The teachers and students at Sherman Elementary School in Comfort, W.Va., fell in love with the MobyMax e-learning platform during an extended period of snow days.
The personalized, blended curriculum worked so well outside of the classroom that Sherman students actually gained half a grade level of improvement in language and grammar, even though the school’s schedule was severely disrupted by weather-related closings.
Because of that success, assistant principal Jacob Messer said the educators at Sherman didn’t think twice about the best way to help students fight the annual summer learning loss known as summer slide.They continued to incorporate MobyMax outside the classroom with a Summer Learning Contest.
“This was a no-brainer,” Messer said. “Your students are engaged in learning. They are competing with each other and using technology. There are so many facets of what we are looking for as educators. This is 21st century learning. It’s differentiated instruction. We talk about technology implementation—this is all available in Moby’s Summer Learning Contests. I can’t praise it enough.”
As Sherman’s teachers and administrators made their plan to combat summer slide last year, they decided to offer a school-wide contest in which students could compile MobyMax points to earn a special prize—a field trip to a local wave pool. Contestants could log in to MobyMax at home, and printed sheets with sight words and math problems also were provided.
Fundamental to the program was keeping parents, students, and staff updated on students’ progress.
“I utilized School Messenger (an automated mass call-out system) to provide weekly updates to the entire school and staff about the contest and the overall leaders and grade-level leaders,” Messer said. “Parents and students both said they appreciated and enjoyed hearing the updates, which served as inspiration and motivation for the students to not only participate in the program, but also to compete against their peers. This, combined with contest status updates on Facebook was key to the success of the program.”
Eighty-eight Sherman students, or 25 percent of contest participants, achieved the required 400 points and made the trip during the first week of the school year. Parents also were invited. Messer said 350 people joined the wave pool party.
“This was great for building real relationships with the community and the school,” Messer said.
Sherman Elementary used a party as incentive for their MobyMax Summer Learning Contest, but the prize ideas are virtually limitless. Here are just a few possibilities for students who earn the specified number of points:
- A school t-shirt
- A gift certificate to the local ice-cream shop.
- A gold, silver or bronze medal for the top three point earners in a MobyMax “Summer Olympics.”
- Tickets to the movies or a local sporting event.
- An extra day of PE the first week of school.
- The choice of any seat in the classroom.
The prizes are great, but the ability to retain knowledge learned during the prior school year is what’s most important. MobyMax helps curtail summer slide by making learning fun—and it’s FREE for students.
MobyMax unlocks the power of personalized learning by:
- Customizing the curriculum – Every K-8 subject is covered, and topics are assigned based on grade level or by strengths and weaknesses determined by detailed diagnostic assessments.
- Enabling simple progress monitoring – Teachers can choose to check on students’ progress during the summer or not. Parents have easy access to student progress with detailed graphics and charts provided with scheduled updates and assessments.
- Accelerating the learning path – MobyMax users increase grade-level proficiency by two grades in just 40 hours of use.
Messer said using MobyMax to help students avoid summer slide was a “win-win” for Sherman Elementary School’s teachers and students.
“MobyMax bridges the gap from mid-June to August,” Messer said. “This is the time that students regress and lose skills. Even if the student can retain three-quarters of the skills, it is great. This maintains a stronger foundation, and helps the students compete and become much more interested in their learning.”
Interested in learning more? Read our blog post:5 Ways MobyMax Helps Students Avoid ‘Summer Slide’