iPads and computer desktops are working, and they are available to students when they are permitted to use them. Maintenance on their computers is done once a year. It took them a while to get the iPads back because of having to do upgrades and such. There was no money in their budget for the iPads, so they just got them about a month ago. When they do have any technology issues with computers, smart boards, or iPads they have to go to headquarters with it. They put in a “ticket” online and somebody comes out and handles it. Sometimes you will see a person in the building multiple days in one week because Hannah Gibbons is a PreK through eight building.

For the families themselves, they are not responsible for paying for anything or providing any technology devices for their children. The parents just have to sign a form that says that their child is allowed to use it and they understand the nature for what they are using as well as understand that there are rules for using the technology that the students are expected to abide by.

As far as blocking certain aspects on the iPad or computer, that is all controlled by headquarters. They do a good job of it, says my cooperating teacher. Also, Mrs. G has an application on her teacher iPad that she uses to make sure students are all on the right application and not going off task and playing games. She also has the power on that app to lock students in apps, so they are not able to switch between applications. She does this during center time, I even did it. Students iPad screens are locked on SeeSaw application, so they do not go and play games. Mrs. G also said that they are required to change their passwords on their computers every 60 days.

All in all, the people with the best information centered on technology are Mr. B, Mr. K and Dr. S. All of these employees at Hannah Gibbons have the most knowledge of what needs to be implemented on the students’ iPads and desktop computers. They provide the basis for what students can access, along with the headquarters. Throughout my observations, I was able to see the desktop computers and iPads be used each and every day during their center rotation, I even would go to the second-grade classroom to pick up the 10 iPads for her class. Technology at Hannah Gibbons is very straight forward, yet very involved in the overall learning of each student.

Blog Post Six: Digital Story Script/Voice-Over Narration

-Storyboard: Spring Break Shifters-

Characters:

Quarantina: young second grader who just got off of school for spring break, she cannot wait to spend time with her mother and relatives.

Mother: Quaratina’s mother who moves to various place value hotels with Quarantina and their relatives

Covid: the hotel owner who manages the rooms in all of the hotels and the check in process. He makes sure that each place value hotel only fits its capacity. 

Other hotel guests: in the background, staying at the hotels that Quarantina, her mother and relatives would like to stay at in Florida

Quarantina’s 8 relatives: travel with Quarantina and her mother, and make a total group of 10 guests.

Script:

One day, Quarantina and her mother decided to go Florida because all of their 8 relatives were planning to go as well. They were all planning on staying in a hotel.

Florida had three different place value hotels. The Just Onesie Hotel, Ain’t Nothin But a Ten Hotel and All Sun in Hundred Hotel. It was Quarantina and her mother’s plan to stay at “Just Onesie.” But, they ran into a problem.

The worker, named Covid, at Just Onesie Hotel said, “I am sorry, but our hotel does not have room for all 10 of you. We only have enough room for 9 guests. It seems to me that you all want to stay together, so I invite you to try the Ain’t Nothin But a Ten Hotel, which houses groups of 10 like you all!”

Her mother asked her if she understood why they are being asked to move. 

Just before spring break, Quarantina was introduced to place value, so she understood that 10 ones equaled one group of 10. This means that they would have to shift to that place value hotel called Ain’t Nothin But a Ten.

As soon as they entered Ain’t Nothin But a Ten Hotel, the owner said to them, “you must be a group of 10 from the Just Onesies Hotel! Did you guys just move over here?” The mother said, “yes it seems quite busy here, have you had any move to the next place value hotel recently?”

Quarantina was overwhelmed because she saw 9 other groups of 10, waiting to check in. She knew that they would need to make a group of 1 one hundred to be moved to Sun in the Hundreds Hotel, so they could all have more space.

This hotel for groups of hundreds was much larger and more accommodating for large groups. The one group of 100 that they all made together fit perfectly in the hotel. Quarantina could not wait to start her vacation, which she hoped included lots of swimming in the large Sun in the Hundreds pool. Happy Spring Break! 

Blog Post Four: Reflection About My Students

Throughout this semester, I am observing at Hannah Gibbons Cleveland Metropolitan School District, in a third-grade classroom with Mrs. G. I have fully enjoyed my experience there so far, and I have learned so much about not only effective teaching but how to develop relationships with your students while promoting a positive, differentiated classroom. My cooperating teacher, Mrs. G, is an educator who truly cares for her students and would love to assist each student, who is different, to reach a point in their learning they never thought they could reach before. I have noticed how the students’ behavior has frustrated my cooperating teacher because majority of the day they do not listen to her instructions, they do as they please. It seems as if they enjoy being yelled at. One specific example of when they did not show respect to Mrs. G was when she continued to yell at two students who would not stop talking back to each other while she was trying to talk to the entire class. Then, those specific students proceeded to roll their eyes at Mrs. G when she threatened to take away their recess time if they would not listen. These interactions I am observing are teachable moments for myself, as a soon to be teacher of my own classroom. 

It is absolutely sickening when students do not listen to their teachers and talk back to their teachers, because in the end, Mrs. G is there for her students and only wants the best for them. I believe the only way to get them to listen is to threaten taking things away, such as taking gym class or recess or making them come in early to sweep the classroom which should not even be an idea of a teacher, but it has works in her classroom. That being said, I observed when one student came in early before school and swept the classroom due to his repeated misbehaviors in the classroom the previous few days. The lack of respect that Mrs. G receives on a daily basis is something that hinders each students’ overall learning and development. 

            I have been able to witness how much of an impact, positively and negatively, technology can be in the classroom. For example, the morning routine of Mrs. G’s classroom begins with morning bell work which is usually copying down the sight word list for the week and then putting each word in a web. Once morning work is complete, English Language Arts instruction begins. This is when she splits her classroom into different centers. She has one group continuing to work with the sight words, while others are working on writing their two paragraph essays. If they finish those activities, they are able to work on the iPads. However, sometimes one center is working on the iPads. On the iPads, students are mostly working on Seesaw, which is an application where students take pictures, draw, record videos and more to capture learning in a portfolio. This application is used for all subjects. Mrs. G sometimes posts worksheets on this site and each student signs into their account on their iPad and completes the activities she posts. This is what Mrs. G’s page looks like on her computer.

I have noticed when students are told to go on the iPads, they do not enjoy being on Seesaw. They tend to go on Math Playground or cool math games. This use of technology throughout centers scares me because students would rather be on the iPads playing games, rather than doing educational subjects and sometimes they do get away with it. 

            Another piece of technology that is present in the classroom is the 6 desktop computers they have in the back of their classroom. These desktop computers have been used for online benchmark assessments, typing their essays they have written, or playing games. They also use the computers to go on Moby Max, which is educational math games. The AIMs Web Benchmarking is what I saw done by one student. She was being tested on her vocabulary and fluency. She also had headphones on. The headphones are provided to the students, none of the students are required to bring any type of technology accessories to school. 

            The next major technology device that is used is Mrs. G’s desktop computer presented on a smart board through a projector. Majority of the time, she is using the projector to show Class DoJo which is an online behavior management system intended to foster positive student behaviors and classroom culture. Students earn ‘Dojo Points’ based on their classroom conduct, and students are constantly checking what their scores are. They enjoy the aspect of competition between their peers, however sometimes this behavior management system does not work with students who enjoy being yelled at because of attention. Mrs. G also uses Class Dojo to keep parents up to date on student progress and classroom happenings. This is a screenshot of Mrs. G’s screen, which shows a character for every student’s name and their total ‘Dojo Points.’ The names are covered for confidentiality.

            Through my conversations with the students, I have come to realize that phones are not the biggest part of their life, like it would be to any other 3rd/4th grader. These students are not given everything they want. One student who I was talking to, in specific, said she is only allowed to use her phone to call her mom and grandma. She does not play any games on it because her mom told her, “we do not have the money to do that.” On the other hand, I spoke to another boy in the class and he said he uses his phone as soon as he gets home from school. He uses it for Instagram, YouTube and TikTok. He says he probably watches at least 25 videos of other people playing video games. He told me he watches sports, video games and fights. He said the reason he watches fights is because he needs to “know how to run away from fights.” 

Almost every day, Mrs. G is telling a student to put their phone away, and in their cubby, rather than keeping it on them in their pocket. Some students do not even have a phone. Technology is an essential aspect for not only teachers to know how to use, but it is becoming an aspect of education for students to learn. In schools, like the one I am in, do not have all of the funds for each and every student to have an electronic device twenty-four seven. Therefore, problems can come along with technology in a classroom. Sometimes students learn best from doing and clicking therefore it is essential to have the option of technology use, which Mrs. G does, just not for every student at all times.  

Dalton states in the article titled, “Multimodal Composition and the Common Core State Standards” that, “we live in a multimodal world where being an effective communicator involves composing with media” (Dalton 336). Educators are incorporating technology within their classroom, if the funds allow to, and the students can interact with that given technology component but are failing to offer their students the opportunity to compose with media and create something from scratch and something where they can show their creativity. For example, since they enjoy watching YouTube videos or going on Instagram, you could have students work in small groups to create a YouTube video of them reading a story. This can then be played back, and the students can build on their fluency of reading while listening and watching their videos. From that point, they could combine different stories from their peers to create a digital story discussing their stories they read. 

            Producing digital stories within small groups can be very beneficial for these students. There are hardly ever times where these students are working in small groups, this is not because Mrs. G does not think it is a good idea it is because their behaviors and choices they make are not appropriate for the entire classroom, so that privilege is taken away and not considered an option. When these students work together, they get off task and do not know how to perform. I try to articulate to students when they complain about not being able to work with their friend that if they show good behavior and listen to Mrs. G’s direction that they could receive the privilege back. However, for now, Mrs. G does not believe it could be done because it is hard enough to talk to one student. Dalton also emphasizes the point that students must learn how to work with one another, and this is an action that needs to be strengthened in Mrs. G’s classroom. He states that, “… part of the teaching and learning in digital designers’ workshop centers on learning how to be a contributing member of a creative partnership” (Dalton 336). Creating a digital story first begins with working effectively with one another, and this is instrumental to creating any type of content in their digital story that they can reflect upon. 

            Implementing digital story telling needs to begin with gaining the students’ interest first. It must capture their attention in order for them to best showcase their talents through technology. With the component of student choice within the idea of digital storytelling, the students realize that their work will have meaning to them in their education and overall life. It is obvious that in Mrs. G’s classroom that she is allowing students to use their technology to showcase their knowledge while also showing their creative side. Nicholas E. Husbye, et al. states that, “… the nature of writing has changed: technology allows even the youngest learners to create digital texts combining drawing, writing, sound, and animation in ways never before possible” (Husbye, et al. 82). Even at the young age of these third graders, they are able to make digital stories that connect to their lives while pertaining to what they are learning in school. I believe digital story telling could also promote and add structure to Mrs. G’s classroom community. As soon as the day begins, students could get out their iPads and continue to work on their digital stories with their small groups. It will allow them to become excited to come into school every day and continually strive to make their digital stories how they would like to look, with their peer’s assistance. Tying students’ interest, importance of routine, technological capabilities, and educational content can create a more engaged group of students who are excited to delve into a deeper level of learning. 

BlogPost Video Gaming Post Three

As I continue to play the Hamster Run, I am starting to realize that the students that play this game can choose a different path that they can make for the hamster to run through. This will provide students with a variety of thinking or problem-solving skills that they can apply to other educational games they use. For example, after I completed one level of the hamster reaching the carrot, the next level presented me with the same obstacle of shapes with the carrot in the same spot. Ruff Ruffman then asked, “what other shapes can you use this time?” This helps the student grasp the concept that problem solving can have numerous solutions to it. Just like this level could have a variety of ways you can put the shapes or lines in the path the hamster takes. 

There are multiple affordances that come along with this game. An affordance in general is an action a person perceives as possible. Adding a handle to a desk drawer generates an affordance to open it. Without the handle it just looks like a panel and someone would not get the idea that opening is even an option. As soon as you click on this game, Ruff Ruffman provides you with a big arrow to begin the game. This is an affordance in itself. It invites students to press that button to progress in the game. It is in a prominent location, large, visible and it looks like a button. All young children would be appealed to pressing it. 

As you can see above, there is another food option, a cheery. This has a glowing light around it, that is an affordance. This could be called a powerup in this game, it provides the hamster with more energy, or a “super snack.” As soon below:

Affordances are an essential aspect to consider when choosing video games for your students to play as a teacher. I remember as a child I would always be the first to have the game pulled up on my computer and I would press buttons to start it. I would press all the pretty colored buttons, which may have been defeating the purpose of the game. As a teacher, you want to make sure the game you choose is not too distracting by the colors or design to what you are trying to assess or practice with your students. This game, the Hamster Run, does an excellent job of presenting students with a challenge and a series of obstacles they must go through in learning how to engineer their own path for the hamster while keeping it colorful and appealing.

Throughout the readings, we have discussed multiple threats and advantages one can gain from a video game used in the classroom and at home. I have learned a lot about how video games are much more than a screen and the buttons you click. As a teacher, you must be familiar with the games you present to your students and you must be knowledgably about the affordances and drawbacks from the game. The games you assign to your students should be used to motivate their learning and help them understand certain topics in a different manner compared to doing a worksheet or filling in notes. Squire states in our reading titled, From Content to Context, “games are interesting in that they are sites of naturally occurring, intrinsically motivated and learning” (Squire 22). The game my learning circle decided to study and interpret highlights all of the quality aspects of a good video game such as cycles of expertise, sandboxes, fish tanks and pleasantly frustrating, that Gee brought up in his reading he wrote. 

This game, The Hamster Run, is quite frustrating when you are not able to figure out the correct placement of the shapes in order for the hamster to run to the carrot. I believe the most frustrating part of it is that there is not one correct answer. Growing up, I have always struggled with doing work where there is not a correct answer, or when teachers ask you a question where you can answer however you would like. I enjoy being told exactly what to do and knowing if my answer is right or wrong immediately after I finish it. Therefore, this game would have made me very frustrated when I was younger. Throughout this game’s qualities, I am able to reflect on our readings by Gee and Squire where they present that games should enhance the learning environment they are given by myself, as their teacher.

BlogPost Video Gaming Post Two

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.