Jamie Halsey is a fourth grade teacher from Roseville, California and the co-host of two popular education podcasts. She also just so happens to bring 21 years of teaching experience to her classroom. And whether it’s a result of her close proximity to the movie magic of Hollywood or her frequent trips to the Star Wars-themed attractions in the Disneyland park, it’s safe to say that “The Force is Strong” with this master teacher — who has channeled her love of all things Jedi into a sprawling yearlong adventure that has captivated the imaginations of her fourth grade students.
A Long Time Ago In a Galaxy Far, Far Away...
Teaching requires so much time and mental energy. I love creating gamified experiences for my students, however, it takes up so much time! And even though I have all sorts of ideas for “larger than life” experiences that I’d love to try in my classroom, I found frustration in not having enough bandwidth at the end of the day to sit down and hammer out all the necessary lesson planning details that really make those innovative, immersive experiences come to life for my students.
As much as I love creating these from scratch, it meant I had to give up my downtime and personal time to build the quality resources that live in my brain.
EMC² Learning is a self-contained powerhouse of PD and resources. I can grab a resource for my next lesson on the fly or do a deep dive on a topic with a skill builder course. Each resource has a detailed description of how to use it in the classroom and some even come with video tutorials. Each resource has been vetted because both John and Michael have actually play tested it in their classrooms. These resources are truly unique, built on sound pedagogical principals, and they are constantly putting out new ones. Whether engaging in a book study or online events put on by Michael and John, I feel supported pursuing new ways to innovate in the classroom. There is a community of like-minded educators in the Break Room space that are constantly sharing ideas.
The Ss are having a blast creating animal mini reports using the Research Raiders template from #emc2learning. Ss were in the zone & when it was time to transition to art, they voted to keep writing. 🤯 They were excited to get their guidebook appraised. #xplap #dcjesdproud pic.twitter.com/A4rhWfWFCr— Jamie Halsey (@mrsjamiehalsey) May 14, 2022
Becoming A "Force" For Student-Centered Instruction
I have always been a fan of both Michael and John’s work. I have their books, listened to their podcasts and have engaged with them online through social media. They have guided me through my journey as a gamified educator. When they launched EMC² Learning, I signed up immediately. However, it wasn’t until I started poking around on the site, that I realized how magical their collective vision could be. I have a Star Wars themed gamified class and found the plethora of gamification resources along with the space themed activities. It was as if they were built just for me! It had everything I needed to take my gamified class to the next level and save me time in the process.
Beyond that, the fresh ideas and new ways of engaging students, like the Triple Threat Throwdown, Scramble Centers, and the SOS activities have really pushed me as an educator. I am constantly trying new things, engaging in their content, and learning every day. My students benefit as a result because my classroom is playful but rigorous, high energy but thought-provoking, and above all, student-centered.
My students and I are having fun learning together! They are always on board for our next challenge and love testing out new resources. In this difficult time in education, I feel EMC² Learning is a light in the darkness and a place that inspires educators like myself.
Ss quizzing each other on their reading using quick close ended questions. What a fab way to debrief the last few chapters of the novel we are reading. Thank #emc2learning for the spooky themed game of clothespin bumper cars. @CoyoteRidge_ #RTAlliance @MeehanEDU @mrmatera pic.twitter.com/BRyHo7KTe0— Jamie Halsey (@mrsjamiehalsey) October 21, 2022
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