All posts in Complications

Real-Team Strategy

Did you know that “team” stands for “together everyone achieves more”?

It doesn’t really. I got that from some cheesy motivational poster that I used to have in my classroom. Though it’s honestly not a terrible way to portray the advantages of teamwork in a school setting.

For anyone who has tried the ClassRealm paper version you know how difficult it can be to keep up with all of the moving parts. XP, levels, achievements, attendance, homework and more all add to the load. It can certainly be overwhelming, especially to a new teacher.

So here’s a little secret, a real life cheat code (put down that Game Genie): ENLIST YOUR STUDENTS. It sounds like a  no brainer, sure, but many teacher don’t even think to put their students in charge of tasks they normally handle themselves.

I’m not asking you to have students submit grades or assign detentions. Just give them easy jobs that make your workload a little lighter.

“Billy, you’re in charge of attendance. Please mark those absent on this sheet.”

“Ashley, you’re in charge of XP. Whenever I tell you to add some points to a students please do so.”

And so on. Students love this. I promise you they do. The key here is not to assign duties, but to offer them up. Who wants to do this potentially mind numbing task? You’d be surprised at the number of hands that will go up.

Students (unbelievably) love responsibility, just not the kind that is thrust upon them. Homework and schoolwork is a chore because you tell them it must be done. A volunteer job in the classroom is shot at something new, something they may (and usually do) enjoy. Most students know the joys of helping others and will go out of their way to make sure their job is done well.

So the next time you feel like the amount of work you have to do is insurmountable don’t forget that you have an army of small helpful creatures at your disposure. Treat them with respect and kindness and they will crawl over each other to lend you a hand.

ClassRealm Complications: Multiplayer Madness

Complication – Too Many Students or Classes

There’s nothing quite like playing a wonderful multiplayer title with your best buddies. More players usually means more fun, but sometimes there’s just not enough controllers to go around. I mean you’re already using that one with the wonky control stick, you know the one.

This year my everyday teaching schedule has changed quite a bit, and it has wreaked havoc on my students’ traditional ClassRealm experience. Unlike previous years, my first two math classes have students coming in from different homerooms, which means I really only see all my homeroom students for two periods a day (sometimes only one). It’s exceptionally hard to dole out experience points and achievements when you have so many kids coming in and out of your room all day long, especially when most of them aren’t even part of your ClassRealm crew.

Now I would love to give every student who walks through my door the full ClassRealm treatment, but it’s out of the question when it comes to the paper system I have in place. Sometimes it’s hard to keep track of my 30 homeroom students, let alone the 40+ other kids I’m working with on a daily basis. This just goes to show how hard it might be to run multiple ClassRealm paper systems at once, say in a high school setting where you have different students almost every period. What’s a teacher to do?


The best answer is a simple-to-use online system that can be managed via tablet, phone or computer desktop. It seems while this multi-student and multi-class complication may be an issue on paper it would most certainly be more feasible if it was managed using the power of the internets and modern technology. It’s too bad no one is planning on building one for ClassRealm. What? We are? Well then. This could very well become a complication of the past. Here’s hoping.


ClassRealm Complications: Who Cares?

Howdy folks. Welcome to another exciting edition of ClassRealm Complications. In this blog post I will address a particular trouble I’m having or have had while using ClassRealm in my room. So without further ado…

Complication – Lack of Interest

There will always be students who don’t care. It’s not that they don’t care about everything, just certain parts of school which don’t interest them. I have students who love math, yet loath science and don’t even feel it’s worth their time. ClassRealm is not the end-all be-all when it comes to students interests, but it’s a pretty great way to generate buzz within my classroom. Many students always ask what their level is, how many XP they need to get to the next level and what they need to do to get that next achievement. Not every student though. Some just shrug when they get XP or level up. They don’t try for achievements. ClassRealm is fine with them, but it’s not worth the extra work in their mind. It’s completely understandable. As I mentioned above, not everyone has the same tastes. Some students just want to sleep (See above).


Kick those kids out of class. Kidding! The best part about ClassRealm is that it’s fully customizable. The solution here is to make it more attractive to those students who don’t see it’s value. What do they care about? Sitting with their friends? Extra recess? Push them towards a goal that they feel is worth making in the first place. Even some of those kids who don’t care crack a smile every now and then when they level up. Maybe they want to be part of the system, they just don’t feel like they can add much. Make a big deal when an uninterested student, or any student for that matter, levels up. They just added to your classes overall level count! Your class is one step closer to one of their goals.

ClassRealm Complications: Paper Cuts

Hello ClassRealm fans,

While looking back over some of my blog posts I noticed that I always focus on the positive aspects of ClassRealm. I mean, it IS a completely perfect system, right? Right?! RIGHT?!? Wrong. I guess when it comes to promoting ClassRealm I usually want to focus on the good parts. It’s not exactly hard to see why one might do that. I feel it’s only right to occasionally go over some of the issues I have with ClassRealm. Welcome to the first installment of… ClassRealm Complications!


Complication – Keeping Track of Data

There are so many different aspects to ClassRealm that keeping track of all the levels, XP, rewards, profiles, and individual achievements is an immense hassle. The biggest issue is keeping track of all the papers involved. Every story and book overview written has to be read and recored in the Achievement Log. Each achievement is worth a certain number of XP, which have to be recorded on the Level Sheet. Once a student has so many XP they level up. Once the class has so many levels they earn a reward. As you can imagine it becomes hard to keep track of it all. It’s frustrating to grab my keys at the end of a long day and walk towards the door only to remember that I haven’t logged all my ClassRealm information for the day. I don’t always remember either. Things come up, or I have to make it to my coaching job and the ClassRealm paper work piles up. People ask me why I don’t just put everything in a spread sheet, but that’s just one more step to worry about. ClassRealm is a wonderful system and it works well as long as you can stay on top of it. But can you? As a teacher with dozens of other things to worry about, ClassRealm shouldn’t be the hassle it is when done on paper.


Now this problem can (and will) be solved with one simple fix – an online interface. A student could submit a story for review on the ClassRealm site or a ClassRealm app and it would send it right to me, the teacher. I could read it, deem it worthy and the computer would log it away. The site would award the student an achievement, XP, levels and inform me of their reward (if there was one). As much as I love paper, as a material, I’ll be filled with joy the day ClassRealm goes paperless. The potential for our system skyrockets with the use of technology and that thing people call “the interweb”. Now we just have to get an interface made. Easier said then done, eh? Until that time I’ll be staying a little later then I’d prefer, making sure all the levels add up, making sure every students gets the XP and achievements they deserve.