As students play the learning exercises on MES Games, they earn points for each successful game completion. At different point levels (200pt, 400pt, 600pt, 800pt, and 1,000pt,) students are awarded different badges. They can print their badges and collect badges for each topic. The system is designed to acknowledge the student's accomplishment, give students a goal to achieve, and provide teachers with a way to check the student's participation.
How to view the badges and information: When you click on the 'stop' button at the top of the program, you will see an information screen. This will show the students current points and the first 4 badges in gray.
When the student reaches 200 points, the first badge will appear on the information screen. The students will have the option to change topics without losing their points or badges. They can simply close this option to continue on the same topic.
How to personalize and print the badges: Once the student has earned a badge, they can click on the badge to view it. They will need to enter their name where the badge says 'Your Name'. Once they have entered their name on the badge, they can print the award by clicking on the 'print' button.
The badge will print 1/4 page size. I designed them to be smaller so students can collect them and use them as bookmarks or teachers could create space on a classroom wall for each student to display their achievements. If you need to save the badges to a computer (to email or view later,) you can print the file to PDF instead of printing the badge then and there.
The badge information: Each badge will have the student's name, the amount of points earned, the topic the student studied, and the date the student earned the points.
The last badge can be earned by reaching 1,000+ points. Students will have the option to choose from 1 of 3 different 1,000 point badges, making them even more rare. I'm not sure how many students will stay and study long enough to reach 1,000 points, but if they do, they should be fully versed in the topic.
Use the badges as incentives or as homework: The badge system was designed so teachers could both encourage students to practice outside of class and also so teachers could monitor the student's progress.
The teacher can use the badge system as daily or weekly homework assignments. A teacher could ask students to earn a 200 point badge in animals set 1 for example. The students must print thint the badge and hand it in. Each badge has the student's name, the topic and date completed. This will make it easy for the teacher to verify that the homework was completed on time. If you have a classroom blog, FaceBook page, ect., you can add a link to the topic you want the students to study, http://www.mes-games/animals1.php - Animals Set 1. That will take the students directly to the topic you'd like them to practice. They can always use the site's main page and choose the topic from the topic list, but linking to the specific topic page might be easier for younger or beginner students.
To encourage even more practice, the teacher can display the badges each student achieves. I like to cut out and laminate the awards so students can use them as bookmarks or just to display them on the wall under the students name. Teachers can cut them out and glue them to a construction paper frame as another way to make the awards more sturdy. Students can also just collect them in a folder. Students really enjoy collecting the awards and showing off their success.
Why 200 points: It takes about 10-20 minutes to earn 200 points. That seems like a good amount a practice time, but not too much that students find the activity too hard. After reaching 200 points, they should know the topic quite well and reaching the next 200 point level should be easier and take less time.
Warning: If students change topics before they reach 200 points or if they leave the site/page, their points and badges will be lost. Currently, there is no login or user registration feature to the site. This means there is no file back-up nor a way to save the points or badges. Students must print the badges before they leave the page.
If you have other ideas for how to use the badges, please send me an email. Also, if you have pictures of the badges students have collected or any other photos showing your work with MES Games, please send them in. I'd love to hear about and see how people are using the site.
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