Thursday, April 17, 2014

Social Media Challenge: Getting your students to engage at home with review materials

Ok, so it's that time of year!  STAAR is here!!  Just like every year I teach my heart out.  I worry myself sick, and work myself to the bone hitting and re-teaching teks all the way up until April.  Then it is review time.  I spend 1-2 weeks making a STAAR review folder/manipulative with my students that contains concise and dense material for them to engage and review.  However, I always struggle to find ways to get them to use it outside of the classroom.  We do processing activities with it in class and review the information as we add it to the folder, but It just never feels like enough.  Yesterday something hit me.


I call it the Social Media Challenge.  Basically,  students earn different levels of points for posting information about the science STAAR test to any social media outlet.  I give 1-2 points for pics, 2 points for certain hashtags (so I can track their posts, without connecting with them on social media, with  free programs like keyhole), then the biggies are 4 points for a science fact they need to know for STAAR and 20 points for a homemade video explaining a concept.  OH...EM...GEEEEEEEE!  My students went berserk!
They were filming each other...teaching each other...digging into their interactive notebooks and STAAR review folders in ways that I have never witnessed before.  And here is what kills me....all for fast food.  The incentive for this is that I will buy lunch for the kiddo with the most points (that they can prove they have earned) by the morning of the STAAR test.  One student has already earned over 1000 points and is still finding things to post.
Not only are they studying, but they are teacher each other in the process and my heart is singing with joy.  We will see if this pays off on scores, but just for student engagement and excitement I say that this idea is a keeper