QotM-2019-10 (Melissa Lanning)

Lesson plan for elementary math — October’s Quest of the Month

Add some Halloween spirit to your math lesson with Classcraft’s Quest of the Month!  

Each month, we choose one awesome quest to promote. For October, the math lesson plan “Quest of Epic Proportions,” created by Melissa Lanning (@noprepinmyplan), really jumped out at us. 

Math can be hair-raising, but make no bones about it, this quest is not! Melissa’s Halloween-themed activity features a lighthearted tale suited to elementary students. And the engaging tasks make Common Core math less frightening. 

Students will face off with skeletons and trolls as they solve math problems, decimals, place value, and multi-digit multiplication and division, all in the search for the “ring of wisdom.” Import this quest now to start using it with your class.

Quests are personalized, self-paced, choose-your-own-adventure lessons for students. If you use Classcraft, you can submit quests you’ve created to be 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.

Now, here’s Melissa!

Classcraft Gamemaster Melissa Lanning
Classcraft Gamemaster Melissa Lanning

What are your teaching stats?

Melissa: I have been teaching 5th grade math for three years at Bernadine Sitts Intermediate School in Garden City, Kansas. 

What inspires you?

Melissa: I’m inspired by my students and my children. When I was in school, math was difficult for me, and I wanted to change that for my students by making school fun and exciting.

What made you decide to use Classcraft? 

Melissa: I decided to use Classcraft because I wanted a fun, engaging, and challenging way to integrate technology into my classroom. My students love playing video games, and Classcraft was a fantastic way to bridge the gap between games and curriculum. 

Your favorite things about Classcraft are …

Melissa: I love how engaged and excited my students are to play Classcraft. I use Classcraft for Boss Battles, and my class turns it into an entire competition with teams competing against each other. I also love how it allows me to reward my students and let them pick their own rewards for good behavior and completing work.

Quest of Epic Proportions

Why do you love the quest you created? 

Melissa: I wanted something fun and engaging for my students to review mathematical concepts. The storyline was so much fun to create, and I built the characters around some of my students. I also wanted to create something where if I had students that were ready to progress, they could, but I could also review for those who needed additional help but still continue the storyline for both.

What did your students think of your quest? 

Melissa: My students love this quest. They love the story, and they beg to play every day. Their biggest complaint was that they wanted it to go on longer. 

How do you spend your summer breaks?

Melissa: I spend my summer breaks traveling to rock concerts. Every summer I pick a different rock concert to attend. I love the music and enjoy meeting new people. In my classroom, I have a bulletin board covered with all of the memorabilia from my concerts. I also travel with my family and spend time doing fun activities with my husband and two sons. 

Why did you want to become a teacher?

Melissa: When I was in school, I had a very difficult time, and I thought that I was not a good student. During my junior year of high school, a young girl that I would babysit asked me to help her with her homework. I started helping her during my study hall, and pretty soon other students started showing up for help. I then started a tutoring program for my school to help these students and found my love of teaching. 

How do you remember all your students’ names?

Melissa: On the first day of school, I have the students line up, and I ask their names. I then have to start at the beginning of the line and say all of their names in order. If I mess up, then I have to start over. Once I reach the end of the line, the students have to trade places, and I have to start again and get it right. If I can manage to get all their names right before the bell rings, I win. If I can’t get all their names right before the bell rings, I have to give them all a prize.

Is there a quote or saying that you live your life by?

Melissa: “Mistakes are a fact of life. It is the response to the error that counts.” – Nikki Giovanni

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