3 Ways to Bring Fun to Your Classroom with Study Island
3 Ways to Bring Fun to Your Classroom with Study Island
As I think back to my time in school, I remember my favorite class activity being our version of Jeopardy!© Whether it was social studies or science, working together with my team to come up with our best guess was always a fun time. With competition in the air (and probably candy on the line), we all knew that on the night before our classroom gameshow, we needed to study and make sure that we knew our stuff. Not only were we motivated to study, but also, we looked forward to class because we knew it would be a fun day.
It seems that, each year, the expectations for student learning become higher, causing educators to look for ways to squeeze in as much instruction on the day as possible. With this focus on optimizing the classroom for instructional time, activities that make learning fun are often shortened or removed altogether. Research shows that, when fun is removed from the classroom, students lose the opportunity for effective learning and memory storage. A Room 241 blog post, “Let the Children Play: Why Adding Fun to the Classroom Helps Kids Learn” by Brian Gatens, mentions that maintaining balance between fun and academics could help break down barriers for some students.
With Study Island, it’s easy to bring more fun to the classroom without sacrificing instructional time because, every time students work in Study Island, they are engaging in valuable practice to help them deepen mastery for state assessments and beyond.
Use these three Study Island features to bring joy to your classroom:
1. Game Mode
Study Island’s game mode allows students to play a quick, one-minute game after they answer questions correctly. This feature helps to keep students motivated and engaged while they work through a topic.
“They only get to [play the game] if they get the answer correct. And, so it really encourages them to get the answer right. It amazes me what they’ll do to play games.” —Jo Anna Moreland, Instructional Resource Coordinator, Navasota ISD
Find out how Navasota ISD used Study Island for RTI success.
“Students like the games and interactivity in Study Island. Any time we can put more technology into students' hands, they're going to enjoy school more, and learning is going to increase.” —Kimberly B. Hahn, Supervisor of Elementary Mathematics, Academic Support Instruction, Woodbridge Township School District
Read more about how Woodbridge Township School District keeps its students motivated.
2. Group Sessions
Many educators love this feature of Study Island because it adds stimulating collaborative practice and enhancing teacher-led instruction to the classroom. Group Sessions is great for a little competition among the students. It tracks real-time progress through using student response data and allows teachers to conduct a simple, measurable, and easy whole-class activity that will keep students engaged. There are even printable trophies and certificates at the end of each session.
Read about 9 Ways Educators Are Using Study Island’s New Game-Based Group Sessions.
Check out on Twitter some of the fun that educators are having using Group Sessions!
The kids beg me to play! It’s a great way to review for our state test coming up. We have a prize table for the leaders and the students yell, scream, and groan - it’s hilarious! #studyisland #edmentum pic.twitter.com/owTN9VU1cn
— Dena DeJulius (@PrincipalDD1776) March 1, 2019
Our 5th grade mustangs are PUMPED about the new “race” group sessions! @StudyIsland @edmentum @pesmustangs #iteachfifth #makemathfun pic.twitter.com/JuhrzHgSBt
— Katie Hale (@KatiecHale4) March 12, 2019
3. Blue Ribbons
Blue Ribbons are used as an indicator of mastery in Study Island. Students earn them after completing a specific number of questions and getting a certain percentage correct during practice, and those settings can be modified by the educator. These Blue Ribbons are reflected in students’ Topic Trees to keep them motivated to keep progressing. Many educators craft their own classroom, and even schoolwide, incentives that are tied to earning Blue Ribbons.
“They’re definitely extremely motivated in kindergarten by the Blue Ribbons. We have a Study Island wall in our school where the kiddos each have a shell or a different symbol that represents each grade level, and their name is on it. They get to move up their object in increments of five [Blue Ribbons earned] in the younger grades. They get really excited when they come in and say, ‘Mrs. Munsell, I get to move up my shell.’” —Courtney Munsell, Kindergarten Teacher, Fortville Elementary School
Take a look at this blog post that dives into Study Island implementation for kindergarten versus 5th graders.
“I have teachers who have a Blue Ribbon bulletin board, and they make a big deal out of [student achievement]. . . . They truly motivate students.” —Tami Ellis, District Science Curriculum Specialist, Okaloosa County School District
Read more about Okaloosa County School District’s success with Study Island.
When students are having fun and learning at the same time, everyone benefits. Next time you’re using Study Island in your classroom, consider trying out one of these features to keep your students engaged with what they are learning and to bring a little fun to what you’re teaching! If you don’t already use Study Island but want to learn more about what our program has to offer, check out our website, and sign up for a free trial!