Karen Luciana was our first columnist, and her columns are consistently the most read ones on the site!
Seventeen years ago Karen Luciana started her teaching career in the inner city Isaac School District in Phoenix, Arizona. She walked mid-year into a room void of paper, pencils, necessary textbooks, even a stapler and tape dispenser. What was plentiful in the room were her 32 sixth graders, full of energy but lacking in any sort of enthusiasm for academics.
Immediately she began turning almost every learning goal and objective into some type of game. She found that through play, the students stayed engaged and wanted to succeed. Now, many years later, she teaches fourth grade in Evanston, Illinois.
The demographics are different, but the children still respond in positive ways to game playing. She must ensure that her students meet and even exceed the Illinois Learning Standards, yet she still finds time for game playing each week. Her most recent game addition is Classroom Jeopardy that she was able to purchase through a PTA mini-grant.