At my campus, students would use Think Through Math, but they did not take it seriously. They rushed through lessons to just get the points, regardless if they were right or not. I wanted a way that would encourage the students to take their time and really want to try and earn as many points as they can. To avoid happy clickers from taking over the world, I decided to make a wall that would display the students who passed on-grade level lessons.
Our campus encourages students to aim for 30 passed lessons before STAAR. I found a large wall in our campus that is never used but is seen by nearly every student on a daily basis. On this wall, I made a big display that says “Join Club 30.” I have some rules to being on the wall. Their avatar must have clothes and the lessons that get them on the board are on-grade level lessons. These are the only lessons that count towards the display. The display is updated every two weeks and their avatar is only updated at the decades (10, 20, 30, 40 and 50). The display shows the students who passed 5, 10, 15 and so forth.
I just started the display this week and students got to see it on Monday when they came to school. They immediately went to go and find their avatar. I could hear the chatter with the students about how they were going to get to the next goal by the end of the week or that they were going to try and beat this student or that student.
I have already seen an increase in student usage both at home and at school. Even the teachers are trying to get more students on the wall. I can hear them sharing about the Think Through Math wall and the importance of the program. I can only see good things coming from this wall. Beside their avatar going up on the wall, there has not been a discussion of other incentives or prizes to the students. To them, having their avatar on the wall for others to see is prize enough.
THINK Nation Blogger – Rose Martinez, Math Specialist at Mary Lou Fisher Elementary- Northside ISD (TX)