Bringing Back the Karate Belts

One of my favorite gamified mechanics was the voluntary “ranking” system that was based on my son’s Karate Belt Test. In a nutshell students could voluntarily chose to demonstrate their mastery of various skills as a way to “rank up” into higher belts. Like a karate system everyone could possibly become a black belt or you could still succeed in the program without doing a single belt test. I moved away from this system after toying around with Standards Based Grading. Now that I have settled on a blend of XP Grading and SBG (Powerup XP) though I am going to bring back a version of this system so that students can level up into new game powers and improve their grade by demonstrating skills based on my new South Carolina State Standards “Deconstructed Skills”.

Modified Badging

I am thinking of this as a modified badging system. Each of the columns in the Power Grid represent one of the Deconstructed Skills:

  • Mental Powers = Comparison
  • Strength = Causation
  • Speed = Periodization
  • Durability = Context
  • Energy Projection = Continuities and Change
  • Fighting Skills = Evidence Usage

In order to move up one level on the Power Grid a student would need to accomplish one of the following activities:

  1. Score a Level 4 (90% or better) in a category on a 1st try on the Common Assessment – I am required to give a common assessment for each standard. I break down this test according to the standards’ deconstructed skills which I broke down in a previous post.
  2. Complete an Upgrade Boost – This is similar to the belt ranking program. Students will need to complete a Unit based activity AND score an 80% or better on a quiz that could ask questions on content from the beginning of the year to that current information. I am still working on the latter part but the activity will be set up as a side quest similar to the “Weekly Challenges” that I had used in 2019-20.