One critical piece of a successful blended learning program is the teacher’s use of student data. No matter how detailed data reports may be, they are useless without a teacher analyzing and acting upon them. We have seen creative, fun ways that teachers are implementing data tracking and celebrations in their classroom and wanted to share four of our absolute favorites with you. Need data celebration inspiration? Read on!
The 100 Wall is a fun, easy way to celebrate success that requires minimal supplies and teacher effort. One of our first blended teachers, Mary Kate Taulman, came up with the idea to create a sign reminiscent of Notre Dame’s famous “Play like a Champion Today” that replaced the word “play” with “learn.” When students achieve a 100-percent score on an online lesson, they get to put their name and the name of the lesson on a sticky note and add it to the “Learn Like A Champion Today” wall! This simple action doesn’t just instill a sense of pride in students–it shows how everyone’s individual efforts contribute to the greater whole.
*Note from the teacher: Make sure you use high-quality post-it notes so they don’t fall off the wall!
Class Growth Tracker
Cindy Hayden, a 37-year veteran teacher who took on blended learning last year, created a simple but very effective way to track her class’ growth on ST Math. Unlike some other programs, every student using ST Math is working through their grade-level syllabus (don’t worry, their progress through it is personalized), so the program tracks progress by showing the percent of the syllabus the students have mastered so far. Cindy decided to track her class’ average syllabus progress to motivate her students to work towards 100 percent mastery. As you can see in the picture below, the little penguin (called Jiji in ST Math) moves each week as the class masters more and more of their syllabus. Although it is simple, this growth tracker is a great way of building community and helping students understand how their own progress contributes to class growth more broadly.
What better way to keep progress and momentum going than to celebrate good times? We know that parties can get expensive and many schools don’t have the budget for them, but some of our schools have found inexpensive ways to celebrate students who reach their goals–which motivates all students to achieve and rewards students for their hard work! Who says you need a large budget to celebrate? Some fun, inexpensive ideas for semester celebrations are an extra recess, extended time for a specials class, movie watch during lunch or recess, a dress-down (ex. jeans) day, honors ceremony, etc...the list goes on and on. Not only does a once-a-semester small celebration recognize students who have met or exceeded their goals, but it also builds community and momentum and encourages all students to succeed.
Student of the Week
Some schools have “students of the week,” but students are often chosen randomly and simply present a special poster to their classmates. Why not tie this same system to a celebration of hard work and progress? We love to see schools recognize a few students each week for their persistence and excellence with online learning! The beauty of this celebration is that kindergarteners and eighth-graders have an equal opportunity to meet their individual goals and experience success in a personalized-learning model. Some schools choose to post students’ pictures near the front office or verbally recognize students at the weekly assembly or in announcements. Once again, this is a great way to celebrate that does not require a budget or excessive extra effort on the teacher’s part!