The class leaderboard is a powerful tool that you can leverage to your and your students’ advantage.  There have been times I have looked over my students’ work on ScootPad and I can tell there has been a dip in follow through.  For example, early in the year I had some students decide that to get through a particular practice, they would randomly enter in letters as opposed to actually putting their best effort into their math work. In addition, I could tell from the time it was taking them to complete the practice that they were not invested in attempting the work (see image, below, where they spent 7 min or 4 min).

Inserting letters to get through the math problems quicker, compromising learning
Inserting letters to get through the math problems quicker, compromising learning

While of course this might be a prime opportunity to conference with a student about goals, I decided instead to have the students own their learning. To this end, I had them identify where on the leaderboard they were.  They were shocked to see that they were nowhere near the top, to which I simply pointed out that the more correct answers, the higher they would place on the leaderboard. Without needing to say anything else, there was a notable increase in effort and energy put into the students’ work. In reapplying themselves to actually solve the math problems (!), their overall scores went up on their practices, and they climbed the leaderboard as a result.  More importantly, however, they began to take ownership of their learning, and began checking in with me when they stumbled on difficult or frustrating problems.

Inceased effoert and increased ownership pays off
Increased effort and increased ownership pays off

To see my past post about motivating students using the class leaderboard, click the following link:

Dr. Michelle Anthony