Teach Super

We live in a society that idolizes super heroes. Everyone wants to be super, and teachers are no different: They can teach super. An elementary school teacher’s impact on a child surpasses almost anyone else in their life, other than parents and close relatives.

Do you know how important you are to your students?

By sparking curiosity and interest in a subject like science, you can build the foundation for a future career and lifelong passion. But it takes more than just an attentive teacher; it requires making STEM fun and playful.

Just last December, Getting Smart magazine noted how important it is to make science a fun activity. “Implementing a STEM curriculum during the early elementary grades which combines play with direct instruction can lead to long-term interest in these subjects,” writes Tracy Derrell. Maintaining interest from elementary and through middle school requires engagement.

That’s where teaching super comes into play.

The Need for Super Teachers

Teachers can be super by engaging students in science lessons.

The need for super teachers is real. Only 34% of 4th grade students achieved a score of “At or Above Proficient” on the science portion of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).

The United States needs its youth to take on STEM careers. The country is currently reliant on foreign workers to fulfill its STEM workforce.

So how does an educator make science fun and playful?

For starters, you can make a game of it. That goes well beyond Legends of Learning’s elementary suite of games. There are many ways to make content accessible to students.

For example, consider these eight fun resources we found to help teachers preparing science students for tests. Or find a different way to make science more interesting and applicable to students’ real lives. There are hundreds of such activities across the Internet.

When You Teach Super

Two Legendary science teachers at FETC in Florida.

Experienced teachers know success often bubbles up as singular breakthrough events that occur during the long march of a school year. Teaching can become a slog, particularly in the winter months when the days are short and the work is long.

But then there’s that student who suddenly comes alive. Or that class that really gets into a lesson. Maybe a former student comes back to visit or reaches out and thanks you for providing that spark.

Consider how these two students fell in love with science as a result of witnessing the total solar eclipse last summer. The experience infused them with a new excitement for science.

So, Legend, every day is a great day to teach super.

Let us know how we can support you.

Call for Elementary School Ambassadors

Legends of Learning is looking for elementary school ambassadors. Grades 3-5 teachers who are willing to review our science for Life, Earth and Space, and Physical sciences. Ambassadors who sign up by February 12 will get early access to games.

This is your opportunity to shape the Legends of Learning platform and games from the ground floor. When you sign up for our community, let your voice be heard and make a difference not only in your classroom, but for educators across America!

Impact how kids learn through games and join forces with like-minded heroes to review and strengthen the Legends of Learning platform and the individual games. Your input helps improve our collective offering.

Earn Rewards

We reward teachers who are active in our network. Participation in our community garners you access to challenges where you can earn more credits to continue playing. You can also earn some crazy rewards, too. Not that a hero needs more motivation, but those whose exploits are truly legendary will receive t-shirts, Pez heads, or other Legends of Learning swag.

So what are you waiting for, Legend? Sign up today, and help make game based learning even better in our community today!

P.S. Interested teachers who are looking for a little lighter interaction with Legendary peers can join our private Facebook group, The Hall of Legends.

Top 10 Most Popular Science Topics in January

With the first month of 2018 wrapping up, let’s check out the top 10 most popular science topics on the Legends of Learning site in January:

1. Effects of Temperature and Pressure on State

An ice skating rink shows the effects of temperature and pressure on state, freezing water into ice.
 

Summary of concepts covered (8 games): A substance’s state of matter is an extrinsic property, meaning it can be changed by its environment. Physical conditions like temperature and pressure affect state of matter. Both temperature and pressure can be measured, and state changes can be observed.

2. Atoms and Elements

The periodic table holds all of the atoms and elements.
 

Summary of concepts covered (10 games + 1 PhET simulation): Everything in the universe is made up of atoms. Atoms are the smallest units of matter, and the different types of atoms make up different elements. They can exist on their own, or bonded together in molecules.

3. Parts of the Cell

Learn about cell structure with parts of the cell science games.
 

Summary of concepts covered (9 games): Cells contain specialized structures, called organelles, that perform specific functions. Prokaryotic cells, like bacteria, do not have many organelles, while eukaryotic cells have defined organelles. All cells have a semi-permeable cell membrane that lets them absorb nutrients and get rid of waste. Nuclei, mitochondria, ribosomes, rough and smooth ER, the Golgi apparatus, and lysosomes are all covered!

4. The Sun, Moon, and Stars: Patterns of Apparent Motion

Due to Earth's rotation, the sun, moon, and stars appear in different places in the sky each day. Here, the apparent motion of the stars results in a unique glow across the night sky.
 

Summary of concepts covered (8 games): From day to day, the sun and stars will not appear in the exact same part of the sky due to the Earth’s revolution around the sun. These patterns of apparent motion allow us to predict where the Sun, Moon, and stars are at any given time, using drawings, 3D models, and computer models.

5. Role of Sunlight and Gravity in the Water Cycle

Waterfalls and the role of sunlight and gravity in the water cycle.
 

Summary of concepts covered (8 games): On Earth, water can exist as a liquid, a solid (ice), or a gas (water vapor). It changes between these states of matter when it gains or loses energy. In the water cycle, this energy comes from sunlight. While sunlight is the energy source, the greatest force propelling the water cycle is gravity. Gravity is the force of attraction between two objects, and Earth’s gravity pulls matter downward, toward its center. It pulls precipitation down from clouds and pulls water downhill.

6. Conservation of Matter in Chemical Reactions

In chemical reactions, there is a conservation of matter.
 

Summary of concepts covered (10 games): During a chemical reaction, atoms are rearranged, but they are not created or destroyed. The substances entering the reaction are called reactants, and the resulting substances, with new chemical formulas, are called products.

7. Temperature, Thermal Energy, and Particle Motion

Water particle motion changes from liquid to gas as a result of changing thermal energy.
 

Summary of concepts covered (9 games): Temperature measures the average kinetic energy of the particles in a substance. Thermal energy measures the total kinetic energy of the particles in a substance. The greater the motion of particles, the higher a substance’s temperature and thermal energy.

8. Weathering and Erosion

Weathering and erosion are the main culprits for forming beautiful canyons.
 

Summary of concepts covered (9 games): Aside from plate tectonics, moving water (including ice) causes the most significant change to the earth’s surface. Weathering (including physical and chemical) is the process of breaking down rock that is not moving. Erosion is when water actually transports rock and sediment from one place to another.

9. Sound Waves

Sound waves are longitudinal mechanical waves that can travel through solids, liquids, or gases.
 

Summary of concepts covered (10 games): Waves are disturbances that transfer energy from one place to another. Sound waves are a type of mechanical, longitudinal wave. Longitudinal waves cause matter to contract and expand, known as compression and rarefaction. Matter vibrates as sound passes through it.

10. Gene Mutations

Albino snakes have gene mutations in its DNA.
 

Summary of concepts covered (10 games): DNA contains the genetic blueprint of all living things. It comes in double helix-shaped strands, which look like twisted ladders. The ladders’ rungs are made up of two kinds of nucleotide pairs: adenine and thymine, and cytosine and guanine. During cell division, DNA replicates itself, but it sometimes makes errors. Most of these errors are fixed during the process, but the ones that aren’t may become gene mutations.

What will be the top 10 in February? Sign in and play to have your say!

8 Content Review Tips and Resource Articles

Are you looking for content review tips? As the world of standardized testing increases its focus on math and science (hello ACTs), teachers invest more class time on test preparation. Review can be one of the most mundane tasks your class engages in, boring both your students and you, the educator.

That’s why many teachers are looking for content review tips that make test prep fun and meaningful. In fact, many teachers use Legends of Learning’s thousands of games and assessment items for test prep. However, students often need more than one tool to help them lock in and review content day after day.

To help you in your efforts, check out these seven articles filled with tips and tools to strengthen your test prep/content review. Links are in the headlines:

1) Reviving Reviews: Refreshing Ideas Students Can’t Resist – Education World

Looking to end indifference this article asks? Then build a game for your classroom, which of course makes this article our favorite! Education World then links to five resources for teachers to download and use for in class content review.

2) Build Confidence – Edutopia

Did you know that teachers spend as much as 20-50 percent of their class time on test preparation? This article focuses on how to mix up your content review to make that time more useful. Our favorite tip is the last one: Using test preparation to build student confidence.

3) Spaced Learning – Harvard Magazine

You know it’s serious when Harvard is touting a technique. This article details how repeating content over an extended period of time significantly improves learning over the traditional “cram and test” model. Studies show an increase in knowledge by up to 50 percent, and strengthen retention for up to two years. It does take planning your test prep over a period of months instead of a week, but you would improve students’ subject mastery.

4) Turn Review into Play – Edutopia

Legends of Learning games in class.
Games can make test prep more enjoyable. Improve your classroom with game-based learning and other content review tips. - Gulfport Middle School, MS

Want to stop boring the snot out of kids with your test prep? Make it fun and turn exercises into play. We might have a few games for that (Sorry, we couldn’t resist).

5) Five Ways to Make Test Prep Meaningful and Fun – Kathleen Kryza

Don’t miss this article. Besides the usual fun exercises, Kathleen has one very unique tip: Examine your own feelings about the test. If you’re not thrilled about the exam or your class’s potential performance, then you are probably broadcasting negative vibes.

6) Fun In-Class Activities – Apperson

This edtech vendor blog has some great ideas to get students interacting in class during content review. From Jeopardy to a friendly game of Jenga, find fun ways to switch up your test prep.

7) Top 12 Ways to Rev Up Classroom Review Strategies – TeachHub

This is another list article filled with fun ways to mix up content review in class. What caught our eye was letting students serve as teachers and graders. How about a little role reversal to get students engaged?

8) Make Test Prep Meaningful! – Corkboard

This blog post has a singular focus: Have students create their own quizzes. This student-centered activity helps kids master their content while engaging in an authentic, meaningful exercise that has real purpose.

Do you have additional content review tips you would suggest? If so, please add them in the comments section.

The Sun, Moon, and Stars Lesson Plan

One of our most popular learning objectives on the Legends platform is
The Sun, Moon, and Stars: Patterns of Apparent Motion. This is one of those learning objectives that also has a lesson plan associated with it. Here is a web version of that lesson plan.

Learning Objective:​ The sun, moon, and stars: Patterns of apparent motion

NGSS Standard: MS-ESS1.A-1 ​ Patterns of the apparent motion of the sun, the moon, and stars in the sky can be observed, described, predicted, and explained with models.

Objective
Students will be able to:

1. Explain the locations of the Earth, moon and sun and describe their relationship

2. Explain the movements of the Earth, moon and sun by developing models

    3. Explain the different phases of the moon by manipulating models

Time Required:​ 90 minutes

Preparation

Materials Needed:

  • Teacher computer with internet access and projector
  • Student computers/laptop/tablet with internet access (preferably one per student but at least enough for small groups of 3 -4 students)
  • Plastic spoons
  • Oreo cookies (or a like substitute)
  • Black Sharpie pens and colored magic markers
  • Construction paper
  • Paper towels

Teacher Preparation

  • Create Playlist 1, a 10 minute playlist in Legends of Learning with the following game found in “The Sun, Moon and Stars: patterns of Apparent Motion” objective page: Apparent Motion: Orbital Command
  • Create Playlist 2, a 20 minute playlist in Legends of Learning with the following game found in “The Sun, Moon and Stars: patterns of Apparent Motion” objective page: Sun Shooter
  • Separate Oreo cookies, Sharpies and plates for each group (at least 8 cookies per group)

Introduce Topic

Engage: 10 min

1) The teacher will play the video “5F Sun, Earth Moon The Science Video”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTDcfI2dabk

2) As students watch the video, they will write 3 or more new facts that they learned about the earth, moon, and sun in their science journal.

    3) The teacher then leads a discussion about the video and the relationship between the sun, moon and Earth.
    4) The teacher will instruct students to answer 3 questions from the video.

  • How many days does it take for the moon to orbit Earth? (28 days​)
  • How many days does it take Earth to orbit the sun? (365 ¼ days​)
  • How many hours does it take for Earth to complete one rotation on its axis? (24 hours​)

Explore: 10 min

1) Students will sign in to Legends of Learning and enter your teacher code.

2) Teacher will launch Playlist 1.

    3) Students will complete Apparent Motion: Orbital Command as the teacher assists students as needed. Stopping game play to address the questions asked in the game may be needed.

Expand on the Lesson

Explain: 10 min

1) The teacher will demonstrate the orbital and rotational relationship of the Earth, moon and sun by having students in groups of three demonstrate this concept using their bodies to represent each celestial body. If there is limited room in the classroom, the teacher can simply demonstrate this with one group of three students by moving desks enough to clear a space large enough for the demonstration. Optimally, the teacher will be able to use hallway space so several groups can demonstrate this concept. Each group will get a sheet with the following diagram, which demonstrates direction of rotation. (see Appendix A in the lesson plan)

2) As students demonstrate the rotational movements, the teacher assists students as needed as well as pausing the activity to ask questions to assess knowledge.

  • a. In which direction does the Earth rotate on its axis? Does the Earth rotate in the same direction as the Moon? as the Sun? i. The Earth rotates counter-clockwise on its axis. Yes, yes.
  • b. Does the moon orbit around the Sun or the Earth? Why does the moon orbit where it does? i. The Moon orbits around the Earth. This is because of its proximity to the Earth. Although the Sun has a greater gravitational effect due to its size, the moon is close enough to the Earth so that it is caught in its gravitational pull.
  • c. What is a solar eclipse and how does one form? i. A solar eclipse is when the sun is blocked, either partially or fully, by the moon. This occurs when the Moon’s orbit causes it to pass between the Earth and the Sun.

Elaborate and Evaluate

 

Apparent motion of the sun, moon, and stars.

Elaborate: 40 min

1) Students will separate into small groups (three or four)

2) The teacher hands each group a zip-lock bag with at least 8 Oreo cookies and plastic spoon, a blank piece of construction paper and markers.

3) The teacher then hands each group a sheet with the following diagrams: (see Appendix B in the lesson plan)

    4) Using the information on these sheets, students will construct a moon phase chart on the construction paper using the Oreos with various amounts of icing scraped off to represent the various lunar phases. The cookies are then arranged in a linear fashion on the construction paper to mimic the eight phases of the moon. The markers will be used to draw representations of the sun, Earth, directional arrows and titles of each lunar phase. A student example is provided below.

Evaluate: 20 min

1) Launch Playlist 2 for students.

2) Students will play Sun Shooter and be assessed on their ability to answer the questions provided in the game correctly.

3) Teacher will analyze student results to determine what concepts need to be a focus for reteaching.

Possible Extension activity:
Have students participate in the World MOON Project, which is a globally collaborative project that allows students from all over the world to observe and report on lunar phases. http://worldmoonproject.org/

Seasons Change:
Autumn Lesson Plan

Welcome to the first full week of autumn. Now that fall is here, you can discuss the earth’s tilt in relation to the sun. The Earth’s rotational axis is tilted relative to its orbit around the sun. The seasons are a result of that tilt.

The following is an abbreviated lesson plan, excerpted from our Eclipses and Seasons learning objective, found on the Legends of Learning platform.

Objective

Students will be able to:
1. Explain why Earth has seasons
2. Draw a model of Earth’s location during various seasons

Teacher Preparation

1) Prepare short lecture on Earth’s tilt and seasons.

Cross-Cutting Concept Tip: Consider adding a dash of photosynthesis since diminishing autumn light triggers trees shedding their foliage.

2) Create Playlist 1, a 30-minute playlist in Legends of Learning with the following games found in the Eclipses and Seasons learning objective:

  • Ms. Rose & Eclipses and Seasons!
  • Science Fair: Eclipse and Seasons
  • Temple of Seasons

3) Create Playlist 2, a 10-minute playlist in Legends of Learning with 5 assessment questions from the Eclipses and Seasons learning objective

4) Make copies of Eclipses and Seasons Worksheet (see the lesson plan)

Deliver Five Minute Discussion on Earth’s Tilt and Seasons

Deliver short lecture on Earth’s tilt. Take any questions before playing the games.

Launch Playlist

Directions: While playing the first game in Legends of Learning called Ms. Rose & Eclipse and Seasons, use what you learn to complete the diagrams and answer the questions below.

Seasons
Label the seasons in the Northern and Southern hemisphere at each location.
Circle the correct answer –

Question 1: It is summer for the hemisphere that is pointing (away from, towards) the sun.

Question 2: It is winter for the hemisphere that is pointing (away from, towards) the sun.

Question 3: When a hemisphere is pointing towards the sun, the sun’s rays are (stronger, weaker) on that part of Earth, making it (hotter, colder).

Question 4: When a hemisphere is pointing away from the sun, the sun’s rays are (stronger, weaker) on that part of Earth, making it (hotter, colder).

Evaluate (10 minutes)

1. Launch Playlist 2 to your students. When they finish the assessment questions, any time left is freeplay.
2. Analyze student results to determine what concepts need to be a focus for reteaching.

Sign Me Up!

Weather Prediction Lesson Plan

The ongoing Harvey recovery along the Gulf Coast and the equally scary Hurricane Irma bearing down on the Caribbean are likely generating conversations in your science classes. That’s why we’ve decided to share our lesson plan for the Weather Prediction learning objective. The accompanying learning objective has eight games in total, so check them out.

If you want to make a contribution to support Hurricane Harvey victims, here are Charity: Navigator’s recommended charities serving the recovery areas.

Learning Objective: Weather Prediction

Objective

Students will be able to:

  • Describe the four types of air masses and how they interact to form fronts.
  • Explain the causes of weather associated with different fronts.
  • Describe how the meeting of certain fronts can cause extreme weather events.

Time Required: 90 minutes

Materials Needed

  • Teacher computer with internet access and projector
  • Student computers/laptops/tablets with internet access (preferably one per student but at least enough for small groups of 3 -4 students)
  • Weather Map Practice handout (attached)

Teacher Preparation

  • Create Playlist 1, a 10-minute playlist in Legends of Learning with the following game found in the Weather Prediction learning objective: Forecaster
  • Create Playlist 2, a 20-minute playlist in Legends of Learning with the following game found in the Weather Prediction learning objective: Sunshine City
  • Make copies of Weather Map Practice handout (available in the downloadable version of the lesson plan).

Engage: 15 minutes

  • The teacher will play the following videos:
    Air Masses and Fronts (above) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUMcztXPFbA
    Weather Information Part 2 – Air Masses and Fronts (below) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4lg8UfY5DM
  • The students will take notes in their science journal on the different types of air masses and fronts described in the two videos.
  • The teacher will ask the following questions to prompt discussion from the class:

a) Do you ever watch the weather report on the news?
b) What kind of information does the reporter show?
c) What is the weather today? Tell me your guess for the temperature and the likelihood of rain.

Explore: 10 minutes

      • Students will sign in to Legends of Learning and enter the teacher code.
      • Teacher will launch Playlist 1.
      • Students will complete Forecaster as the teacher assists students as needed.
      • Stopping game play to address the questions asked in the game may be needed.

Explain: 20 minutes

      • 1) Student will be given the Weather Map Practice handout. Teacher should also display the map on a projector/Smartboard so that the students are able to see the colors on the map.
      • 2) Student will answer the following questions:a) What kind of weather conditions do you think are associated with the blue line with triangles on it?
        Cold Frontb) Based on your observations, which states and regions may be having severe weather on this day? Give your reasons why.
        Oklahoma, Arizona, California; all of those states contain an ‘L”’(which designates a low pressure system) which typically is accompanied by stormy weather. BONUS: Newfoundland (not a state; however it contains an ‘L’)c) What kind of weather would you expect where the warm and cold fronts meet in western Canada? Why? Clear to partly cloudy. Where warm and cold fronts meet is called a stationary front, and weather along a stationary front is typically calm.
      • 3) Teacher will discuss the answers to the handout with the students.

Elaborate: 25 minutes

1) Students will log on to The NOAA National Weather Service Just for Kids website. https://www.weather.gov/cae/justforkids.html

      • 2) The students will first click on the tab labeled Forecast Maps http://www.wpc.ncep.noaa.gov/national_forecast/natfcst.php
      • 3) The students will describe the national weather on that day by analyzing the “Today’s Forecast” tab. They will do the same for the next two days by clicking on the tabs “Tomorrow’s Forecast” and “Day 3 Forecast”, respectively.
        a) Students will write their weather forecast for each in their science journal.
      • 4) Students will then try to forecast what the weather will be on Day 4.
        a) Students will write their weather prediction in their science journal.
      • 5) Using the “Today’s Forecast” Map, students will make a hypothesis what the weather will be like in their home town/city for the next three days.
        a) Students will write their predictions in their science journal.
      • 6) Teacher will discuss student predictions as a whole class.
      • 7) Teach will display the The NOAA National Weather Service Just for Kids page and will check the accuracy of their forecasts by entering their city name or zip code in the “Customize your Weather.gov” section on the top left of the screen.
      • 8) If time allows, students may proceed to the Weather Information Display icon and make their own weather maps by customizing the parameters displayed.

Evaluate: 20 minutes

    • 1) Launch Playlist 2 for students.
    • 2) Students will play Sunshine City and be assessed on their ability to answer the questions provided in the game correctly.
    • 3) Teacher will analyze student results to determine what concepts need to be a focus for reteaching.

New TEKS and GSE Compliant Interfaces

We’ve got great news! We mapped our games and assessment items to meet science standards for Texas and Georgia middle school students. This means we have two new interfaces into our product; one that is built for Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) and, one for the Georgia Standards of Excellence (GSE).

This interface is in addition to our standard Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) interface.

Interested educators from Texas and Georgia can access the new interfaces by contacting us and requesting their accounts be made TEKS or GPS compliant, respectively. Simply contact us and request your preferred interface.

The new TEKS and GSE compliant interface from Legends of Learning.

“Cobb Schools are excited to be using the engaging Legends of Learning resources to teach our Georgia science standards,” said Sally Creel, STEM and Innovation Supervisor, Cobb County Schools. “Teachers are working hard to maximize every minute in the classroom. We don’t have time to waste on resources that do not align to our standards.”

If you haven’t checked out the Legends of Learning platform yet, give it a shot! All teachers can try LoL games for free. Create your account today.

In addition to TEKS and GSE, we are currently working to integrate our games with Virginia’s Standards of Learning (SOL).

“We know there is a shortage of quality classroom material that will help educators teach to these standards in the important subject area of science,” said Josh Goldberg, chief strategy officer, Legends of Learning. “We understand teachers in Texas and Georgia have been waiting for this news because they have been telling us for a long time that LoL helps their students master complex science lessons.”

Let us know if you have any feedback or questions relating to our curriculum-aligned games and interfaces.

Five Questions Answered About Legends of Learning Playlists

This year, wow your class with game based learning by creating the perfect Legends of Learning playlist. Much like a DJ, teachers have the ability to deploy their “set list” of games and assessment questions to students. But playlists can do much more than that.

To illustrate the power of this feature, we decided to answer teachers’ five most frequently asked questions.

1.  How can I make sure I’m selecting the right games for my student playlists?

Selecting the right games based on student interest or academic level is easy with the detailed game modal window. Simply click on any game from within the learning objective screen and the game modal window displays a game overview, teacher ratings, curriculum suggestions, and the option to play the game yourself. When you’ve determined which games are the right fit, click the “Create a Playlist” button and drag the games into your new playlist.

Game Modal Window

Create a Playlist

2. How do I customize my playlists?

There are several ways to customize playlists for your students. First, name each playlist and add it to your saved playlists section for future use. Next, try dragging games into your playlist and then moving the games around by clicking and dragging. Finally, use the time slider to shorten or lengthen the amount of time students can play.

Customizable Playlist: Name It, Rearrange It, Time It

3. How do I launch my playlists to students?

When you launch playlists to your students, you give them an engaging gameplay experience while following their progress in real time on your live teacher dashboard. You can even launch different games to different student groups and create a personalized gaming experience while ensuring they all master the same content.

To get started, locate the dropdown menu under each playlist, which gives you the option to launch to everyone or to a specific group. To create a class or group, navigate to the students page and click the “+” button next to the word “class”. Type in the name of your class or group and press save. You can then click the dropdown next to each student and add them to their group.

Click the back button on your browser to return to your playlist. The names of your classes and groups will appear in the dropdown menu at the bottom of the playlist. When you launch your playlist to a specific group, only the students in that group will have access to the playlist.

Launch to Everyone

Create Your Class

Launch to a Class/Group

4. How do I know students will be asked questions during game play?

Assessment packs are valuable if you are playing games that are activity based and contain few questions. Click on the assessment icon next to the game list to add assessment packs to your playlist.

You can control the number of questions in each assessment—from 1 to 99—by clicking the arrows. Then, click and drag to place the assessment pack before, between, or after the games. Use multiple assessment packs and create a pre-test/post-test to gauge student mastery.

Assessment Pack Icon

Assessment Pack as Pre-Test/Post-Test

5. How do my students sign in and start playing?

Students sign in to your playlist by navigating to login.legendsoflearning.com and clicking the students icon. Students are then prompted to enter your teacher launch code, located in the upper right hand corner of your playlist.

Teacher Launch Code

 

Students sign up using their first name and last initial, or sign in with their previously created username.

Student Login Page

Once you launch your playlist, each student’s dot appears in your live teacher dashboard. Individual student answers to game and assessment pack questions are recorded inside student dots.

Live Dashboard with Student Signed In

Legends of Learning strongly values the feedback of teachers and welcomes any questions you have on our playlist feature. Login today to create your perfect playlist. Have a great summer and happy gaming!

Study: Students Win When Teachers Deploy Learning Games

Earlier this morning, Legends of Learning issued a press release about the Vanderbilt University study “Substantial Integration of Typical Educational Games into Extended Curricula.” The following is a version of this research.

In the largest study of its kind, researchers found students boosted their test scores by the equivalent of over half a letter grade in three weeks when their teachers used digital games in the classroom. The new research, published by Journal of the Learning Sciences, demonstrates the benefits of game-based learning for students when compared to students who had no access to such games.

Substantial Integration of Typical Educational Games into Extended Curricula,” was co-authored by researchers at Vanderbilt University and involved more than 1,000 students of 13 teachers in 10 diverse urban, suburban and rural schools in seven states (get the executive summary here). The educators integrated a standards-aligned set of 55 typical educational games into their curricula. Each teacher taught at least one class with the games and one class without.

The research found students in the classes with the games outperformed their peers on essay and multiple choice questions. It also found:


  • Engagement increased. Teachers reported dramatic increases in engagement among students who learned with the games.

  • Teachers enthused. Ninety-two percent of teachers who used the education games said they would like to use similar games again because of the impact on student performance and engagement.

Researcher and co-author Douglas Clark, professor, Vanderbilt University’s College of Education and Human Development, says, “The results highlight the potential of digital games for enhancing instruction, particularly in light of the teachers strongly positive experiences and interest in continuing to use games like these in the future. This study is important because it is based on data collected with a large set of games used by teachers in extended curricula across multiple school districts.”

Two of his co-authors, Dr. Vadim Polikov, a research scientist, and Aryah Fradkin, a former teacher, tapped into the results to launch Legends of Learning. The online platform is now home to thousands of curriculum-based education games and assessment items for middle school earth and space science, life sciences and physical science curricula. Teachers across the U.S. are using the same kind of standards-aligned games validated by the study to raise engagement and test scores. The games are available via the Legends of Learning site.

Dr. Polikov is presenting the findings next week at the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Conference in San Antonio, Texas, on Monday, June 26. Legends of Learning will demonstrate its games and platform live at ISTE at booth 2632.

Some highlights from the Legends of Learning platform include:


  • Short games (5–25 minutes) that align to middle school science curriculum standards to ensure content engages and helps students succeed in their studies

  • An intuitive platform similar to Netflix and Amazon that makes games easy and natural to use in classrooms

  • A dashboard that allows teachers to observe student comprehension in real time, create game playlists for classes and individual students, and assess content mastery

  • A feedback loop that rewards game developers based on ratings given to their games by teachers and students, which allows the best games to rise to the top

The study was published in The Journal of the Learning Sciences (JLS), one of the top peer-reviewed academic journals for research on education and learning. JLS is ranked in the top 3 percent (5th out of 230) of all scholarly educational research journals as rated by Thomson Reuters, Journal Citation Reports®.

For Teachers
For Schools
For Districts