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Can we have another election? Please?

Originally posted 11/7/2012 on Weebly

In all honesty, much like that girl in Youtube whose parents listen to too much NPR

 I'm done with the election too. I'm also very happy my baby midget is too young to understand because she listens to about10 hours of NPR a week. This is the drawback of having parents who are nerds. The perk? We will have the capacity to understand and criticize your homework.

In all honesty, I had an absolutely fabulous election unit. We went totally digital for four days and the kids ate up the electoral college and spit it out. We started with three election BrainPops on the election and the kiddos had to take the quizzes that went along with them. I got to try out our new Google/Brainpop sign in which allowed the students to download their quiz scores to a spreadsheet for me. One word....amazing. Thanks to my buddies at Brainpop for letting me know about this feature because I have won some love from my colleagues for this one. It's great because it downloads it all to the same spreadsheet all year; it just opens a new tab for each new quiz.....genius.
When the kiddos were done with their quizzes they got to go to my second favorite resource on the web. ICivics was launched in collaboration with Sandra Day O'Connor over two years ago and I try to find every which way to integrate it into my curriculum. It is true gaming in the classroom that leads to understanding, immersion and engagement. The kids played "Win the White House" and I will never again have to waste time trying to explain the Electoral College.


The game has the kids experience the primaries, picking a running mate and picking pet causes all before they hit the trail. Once they start they have to fundraise in order to poll states, make appearances and make commercials. I knew they were going to enjoy it but they looooooved it! About 25% of the kids told me they were going home and playing after school. They totally understood the 270 rule and how you had to strategically win states to win the election. My favorite thing I overheard a kid saying to another kid was,"Man, I did not know how much money it actually takes to be President." Weeks later my most basic of reader can easily tell me the president needs 270 votes to win and was able to take part today in some critical analysis of the current electoral college map.
Once they were done with the game they had two final videos to watch on Youtube about why we vote on Tuesday. Although I had created this totally fun and interactive activity for them to complete at the end of the unit, I just didn't want to stop them from playing iCivics so I dropped the project and had the kids complete a learning log for each activity.


I had really wanted to spiral this up to a higher level of Bloom's but they were so captivated by the game and learning and retaining more than I think I could have accomplished on my own, I just didn't want to stop that train.

Gaming in the classroom.... Definitely a new passion.



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