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Love of writing through play

I teach writing, speaking, and presentation through emotionally compelling story games.

Scroll down for more about me, my curriculum, and Starsworn, the new monthly game developed with Stories Podcast!  Click here to join a class and start playing and learning for homeschool credit.

 
 
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Hi, I'm Michael

Educator, game designer, editor, writing coach.

I’m a live-scan certified CA high school English teacher, parent, story-teller, and game designer. I teach kids non-violent conflict resolution, collaboration, confidence, critical thinking, and creative writing using games, inspired by a love of learning, not fear of failure.

I also work in curriculum development, editing, and teacher mentoring.  I welcome any chance to talk about my work - feel free to reach out and start a conversation!  You can also find me on Twitter, Instagram, Itch, and LinkedIn.

 

"My son LOVED this camp so much! Michael is so great with kids...he helped the group build vivid characters and developed a fun storyline. It was hard not to sit and just listen to him and the kids bring characters to life, create their backstories, describe the world in which they lived and the adventure they had. My son would immediately work on his "homework" (can you call it that if it was fun?) at the end of each camp and would tell me how much he enjoyed each session. I thought it was great that the kids not only were creative, but there was problem solving involved as well. Thank you Michael!"

Y. Smith

"My 12 years old son absolutely LOVED this camp. He is usually very shy and reserved, and don't like to interact at all in class. During this first week, I could hear him laughing, participating and leading discussions. He would go to bed early, to wake up early to be on time. I've never seen this behavior before. Thank you, Michael!"

A. Torresan

"This is just the best. It really came at the perfect time: no camps, no school, limited kid to kid interactions. Michael has done a great job creating engaging curricula, building an environment that pulls out the best in students, and using technology in smart and effective ways. I wish my local (or perhaps national?) schools would take note of what he is doing and implement it on a larger scale—it is immeasurably more effective than traditional e-learning and has really turned around the summer for our kiddo."

E. Crimmin

"Highly recommend!! My son has had the most wonderful time with this camp. Michael, the guide, is a teacher who really knows how to engage. Together they built an entire world that opened up their imaginations so much. It is very creative. Even when it was over, my son loved the "homework" activities set, so much so, he was completely motivated and excited to get them done without any prodding! It has been a pleasure to see him so happy, gaining confidence in writing, and also learning life skills too, along the way, with this role playing game."

E. Cook

To read more 5 Star reviews, click here!

How it works

 

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What Kids Will Need

Each student needs a computer or iPad, reliable internet, access to Google docs, and a quiet place to laugh, act, and be ridiculous.  A headset with a microphone helps, but isn't necessary!

The First Class

Each 5 or 6 day session begins with a vote for the game the group will play - anything from magical researchers protecting mythical creatures to monster teens dealing with freshman year at a new school for magical kids.  Student then create characters, imagining who they'll become and how they're connected, learning about how we'll play the game.  During the second hour, we jump into the world of the game, starting an epic adventure!  In the last 10 minutes, we discuss writing prompts for next class, deciding what each student would like to write before the next class to help build the world.  If kids struggle with typing, writing - and drawing! - stories by hand in order to upload works great, too!

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Game On!

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Each class begins with a read-aloud and celebration of everyone's stories, followed by discussion of how the tales can come together.  Each student gets to build their character based on their writing, and then we jump back into the game - saving the last 10 to discuss what to write for next class and for shout-outs.

The Epic Finale

Each story arc comes to an epic close - and often a cliff-hanger ending!  Parents receive feedback on their student's growth for 5 Common Core writing and speaking standards, along with a game summary.  The work kids do counts towards homeschool ELA credit, as it's guided by a certified California teacher

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Extend the Adventure

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Students are welcome to keep exploring new worlds and writing amazing tales together by signing up for another course.  We can continue with the stories they've written, explore a different world, or create a new one, together!  All the resources for students to play and run the game remain available to them online, so the adventure never needs to end!

 

GET IN TOUCH

Questions about my classes or services?  Feel free to reach out!

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