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  #1  
Old March 5th, 2009, 05:40 PM
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My Heroscape Class - Day 6!

I may have mentioned in a thread before that I was given the opportunity to teach a subject at a local homeschool co-op. Last year I had taught science, and the kids there absolutely adored me, for some reason. Hard to see why, right?

I mean, if I weren't me, I wouldn't let my kids near myself. But I digress.

This time around, I wanted to pick something non-academic. Since no one had picked "board games," which was an actual subject, I picked that and chose Heroscape. The leaders of the groups said okay, to my astonishment. Here's some pictures of the room and the five maps I set up.






I wanted to make some small maps just so they could learn the basics, at least for the first week. I also set up some Basic Game armies.

It was murder on my Master Game-playing self to actually pick one squad of Gladiatrons. I kept wanting to reach for that second squad and the Blastatrons...but I had to remind myself these armies are for learning the game only. Like training wheels. Training armies.

While I waited for my class to start, some of the other parents/teachers asked what Heroscape was. I thought up a quick explanation that was pretty apt, I think: "It's like playing Army Men, but with rules to it." The parents accepted this, but I was rather disheartened to find that one parent had pulled her boy out of the class that morning before he'd even gotten to participate in it, presumably because she didn't want him playing war games. Oh, well.

I had a total of eight boys in my class, from 3rd-5th grade, and it was an absolute blast. It was pretty hectic teaching all these kids the basics of attacking and moving in the Basic game. Each picked an army they liked, and there was a good mix. One of the parents stayed in too see what it was all about, and she seemed very interested. She even helped some of the boys with remembering how to find their attack and defense numbers! She grasped the basics of the game very well; hopefully, she buys a set for her son.


(Note: this boy isn't playing by himself. The other boy had stepped out for a second.)


All in all, it was a good forty-five minutes. Each group got their game done. Despite my mother's repeated "They aren't getting this, it's too complicated," () only one boy didn't quite grasp the concepts fully, but this is a six-week class. There's plenty of time for him to fully get it. Stay tuned next Thursday for when I post pics from that day. We're going to play another Basic game to reinforce the concepts, then hopefully move on to Master the week after that.

Last edited by Pumpkin_King; April 9th, 2009 at 09:42 PM.
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  #2  
Old March 5th, 2009, 05:52 PM
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Re: My Heroscape Class

Thanks for sharing, PK!


Your curiosity will be the death of you....
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Old March 5th, 2009, 06:04 PM
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Thumbs up Re: My Heroscape Class

Holy crap! Do they pay you to do that?! Nice gig...I can only imagine the parents looking at you like you were some kind of child molester... Again, nice gig. Keep shaping those young minds..
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pumpkin_King View Post
(Note: this boy isn't playing by himself. The other boy had stepped out for a second.)
I'm glad he's not playing with himself....sorry...couldn't resist...

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  #4  
Old March 5th, 2009, 06:09 PM
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Re: My Heroscape Class

No, I didn't get paid. It was on my own time. But it was fun regardless.
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Old March 5th, 2009, 06:16 PM
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Re: My Heroscape Class

Awesome, PK! Playing board games is a good way to build math and critical thinking skills.

~Aldin, edumacatedly

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or his desserts are small
That dares not put it to the touch
to gain or lose it all
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Old March 5th, 2009, 06:54 PM
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Thumbs up Re: My Heroscape Class

Dang PK, you may as well have just given them all bags of crack.

Seriously, good work... getting the next generation of 'Scapers hooked at an early age. I hope to see more pictures and reports from the next 5 classes.
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Old March 5th, 2009, 07:01 PM
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Thumbs up Re: My Heroscape Class

Excellent work in molding the next generation.

The dice help those who help themselves.
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Old March 5th, 2009, 07:56 PM
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Re: My Heroscape Class

Good job PK!

I taught a 12 week homeschool "gaming" class where each week we covered a type of game (word games, dice games, abstract strategy games, etc)

I called Heroscape a "simulation game" and told the kids it was my favorite genre, so the kids were pretty excited when we got to it. We ended up playing the advanced game, but without order markers, and it went pretty well.

Several kids parents contacted me later about how their son wouldn't stop talking about the game and how/where they could get it.

I'd expect the same from your bunch...
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Old March 6th, 2009, 09:25 AM
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Re: My Heroscape Class

That's great PK. If you want another tool to try and convince the parents that it's worthwhile you're welcome to wave these probability notes around while saying "look: this is college-level work".
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Old March 6th, 2009, 10:47 AM
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Re: My Heroscape Class

Wow, thanks for the overwhelmingly positive responses, guys.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aldin View Post
Awesome, PK! Playing board games is a good way to build math and critical thinking skills.

~Aldin, edumacatedly
In additon to playing the game, I plan to do some squad-draft-based math later on.

Aubrien Archers x 3 = 210

That sort of thing. Do it backwards, and you have division. That actually helped my brother understand multiplication better.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Garada View Post
Dang PK, you may as well have just given them all bags of crack.
That's what I'm aiming for!
Quote:
Originally Posted by EyeOfSauron View Post
Good job PK!

Several kids parents contacted me later about how their son wouldn't stop talking about the game and how/where they could get it.

I'd expect the same from your bunch...
I fully expect the mom that got involved with the game to ask how much it is and where to get it next week. Her son was extremely ecstatic about the game, proclaiming it "awesome!"
Quote:
Originally Posted by ollie View Post
That's great PK. If you want another tool to try and convince the parents that it's worthwhile you're welcome to wave these probability notes around while saying "look: this is college-level work".
I will definitely print those out and look them over, if just to show people that harder concepts can be applied to a so-called "kids game." But it seems I might be able to introduce some basic algebra, too.
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Old March 6th, 2009, 10:53 AM
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Re: My Heroscape Class

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pumpkin_King View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by ollie View Post
That's great PK. If you want another tool to try and convince the parents that it's worthwhile you're welcome to wave these probability notes around while saying "look: this is college-level work".
I will definitely print those out and look them over, if just to show people that harder concepts can be applied to a so-called "kids game." But it seems I might be able to introduce some basic algebra, too.
In decades to come when people are looking back at why Math was replaced as a core discipline by Heroscape Studies, maybe this thread will be recognised as the starting point.
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Old March 6th, 2009, 11:16 AM
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Re: My Heroscape Class

I showed the basic game to a bunch of boys in the same age group last summer at my work, and they really liked it as well.

Thanks for spreading the love of this game, and reminding me to do to the same.

Last summer I had to explain why I was missing 2 days of work (GenCon). This year, it will likely be three.

There are so many varied levels of age appropriate ways to teach math through this game.

2 years old: Let them pick up their favorite dragon or dinosaur and go, "RAWR!"

3-4 years old: Have them pick up the right number of dice and roll them. Tell them to count how many show red symbols (skulls) or blue symbols (shields).

5 years old: Have them look on the cards to read how many dice they need to roll, move, etc... "Look at the number in Gray, red, blue," etc... Have them calculate wounds or hits themselves.

6-7 Have them read the words for attack, defense and so on, all by themselves. Start making it very clear to them how important height advantage is. Remind them of everything.

8+: Work on the master game. Read the powers, and so on. Build armies with basic multiplication and division, as PK said.

10+: Work on teaching them the basics of probability. Eventually they might understand Ollie's paper.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fomox View Post
(I've also played many matches with great, fun people who were using Q9. So using Q9 doesn't make you a tool. But being a tool sure seems to make you use Q9.)

Last edited by Jexik; March 6th, 2009 at 11:22 AM.
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