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.