This evening, my granddaughter didn’t feel like watching her sister’s soccer practice, so she came over and proceeded to spend the next two hours playing with clay. We happen to have 50 different colors and a couple of play sets.
While she was making her creations, she frequently stopped to inform me about what was going on at school.
“Michaela cried today because she couldn’t catch me on the playground, so I told her I’d bring her a lollipop for her birthday and she stopped.”
I gave her a couple of lollipops out of our Halloween candy so Michaela didn’t have to wait for her birthday.
“Brindy always gets sent to the principal’s office because she’s very bad. She has a sticker chart and if she’s good, she gets a sticker.”
“If you are bad, you don’t get a share day, but if you’re good, you do.”
While I posted a couple of blogs and made dinner, she kept up a running commentary on life in pre-kindergarten.
Curiously, this made me even more anxious to get out our new updates for Fish Lake and Spirit Lake and to build out our new games.
Why? Because all of these games teach language in the same way my granddaughter is learning it – through interaction, modeling, repetition and scaffolding.
Every game we do and every revision of an existing game builds on these ideas. The elders in Spirit Lake and Fish Lake talk to the player,
“Oh, it’s you. Come on in.”
“Stop! Inajin! You can’t just come in here.”
We deliberately use words like ‘scenario’ or ‘situation’ in context, repeatedly, so students are exposed to a range of language.
We had a meeting on the premium version of Making Camp today and I explained,
“Whether they get the word right or wrong in the Scarecrow game, I want it to show the correct word for that definition and then an audio file play so that students know how the word is pronounced.”
I care so much about getting more updates out faster, making the games better, adding levels because I KNOW that these games can improve students’ math scores and I bet you we can expand the games to improve students’ vocabulary and knowledge of social studies and science as well.
I care so much because: