QotM-2019-12 (Brittney Judkins)

High school chemistry lesson — December’s Quest of the Month

Want to get high schoolers excited about phase changes between states of matter or use role-playing to teach a science unit? Classcraft’s Quest of the Month has got you covered! 

Each month at Classcraft, we choose one awesome quest — our personalized, self-paced, choose-your-own-adventure lessons for students — to share with educators everywhere! Our December selection is a high-school science unit, “It’s Just a Phase,” created by Brittney Judkins (@Imapikachu1117).

As students play their way through this physical science unit they’ll learn about phase changes, elemental properties, and practice with Boyle’s and Charles’ Law. They’ll also be challenged and engaged with random rewards and engaging activities and, like all the best choose-your-own adventures, decisions they make along the way will change their outcomes.

To give her quest a fun twist, Brittney has cleverly blended a variety of resources including two Boss Battles — during the “Here, There Be Monsters” tasks, students take on the Sea Raptal [click to import this boss battle] and at “Top of the Tower” they must vanquish the Winged Dragos — a “potions list” students will have to use in the Quest [To print your own, click File> Download/or Make a Copy], and a booklet for the scholars to record their research [get it here].

Bonus tip: Be like Brittney, have even more fun by aging the pages to add a little authenticity to your quest! Simply print pdf as a booklet and then fold in half and soak for 10-15 minutes in steeped tea. 

If your science students are like Brittney’s, they’ll have a blast while also making scientific explorations. Import this quest now to start using it with your class. 

If you use Classcraft, you can submit the quests you’ve created for the next Quest of the Month on our submission page. Our goal is to spotlight the amazing educators who inspire us and share creative, teacher-made content with our global community of forward-thinking educators.

Take it away, Brittney!

Classcraft Gamemaster Brittney Judkins
Classcraft Gamemaster Brittney Judkins

What are your teaching stats?

Brittney: I’ve been teaching for 11 years and currently teach science (mostly chemistry), to students in Grades 8 and 10 at Kang Chiao International School, in Linkou, Taipei, Taiwan. 

What inspires you?

Brittney: My students, really. I always want them to enjoy coming to class. I know many students don’t like math or science, and I feel like that’s such a shame because these subjects are so much fun! My inspiration comes from wanting to share how much fun things can be with these subjects. 

What made you decide to use Classcraft? 

Brittney: I’m an avid video gamer, and gamification was something that I wanted to look into for my classes because it seemed like the perfect way to blend my two loves: games and teaching. Plus, so many of my students love video games, I thought that having a character they could play around with would motivate them to improve and work in school. 

Your favorite things about Classcraft are …

Brittney: I love, love, love the Quests. When I first started using Classcraft, they weren’t a thing and it was something that I felt was really missing. I’ve been so excited that it’s become a permanent feature and my first year using them has been such a success with my eighth graders. 

Quest: It's Just a Phase
Quest: It’s Just a Phase

Why do you love the quest you created? 

Brittney: I actually like almost all the quest lines I’ve created for my Grade 8 science classes. They all connect, so the students really feel like they have a story going when they come to class. I like this quest especially because it can stand alone well and is a very good basic quest. 

My favorite part was the rotating characters in the Boss Battles. You know how so often the same kids are always the ones answering, and there are the others who just always look to their neighbor for help? By separating the classes, they had to really think for themselves and test their own knowledge. It also got them working with other students since those who weren’t “up” couldn’t help. I loved watching my students get into this one, especially when they ran into the “surprise” battle. It was just so much fun going through this and watching the students get so into it. 

What did your students think of your quest? How did they react? 

Brittney: They loved it! When we were doing this unit, I left it on a couple of cliffhangers at the end of class sometimes and they would ALWAYS beg me to tell them what happened next. I see my students three times a week, instead of every day, and I even had some of them run by my room and ask “Dr. Nikki, can you pleaaaaaaase tell us what happens next? Please?!?!” 

It was awesome to see them get so involved and invested in it. And whenever they had to separate and fight the battles, they would always pep talk themselves and each other, and that was incredibly great to see. They were always so positive and encouraging of each other, even when they weren’t involved with the battle. It really fostered working together, even outside of your usual group. 

What is one of your hidden talents?

Brittney: I’m not really sure if it’s hidden or not, but I do crafts and make a lot of Perler bead designs from pictures. I’ve mostly made Pokemon ones, but they’re original designs and I actually really enjoy them! 🙂 

What accomplishment from this year has filled you with pride?

Brittney: We had parent-teacher conferences recently, and a parent told me that he always knew when his son had a science class coming up because his son was always excited when he woke up. When his dad asked him why the student always replied: “today is science day!” This student loves Classcraft, the experiments, and the material. He’s naturally science inclined, but his dad told me he hasn’t ever been this excited to go to school before, and he really appreciates what I do with the kids. 

As a teacher, that’s really what we always hope for, but that’s incredibly difficult to achieve with all the other things going on. So many other parents have told me similar things – that their kids love coming to class. It makes me feel really, really good and accomplished to know that I’ve successfully shared the fun of science with my kids. 

How do you think students will remember you and your class?

Brittney: I’m usually the “weird” teacher. My favorite quote from one of my students was when we got a new student, I snapped my fingers and said “Pika” (I like Pokemon), and the new girl just kind of gave me a strange look. My student leaned over and said, “Ms. J is weird, you get used to her” and then gave me a huge smile. It’s good sometimes to be the weird one. 

I’m also widely recognized for my mismatched socks. My students will often ask, “Who are you wearing today?”, so I’ll always take my shoes off and show them. They have fun playing “Who’s that Pokemon?!”

Which Hogwarts house would you be sorted into?

Brittney: Ravenclaw 🙂 At least according to numerous quizzes and my friend’s expert opinion. Apparently, I’m also a bit of a Hufflepuff, but my answers for team-oriented things supposedly makes me heavily Ravenclaw.

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