Adaptive Software Lessons

Our district adopted Lexia and Dreambox for our adaptive learning software for literacy and numeracy.  We noticed quite quickly after the start of the year that many of our students were putting in the “minutes” on their adaptive learning software, but they weren’t actually completing many lessons.  We talked to our district math coordinator and he said students should be completing 5 or more lessons each week in each program.

We sat with students and looked at their progress, had conversations about when to ask for help, started a parking lot where they could write their names when they needed help, discussed a peer help system for asking another student for help and tried motivators such as leader boards, etc.  Nothing was working.

We decided to try a new idea.  We created this goal tracking sheet for students to track goal-sheetstheir goals each week on a daily basis.  When they completed a lesson, they colored in a spot on their grid (this also helps with their math standard for bar graphs).  We told them that they would receive a Classroom Dojo point for getting all 5 lessons in Dreambox and another for completing all 5 in Lexia.  The kicker was that every lesson above and beyond 5 got them a Dojo point for each lesson!

In our classroom, we use Dojo as our reward system and do it a little differently than most.  We don’t believe in extrinsic rewards that lead to “junk” such as candy and toys; we want our students to be intrinsically motivated.  However, we also believe that students should have the opportunity to earn rewards for a job well done.  So we allow students to accumulate their points.   They can turn in 25 points for tickets such as “Lunch with the teacher,” “Bring a furry friend,” “Preferred seating (this is a bean bag),” etc.  The students can also save for backpacks or lunch boxes as we had many donated from an area business.  My co-teacher and I decided early on that we would give out Dojo points liberally if students were doing things that promoted growth socially or academically so we were both okay with giving these extra points each week as a motivator.

The results the first week were great!  Students brought their computers to us to check to see if their lessons matched ours and gave themselves Dojo points.  The ones who did not meet their goals, had a clear goal during make-up time so they could move on to STEAM stations.  This week was a short week back and we did not pass out our goal sheets.  We had several students ask when we would be getting our Lexia and Dreambox goal sheets.  We are excited to see this process and determine if it continues to be motivational for our students!

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