Sunday, October 21, 2018

The Day Bloxels Came To Van Meter For The Big Board Game Jam!

On October 16, we had something very exciting come to Van Meter Elementary.  
The Bloxels Big Board Game Jam came to our community on that day thanks to our friends.... 
 Josh, Caleb and....
...Amber from Bloxels.  
They were there to work with our 60 5th graders for the entire morning.  

To kick off the day, Josh taught them all about....

Bloxels EDU and how they were going to turn their stories into video games.  
With Bloxels, students build interactive stories that become video games.
And one of the best parts, Bloxels is collaborative from the start as they work together and can even share and play the videos games of their own and of their classmates.  
As Josh explained Bloxels, our students hung on to every word as they learned...
....they would be getting into groups to write a story with a game title, hero, enemy/challenge, objective and overall story.  They would first work on the worksheets that Josh provided to write their video game story and use the grid to lay out their backgrounds and characters. 
In Bloxels, all of the different colored cubes....
...have specific functions so as they lay out their video games on the grids, 
they use the different colored markers to specify what function...
...they need to create their video game. 
With the white cube being the Story Block, this was one of the most important things for them to think about as they would have a place to add the objectives and story of their video game. 
When Josh was done explaining how to create their video game, he told them all how to log into their account within Bloxels EDU.  It is so nice, because every student can have their very own login within the class platform.  
Our 5th graders would have most of the morning to collaborate with their team to write, map out and create their video game.  
It was fun to walk around and hear the brainstorming taking place as they.... 
...dreamed up their team name and video game. 
One of my favorites....The Glazed Donuts and they created a game where their main character Sage has to battle Evil Dude to save the world!  
The engagement, excitement and passion we saw the 5th graders put into their video games was inspiring for all of us to see.  
The characters, 
backgrounds and how they put their video games together were amazing!   
As they worked,  
...and Caleb were there to give the kids advice...
...and talk through their video game building.  
We watched them problem solve,  
test things out, 
and work together.  
They played their games as they created them... 
...working within the Bloxels app too.   
The detail and thought they put into their video games was.....

They couldn't wait to share what they were creating.    
At the end of the morning, each group presented their video games and played them for the group.  
This was one of their favorite parts of the morning as they loved sharing and... 
...seeing what their friends had created. 
 They couldn't wait to try every one of the video games out too!  
The Big Board Game Jam was one of the best days!  It not only gave our students an opportunity to work together and communicate to write and create a video game, it also gave them the sense of accomplishment through success, trial and error, testing, playing and presenting with their classmates and teachers.  

Bloxels showed our students that they can do anything!  And just think....there might be future video game creators in this group! 

This is just the start of using Bloxels at Van Meter.  For the next four weeks, all of our elementary students will be writing, creating and playing their own games....and we will be using Bloxels with our secondary students too.  We can't wait to see all of them teach and support one another. 

Thank you Amber, Caleb and Josh!  You guys are awesome.  We love what you and Bloxels have brought to Van Meter!  You made a difference!  

And don't forget to watch the video too. :) 

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