Impact Influencer, Marco Cuzzupoli: Bringing fun and games into the classroom
Updated: Oct 18, 2021
Marco Cuzzupoli of St. John Henry Newman Catholic High School excels in the realm of engaging his students. With his research-backed approach, students use the power of games to efficiently learn math in his classroom
As times changed, so did Marco Cuzzupoli. When learning first needed to be virtual, he made the newly online learning as engaging as possible. A teacher and member of the Toronto Catholic District School Board, he has both a bird’s eye view of education as well as hands-on experiences in his classroom.
In his interview, he mentioned how much he misses the physical proximity of the classroom and the ability to engage students when in the same room. Mr. Cuzzupoli prioritizes the mental health of his students when engaging them in the classroom and continues to look for innovative ways to do so virtually. “What I really like about Knowledgehook is the student engagement piece, the badges, points, stars…kids want to do well” said Cuzzupoli about encouraging students to push themselves to progress and to see how far they’ve come.
Mr. Cuzzupoli looks for ways to gamify his classroom and make students realize just how much fun learning can be. Dr. Terry Vaughan III, the Knowledge Translation Expert for Teacher Impact Awards agrees with Cuzzupoli’s approach. Vaughan says that:
“Through gamification, Marco connects to his students by creating a community environment that allows students to learn content while reflecting on their performance. With this approach, he strives to understand students both intellectually and emotionally…”
Mr. Cuzzupoli naturally brings a high level of energy to his classroom and feels the gamification elements of his teaching style work. This engagement style even prompts some of his students to ask if they can re-try missions until they perfect them. In his answer, Mr. Cuzzupoli empowers his students to be engaged in their progress by answering that it’s up to the students; if they feel they want to keep trying to get better and better scores, they absolutely can.
There is a thorough understanding of the social and emotional needs of students here. Mr. Cuzzupoli fosters a classroom environment where students are active learners and strive to be their best by taking an active interest in the ways students learn best.