Slides are great when they’re on the playground. But in the classroom? The “summer slide” that many students experience between the last day of one school year and the first of the next can cost students two months of grade level equivalency in math skills. And that’s not all; knowledge retention in every subject can be affected.
That loss is hard on students, but it’s equally frustrating for teachers, who work hard to make every school day count. Thanks to the “slide,” they may as well have stopped teaching in April!
It’s no wonder so many teachers have started organizing MobyMax Summer Contests. Rather than just having students read through a few books or practice random multiplication tables, contests keep students from losing what they learned the previous year. In fact, with MobyMax, students actually gain new knowledge between June and September, enabling them to return to school raring to go.The contests only take two minutes to set up. It’s just a matter of logging in to MobyMax, clicking the “Contests” button, and entering contest information. Teachers can create a summer learning handout to email to parents or include in final report cards. These handy sheets already include the student’s username, password, and contest goals.
Moby teachers have had a blast coming up with contests that are fun for their students, too. For example:
At McKitrick Elementary in Florida, teacher Monica Contreras organized a “Summer Olympics” with free, optional participation for students throughout the summer. The goal was to earn 1,500 points by the end of the eight-and-a-half week summer break. Those who did so were invited to a special movie and treated to popcorn and snow cones. Students who earned more than 2,000 points earned the chance to win additional gift cards and treats. (Read more about this story here).
McKitrick already has plans underway to run another contest this summer. This time, they’ll be rewarding students who rack up at least 10 focused hours in any subject with prizes ranging from snow cone parties to spirit ribbons to $25 gift cards. Take a look at the flyer they sent home to parents below.
With summer break almost here, we asked teachers in our MobyMax Facebook community to let us in on their contest plans for 2018. You can read their inspiring and creative ideas here.
Joanna Brooks Howery, a 2nd grade teacher at Lincoln Charter School, is still planning the details of her contest, but she knows what the reward will be. “Those with the most minutes logged and the most points earned will receive a book from me when they return in the fall!”
Pam Devine, a 3rd grade teacher at St. Lawrence Elementary School, is “planning to use this as a way to keep the kids practicing reading and math. Those hitting goals will receive a food gift card for their work.”
We also heard from a 4th grade teacher in Blount County, Alabama who will be using MobyMax Fact Fluency during her June summer camp. She’s looking for additional reward ideas, so if you have an awesome student reward idea, please share it on Facebook here.
Whatever the contest or reward, the key is to keep students learning through the summer. “As little as one ‘Moby hour’ a week keeps kids sharp,” says MobyMax co-founder Glynn Willett. “Save the slides for the water park!”
Want more contest ideas? How about…
* MobyMax Summer Olympics: Any student with at least 10 hours in Moby Math, Language, or Science earns a ticket to a special back-to-school field day.
* Moby Fact Fluency Contest! Any K-2nd grader mastering addition or subtraction and any 3rd-5th graders mastering all 4 operations attends a fall ice-cream party and is entered into a raffle for a Dairy Queen gift certificate.
* Math and Language summer challenge! Students that earn at least 1,000 points in Moby Math or Language over the summer get to attend a special field trip in the fall.
Still looking for prize ideas? These have worked at other schools:
- A school t-shirt
- A gift certificate to the local ice cream shop
- A gold, silver, or bronze medal
- 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
- A homework pass