External Goal Setting in IXL

External Goal Setting in IXL

June 22, 2012|Posted in: IXL Integration

Sometimes you just have to set up external rewards for students.  There are many people who don’t believe rewards should be given to students, they feel that a student should be intrinsically rewarded for their learning.  I agree that as students mature the intrinsic rewards of learning need to grow, but there are just times where a good external pizza party reward has a place.

That’s what we all agreed on this past year, a party to celebrate our hard work in math.  We decided as a class where we should set the goal for our target bars, and we agreed that 80% for the entire class for each bar (4th and 5th grade sets of standards).

Now if you’ve ever tracked your progress bars for a class, you will know that moving those bars up even a percent takes a lot of work.  A 50 minute lab time sometimes would result in 1% movement up the proficiency scale for the entire class.  It took Herculean efforts to move it up a significant amount.

It was January, right after Winter Break had concluded, and I drew up a quick set of bar graphs to show the kids where we were, and where we needed to go.  Here’s a picture of our January progress to date.  (Lots of time on 4.3 and 5.3, Geometry).  We would work hard for a few weeks, then share out the progress we had made.  Different students would then get a chance to update the graphs to show how we had done so far.  This also was a great way for kids to work on their graphing skills and understanding that each of the squares equaled 5%, then they could estimate if our numbers only went up 2%.  (Always looking for those math connections!)

It became quite the production whenever we would announce the updates.  Students loved to see the progress we made.  In the end, all I can say…is it was a GREAT party.  They earned every minute of it.

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