I've hinted at it already, but here it is. This summer I will be writing weekly posts in a series about my plans for next year. I'm am trying to develop a program of teaching that would use a continuous game-like theme through out the year for all units of study. The series will be called, A Themed Year. In this series you will find posts about the research I've done, links to great sites, tools I've discovered or developed, and updates on the development of my themed classroom. I'll be using it next year in my grade 8, 9, and 10 English classrooms.
The reason I've started on this journey is simple: I want to figure out a better way to engage my students. With the invention of the iPad and similar tablets, casual gaming has become a dominant aspect of everyday life. I want use the tropes of games to create an interest in learning for my studens. A Themed Year will draw on role-playing and casual games for inspiration. I want to create a classroom where the students are invested in their learning and where they are always progressing and never regressing (as is possible in the current methodology of grading - maintaining a B+ for instance).
Over the course of the summer I will be sharing all aspects of the development of this program. If you have any ideas or insighs please feel free to share via email, Twitter, or in the comments below. Thanks.