So what’s the big deal with 92%? A lot when it comes to having 3 weeks off and the likelihood that none of my students practiced their multiplication facts.
Monday was our first day back after winter break. As we do every day, we practiced our math facts using the Fast & Curious Eduprotocol. I had an anticipated drop from our usual 96% – 98%. I predicted, to myself, it would drop to around 89%. I wasn’t too concerned as I knew that they could easily get it back up to our normal within a week.
Well, to my surprise, my class scored 92%. Seriously, I was happily surprised that they really didn’t lose as much as I had feared. YES! The continuous rep practice has worked. The facts are sticking.
I was so giddy, I needed to write this quick post to celebrate the success my class is finding. I was sold before, but now I’m a believer for life!
I will admit, I was reluctant to use any sort of ‘timed tests’ for math in my classroom. The research does not support it. However, my students were sorely lacking in their multiplication skills, a skill they should have mastered by now. At conferences in September, I spoke with each parent about the need to practice at home and easy ways they could help their child. After a month, there was little improvement. THEN, I had a conversation with Jon Corippo.
Jon suggested I use the Fast & Curious Eduprotocol with math facts. I knew he had convinced Cori Orlando to try this with her 3rd graders previously. She balked at first then became a believer. I still held out. He gave me the same spiel he gave Cori. I begrudgingly tried it. It felt too much like timed tests. At first, the kids loved it; it was something new. But then, they kept asking for it day after day. This lasted a while. Several months later, they STILL beg for it.
Does It Really Work?
Simply put, yes. The data speaks for itself. In the beginning, we were averaging around 56% as a class. That’s 56% correct on a 10 – 20 multiplication question quiz. As a class, we could only score 56% on a quiz. And some quizzes we were a bit lower (48%). YIKES! Within two months, as a class, we score between 96% and 98% no matter the quiz I give them. That doesn’t mean that I still don’t have kiddos who are struggling, I do. I still have kiddos who take an incredibly long period of time to complete it. Some day, I have to end the quiz before everyone can finish. But let’s face it, going from 56% – 96% is a drastic difference. I’ll take it!
I use Quizizz, a computerized gaming review system. It’s a mouthful but if you’re familiar with Kahoot, it’s very similar. I choose a multiplication quiz. No need to make your own, just do a search and you’ll find one. Set up the quiz in classic mode and have the students sign in. On day 1, we take the quiz twice. The first time is cold, we write down our score (Quizizz is great that it’ll average your class score for you), review the questions, then take it again. We keep our first score then we record our second score to see how much we’ve improved. For the rest of the week, we take the same quiz. If our score goes up, which it should, we erase the last high score and replace it with the newest score. We repeat this process with a different quiz the following week.
Because students can consistently score in the 90% range on the first go-around no matter the quiz, I only do the quiz once on Mondays. I have some added bonuses you can read about.
I have teachers ask if students cheat: help each other, start the quiz over again, tell another student the answer. The answer is yes. But I don’t care. The kids who are getting the answers are clicking the correct answer and reinforcing it. Those that take it again are practicing twice as much as everyone else. It’s really a win-win.
I’m a Believer
Based on all that I have seen in my classroom, I am now a believer in this protocol. The kids still love it months later. The information is transferring. The data doesn’t lie. Even if you’re still reluctant, give it a try. I did and so did Cori!
First of all, the students are loving the ‘teams’ play. We don’t play teams each time, but when they play it creates a fantastic bonding experience with the groups. The app places students into 4 teams randomly. Now, add in the newest feature: redemption question. This means that if a student gets a question wrong they have a chance to redeem themselves by trying to answer it again. There are so many reasons that I LOVE this feature. Immediate feedback, better retention, and not a ‘gotcha’ situation.
NOTE: There are a few other new features that have enhanced the app. Check it out at quizizz
If all that wasn’t amazing enough, I have implemented ‘Classroom Economy’ in our class this year. One of the bonuses we agreed upon was 100% (on selected items like quizizz) earns a student $50. So the stakes are even higher and more fun. What my class does with this information and teams is beautiful. They sit in their teams and help one another in order to get 100%. If someone on the team needs help, it’s freely given. They are also aiming to get 100% as a class (this comes with a $100 bonus for all).
They don’t think I see or hear what’s going on. I do, of course, and I how could I ever stop such wonderful energy?
I have been in school for 2 weeks now. On week 3 I decided to jump in with Social Studies lessons. I have been doing a Hyperdoc, Google My Maps lesson on Native American Regions for several years. Each year I tweak the lesson. This year was no different.
2 minutes before class, I revised my lesson once again. As I was walking the class back from lunch I was retooling it in my head. This year, I was going to have the students do an Iron Chef AND THEN have the students create a group My Map to record information. Brilliant!
In years past, students were given the hyperdoc, took notes, and then created the group My Map. This worked, but always took waaaay too long. This time, we completed the first region in 2 days! Do they have the information and understanding that I’d like? No. However, I can now do other projects to help solidify this information. Again, more interesting and fun.
Another advantage of doing the Iron Chef Protocol first is that the student heard the information several times BEFORE digging into the task. It really was so much more enjoyable, at least on my end, this year. I’m sure that the hiccups we encountered will lesson we continue this process with the other regions.