When I speak with teachers about using ST Math®, there's one thing I often hear. “ST Math is great. But with all the reports and resources, how do I keep my students accountable?"
Setting goals, tracking those goals, and celebrating wins are just three ways you can celebrate success with ST Math. Here are three quick tips to optimize your success.
3 Ways to Celebrate Success with ST Math
Pick a Metric to Track
The easiest metric to track is in your progress report, and it's called Syllabus Progress. That’s how far the students are through the grade-level curriculum. The goal is to have this progress be as high as possible by the end of the year.
Another screen to look at is the Today’s Accomplishments screen. That’s what the students see right before they log off. There’s a lot of good information there to celebrate and learn from:
How many levels students have passed.
How much progress students have made.
How many puzzles students have solved.
If a student was stuck, how many hurdles they passed.
Once you’ve picked a metric, you should track that metric. There are a lot of different ways to track progress, but one of the best approaches I’ve seen is an ST Math tracking board. Let’s take a look at some of my favorite tracking boards from around the country.
Here's one from Lowell Elementary in Santa Ana, CA. They have a great theme called "Race to Success." Each JiJi on the board represents a student as they go from start to finish.
Another one of my favorite tracking boards is from Liberty Elementary in Ohio. Each fourth grader made their own JiJi avatar. Students then tracked their progress on the “Where in the World is JiJi?” board. Notice they used the JiJi postcards freely available from ST Math Central.
If you want students to log their own progress, there’s the Individual Student Progress Chart. To use this, students fill in each box every time they increase a percentage. Kids love it because it gives them ownership to track their own progress. It's also an awesome visual to see how far they are and what they have accomplished.
This chart can be found in the ST Math Central page with many others, like quiz tracking tools, quiz recording sheets, and exit tickets.
Set Goals and Celebrate
If you’re going to use progress as your metric, I recommend setting your monthly goals at 10% per month and setting additional quarterly, mid-year, and end-of-year goals to keep your ST Math momentum going. When students make those goals, celebrate! Pizza parties and ice cream parties are always a hit.
Remember the Today’s Accomplishments screen? I knew a teacher who had a simple daily goal. Every time their students played ST Math, their goal was to pass 50 puzzles. When they achieved that daily goal, they got a ticket to use on a prize box.
My favorite celebration of all time was from a principal who was a big Star Wars fan. At the end of the year, he’d dress up as Darth Vader and he would hold an assembly. This wasn't just any assembly, this was a Jedi Knighting Ceremony where he would knight any student that reached 100% in ST Math. Not Star Wars accurate, but the kids loved it.
Try to do this with your students. Come up with a theme. Think of a cool celebration that excites you and will excite your students too. It can be as simple as a ticket to a prize box or as elaborate as Star Wars.