App of the week: behavior management on the theme of fantasy

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Ed. note: the app of the week picks are now organized with the help of the editors of Graphite.org, a free service from Common Sense Education. Click here to read the full app review.

Arts and crafts

What does it look like? Classcraft is a game-based, fantasy-themed classroom behavior management tool. Students choose a class (warrior, healer, or mage) and form teams, then work together to gain experience points through positive classroom behaviors and academic achievement. As students level up, they gain powers with real effects (like being able to be two minutes late for class). Students can also lose life for negative behavior unless another player intercedes and uses a power on their behalf. If a student loses all of his / her life points, he / she “falls in battle” and must bear the consequences (for example, copying part of a text). As with powers, there are some predefined suggestions, but these can be changed.

Price: Free / subscription

Notes: 4-12

Advantages: Instant feedback and accountability encourage students to act responsibly.

The inconvenients: A big investment of time in advance, and if it is not correctly edited and supervised, it could be more punitive than favorable.

At the end of the line: Already a solid product and still in the process of refinement, Classcraft is fast becoming the premier destination for motivating good student behavior in classrooms receptive to the game-based premise.

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