Testing season is upon us. How do you prepare students in a way that ignites their internal fire to learn, accelerates their learning rate… and makes you so happy, you could burst?
Recently, we helped teachers prepare students for state achievement tests by challenging them to compete in a MobyMax Math and Language classroom contest. In Moby Math, students master key topics like place value, operations, proportional relationships, expressions and equations, and probability. In the Moby Language Module, students conquer parts of speech, verb tenses, punctuation, new vocabulary, and more. Both modules align with Common Core standards, so they fit seamlessly into most schools’ educational objectives and requirements.The contest took only 2 minutes for teachers to set up. Then, students simply signed in to MobyMax, worked in the Math or Language modules, and competed against their classmates. Suffice it to say, the competition in the classrooms was fierce!
The timing couldn’t have been better. Some teachers wanted to amp up their students’ existing skills to improve test performance. Other teachers were in the middle of testing and needed a useful break activity that would re-energize students between tests. Still other teachers just wanted a ready-to-go tool that would be as easy to implement as it would be fun and rewarding.
Teachers across the country raved about the friendly rivalry that formed among their students, many of whom were so enthusiastic that they learned 4x their normal rate. Students took initiative to learn beyond the walls of the classroom, too. Parents reported that their kids were happily working at home and on the school bus, and teachers noted that some voluntarily competed during lunch and recess.
Though teachers customized their contests to fit their classrooms, the contests all had one thing in common: they made practicing math and grammar fun, competitive, and cool. Why were they so popular? Some kids were motivated by the opportunity to win a prize, and others wanted to win just for the glory of ranking among the top 3 on their classroom leaderboard.
Teachers were amazed at the results – and so were parents, many of whom reported that they’d never seen their child so excited to do homework.
As the contests got underway, Facebook comments began pouring in. Here’s a small sample of what teachers shared with us.
“My top student has 12,405 seconds and 146 points. My students are super excited and love when contests come up. This is an important time for my students as the math state test is next week! We just love these contests!” ~ Kristin Dickens, Cicely Tyson School of Fine Arts, NJ
“This is the greatest tool out there that I have found. Due to cost, our school talked about cutting it, along with many other things, but the fight was on. Teachers stood together and showed our administration that this is not a game but a tool to use to meet the needs of our students. My kids love being on it and parents like that they can have children practice at home. It is all around amazing! ~ Jessica Hilbun, Benjamin Logan Elementary, OH
“My students are so excited to do their math time. My current leader has 19,007 seconds and 1,144 points, but I may be more proud of second place. He has been unmotivated all year and shown no growth. This week he's logged 11,513 seconds and has 241 points. Thanks for helping me motivated the unmotivated.” ~ Meredith Mangum, Bob Courtway Middle, AR
“6th grader - 4587 sec, 91 points. Now let me tell you what made my teacher heart swell with joy today: as the class was ending, one of my students spoke up, "Hey, I can work on this at home, right? Will that count?" A student wanting to work at home? Yes-s--s! Thanks, MobyMax!” ~ Carole Ingle, New Hope Middle, GA
“Thanks so much for this contest, MobyMax! We have been testing last week and this week and this is such a needed break from it!” ~ Nicole Basarich, Kreitner Elementary, IL
Setting up a Moby contest is easy, and don’t worry about expensive incentives; in our experience, kids love simple prizes like homework passes, hot chocolate, popsicle parties, extra recess, fun Friday time, or getting the opportunity to select their own seats in class.
Want to create your own MobyMax classroom contest? Here’s how to do it in 2 minutes or less.
- Sign in to your teacher account and click “Contests.”
- Name your contest. For example, call it the MobyMax (Subject name) Challenge
- Enter your start and end date.
- Select Subject.
- Select results based on time or points.
- Choose Contest for: My Classroom.
- Determine your awards.
We hope you’re inspired to set up your classroom contest.
Interested in taking it school-wide? It’s easy! Check out our recent blog post featuring one FL school whose students learned math twice as fast and doubled their fun by competing in an inspiring school-wide Moby contest! Read their story here.