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3 Creative Ways Educators Are Building Study Island Contests

3 Creative Ways Educators Are Building Study Island Contests

This spring semester, teachers across country are designing their own Study Island contests to create engagement and motivation for students while mastering essential standards and preparing for state assessments. Many teachers have also begun to share their exciting contest plans with us, and today, we’re featuring three of them to inspire you and get your creative juices flowing for your own contest strategy! We’ll dive into their creative contest ideas and showcase how you can make them work in your classroom.

Idea #1: Battle of the Virtual Classrooms

By now, we’re all aware that many classrooms look different this school year, including the fact that a classroom may not be in one “room”—it may consist of all the different rooms students are virtually tuning in to class from. Just because your students aren’t together doesn’t mean they can’t compete against each other when practicing their grade level standards.

Elizabeth Mackey, 4th grade virtual teacher from Walt Whitman Elementary School in New York, decided that her virtual class will compete with a virtual class from neighboring A.P. Willits Elementary. The two schools have a challenge to see who can earn the most Blue Ribbons biweekly for small prizes mailed to them, and there will even be a grand prize for the winning students at the end of the competition in June, special lawn signs and a pizza delivered to their house! Besides prizes, Ms. Mackey is also motiving her students using a medium that many young people already love using, social media.

“[Students] will be able to interact with one another outside of class time through a combined two-class Padlet chat. Students will be able to post selfies, screenshots, and write posts about their achievements. They will be able to like and comment on each other's posts. This will keep them engaged and motivated to achieve Blue Ribbons!”

Fun prizes in the mail, pizza, and chatting with your classmates—what student wouldn’t want to participate?

Idea #2: Set Up Your Own Tournament

A little friendly competition between all grade levels is always a great motivator—and what better what to logistically set it up than a head-to-head tournament? March Madness, who? We’re all about a standards-mastery tournament!

John Luke Bell, curriculum coordinator for Cosby Elementary School in Tennessee, is ready to engage his school’s students by having each homeroom compete based on time spent in Study Island, as well as each team’s average percentage of questions answered correctly. Check out how he is ensuring that classrooms set themselves up for success!

“Teams will qualify by having at least 30 minutes time spent in practice on average. The team with the highest average percent correct at the end of each week will advance! Practice at home and school counts towards your goal.”

Talk about a slam dunk! Not only are students getting lots of standards-based practice with this contest method, but they are also earning the chance to see their name up in lights. Cosby Elementary will have each week’s MVPs showcased on the TV screens in the hallways. Some other delicious prizes include a free item from the school’s concessions, fresh-baked cookies, a hot chocolate social, and a pizza party!

Idea #3: Give Your Contest a Theme

Everyone loves a good theme when it comes to contests. You know what students also love? Being rewarded with some of their favorite treats! Combine the two, and you’ve got yourself an award-winning combination. Nicole Kuiper, science coach from Columbia Elementary School in Florida, has the receipts to prove it.

“For the last three years, I have used Study Island to prepare my students for the 5th Grade SSA [Statewide Science Assessment] in Florida. In January, they have to get Blue Ribbons in all 3rd grade Florida science in a contest titled ‘Donut You Remember 3rd Grade?’ They have endless tries to get the Ribbons. If they succeed by the end of January, those students are treated to a donut!”

Ms. Kuiper continues the fun by challenging her students to master 4th grade science standards the following month, and then, she finally ensures that her students are ready by ending her review with 5th grade science standards,. The themes continue during these reviews with “Give Me a Pizza 4th Grade” and “I Scream for 5th Grade!” We love clever and engaging ways to prep for state assessments!

These are just a few ways that educators are engaging their students this testing season and inspiring them to master their state’s essential standards. As ideas pour in via our short survey (pssst ... complete it for a chance to win something of your own), we are continuously impressed with the creativity educators are bringing into their classrooms through Study Island.

Now through April 9, 2021, you can create your own contest and tell us about it via our survey to enter to win one of three $500 gift cards to Target. Increase your chances of winning by posting about your contest plans on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram. Just tag @edmentum and use #StudyIslandContest for additional entries. We can’t wait to see what you come up with!

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Brittany Voges

Brittany Voges currently serves as a Content and Social Media Specialist at Edmentum, and has been with the company since 2016. Before her time at Edmentum, Brittany studied Elementary Education, and eventually went on to teach 4th grade in Title 1 schools. Because of her background in education, Brittany is passionate about providing educators across the United States and the world with the tools and best practices to empower their students each day in the classroom.