American Ninja Warrior Digital Badges in #Physed
Last week in my physical education class students participated in an American Ninja Warrior Obstacle Course. It involves student’s climbing over plyometric boxes, swinging on ropes, using the bouldering wall, jumping rope and crawling underneath objects. Obstacle courses are an extremely engaging activity for students, but as teachers it can be easy to forget to emphasize learning outcomes during obstacle courses. To help me with this I have created digital badges for students to increase student engagement and reflection during classes. Each badge represents different learning outcomes of the obstacle course. Here are five badges I created and information on how you can use them or create something similar.
Cardiovascular Endurance Badges
Obstacle courses allow a great environment for students to learn about and participate in cardiovascular endurance. I have created two badges to help students create their own goals for cardiovascular endurance during the obstacle course. These badges give students the opportunity to start making independent health related choices/ goals.
Jump Rope Ninja Badge
SHAPE America Standard 3: Actively engages in the activities of physical education class, both teacher-directed and independent (S3.E2.4).
During one portion of the obstacle course students must jump rope during each lap. The Jump Rope Ninja badge allows students to create their own goals for jumping rope throughout the duration of the obstacle course. For example, if a student is an advanced jump roper they can set a goal to complete 200 to 300 rope jumps by the end of class. If a student is less experienced at jumping rope they can set their goal around 30-50 jumps. Each lap students decide how many times they need to jump rope to meet their goal. If they meet or exceed their goal they earn the Jump Rope Ninja badge.
Marathon Ninja Badge
SHAPE America Standard 3: Actively engages in the activities of physical
education class, both teacher-directed and independent (S3.E2.4).
The Marathon Ninja badge was created so students can set a goal for how many laps they will complete during the obstacle course by the end of a class period. If they meet or exceed their goal they earn the Marathon Ninja badge.
Growth Mindset: Grit Ninja
To become a Grit Ninja students have to first identify areas of the obstacle course they are having trouble with and then display the growth mindset by not giving up when they reach those areas of the course. For example, if a student is having trouble climbing the rock wall but continues working hard during the that section as well as throughout the rest of the course, he or she will earn the Grit Ninja badge.
Character: Integrity Badge
SHAPE America Standard 4: Exhibits responsible behavior in independent
group situations. (S4.E1.4).
For students to earn the Integrity Ninja badge they must demonstrate the honest and have strong morals during the obstacle course while also being an independent learner. For example, students can show integrity by not skipping any portion of the obstacle course, cutting in front of other students at obstacles or setting up an obstacle that has fallen down.
Master Ninja Badge
In order for students to earn the Master Ninja Badge they need to earn all 4 badges above during a single physical education class.
Administering the Digital Badges
At the end of class, students reflect on their performance and then scan the QR codes related to the specific ninja badges they have earned that day. Each QR code leads students to a single Google Slide that displays the associated badge. Students then take a screenshot of the digital badge to keep within their photos as a badge of honor. As students scanned the badges I would chat with them about the variety of ways that they earned them. This gave me the opportunity positively reinforce student’s on their performance during class.
How I Created My Badges
- I made the badges using the iOS graphic design program Sketch
- I placed the badge on a Google Slide.
- I made a QR code using QRHacker
- I used the a free (mostly) program called Canva to place the badge, badge explanation and QR code together to create an activity card for my students.
I feel that adding these badges to the obstacle course really helped students focus on the learning outcomes. Another positive outcome was the amount of time students spent reflecting with each other and myself about the badges they earned and how they did it. Without prompting, some of my students set the wallpaper on their iPad to their favorite badge. When I saw this, I knew I had found something that was really engaging to students. It made me happy knowing that every time those students used their iPad they would remember what they did within my class. Click here to get a copy of the Ninja Badge resources.