How I Use It
I will be using Sprinkle with my pre-service teachers as one of the iPad apps that can be integrated into the curriculum. I will model the use of the app within the 4 major content areas (Science, Math, Social Studies, and English Language Arts). The pre-service teachers will then have several opportunities to develop lesson plans and justify the use of Sprinkle and/or other iPad apps within the classroom. If we get them thinking about creative ways to use iPad apps now, they will be better prepared to transition that knowledge to their classrooms as in-service teachers. I will be emphasizing 21st Century skills as a supplement to the Core Curriculum and the Common Core standards.
If you've watched students play Angry Birds - they are fully committed to the task of winning. With Sprinkle - it's a similar concept with several important perks. Because it's conceptually similar to Angry Birds there are no instructions - students get the hang of it quickly - a very short learning curve. The focus is saving homes by putting out fires. Ahhhh! We are now dealing with 21st Century critical thinking and problem-solving skills within a physics-driven environment. This is not a standalone game. A good science teacher will have taught some basic concepts first and then use Sprinkle as a catalyst to engage students in seeing the concepts in action. Teachers will have to get creative so that students do not simply see Sprinkle as a game. To win at the various levels of the game, students need to have dialogue - and as such, the game can be paused. How many fires are there? In what order should they be extinguished? How can objects be moved to accurately and speedily direct the water towards the flame(s)? Which objects provide leverage to direct the water towards the flame(s)? If students fail in their attempt, they can try, try again - hopefully with some guidance from the teacher. Teachers can use the game via projector to guide the dialogue; then move students to small groups where peer support is required, reinforced, and rewarded. Sprinkle allows instruction to be interdisciplinary. Students can write about how they "solved" the problem in English Language Arts. In Math class, teachers can provide word problems regarding how many gallons of water could be required to extinguish a small fire or even use geometry to calculate perimeter or area of the objects used to leverage the water. And in Social Studies, students could look at the impact of loss due to fire upon a community. Thematically, Sprinkle is different from Angry Bird and should generate alot of interest from the students. It's up to the teacher to creatively integrate it within the curriculum.