Before Bringing Labyrinth Into Your Classroom - Your Role

Your Role

Guide on the side? Sage on the stage? Which role should you play when you and your students work with Lure of the Labyrinth?

The truth is, a little bit of both ... but at different times.

Being the "Guide on the Side"

When your students are actually playing the game, your best course of action is to stand back and observe. The truth is, most of your students are card-carrying members of the game culture. They're used to launching themselves into games without knowing what they're supposed to do.

 Most students will not have any trouble negotiating the game. But what if they do? Here are some tips:
  • Resist the temptation to give students' the answers to the puzzles. Lure of the Labyrinth is all about exploration and figuring out how to develop successful, repeatable strategies for working with the math in the game. Remind your students that their answers to any particular puzzle are far less important than their efforts to develop strategies that will help them solve all the puzzles.
  • Ask your students lots of questions. What strategies have they tried thus far? Were there aspects of those strategies that they think are working? Are there any parallels between the current puzzle and any other puzzles that they have been able to understand and solve?
  • Have your students collaborate with their teammates. When playing the game, students can communicate with teammates within Lure of the Labyrinth via the messaging function of the TPC (Tasti Pet Communicator). When they are playing a puzzle, they do not have access to the TPC. However, you can facilitate communication by making sure questions they have are heard and answered by other players.

While the students are playing the game, you can circulate through the class and carefully observe what is going on. Where are the students having trouble? What are some of their successes? You can incorporate all of this information into the next stage of your role ...

Being the "Sage on the Stage"

You time to shine comes after students have played the game or one of its puzzles.

At that point, it's time for you to give them the language for the processes they have already used and show them how it applies to the mathematics in your curriculum. Our lesson plans will help you find ways to do that.

Being the "Gatekeeper"

Another important role you have to play is that of the person who introduces Lure of the Labyrinth to your students. Without your help, students will not get into the puzzles or game or even 'get' the puzzles.

  • First things first. Be sure to set up your class lists and teams. Give each student their user name and password.
  • Make sure Lure of the Labyrinth is part of the culture of your classroom.
Your main goal should be for the game to become a basic part of your math instruction. It should not be treated as a special resource or as a reward. Instead, Lure of the Labyrinth should be treated as simply another learning tool that can help students.

  • Be enthusiastic about Lure of the Labyrinth and talk to your kids about your experiences playing the game (and yes, that means it's a great idea to play the game yourself ... at least, a little). Let students see you playing and enjoying Lure of the Labyrinth.
  • Talk to your students about their game-playing experiences; encourage them to discuss their game strategies with their teammates, both within Lure of the Labyrinth and outside Lure of the Labyrinth (in-person conversations and brainstorming sessions).
  • Schedule as many opportunities as possible for your students to play Lure of the Labyrinth - during class, after class or school and during lunch or free time.
  • Refer to Lure of the Labyrinth often during your more formal pre-algebra instruction as an example of how students can, have, and will use the math they're learning.
  • Display posters of characters and/or scenes from the game to entice students to want to enter the world of Lure of the Labyrinth and to spend time there.