In the past 3 years, our school has run a school wide Mathletics competition based on ‘Mastery’. As Mathletics provides excellent data on student mastery of their maths, it made sense to plug in to that data as a basis for running a competition. Ultimately, the goal was to increase school-wide buy-in to both Mathletics and student-owned learning.
However, in 2017, it was time to try something different. Drawing on another strength of Mathletics, we decided to create a competition around ‘Live Mathletics’. Well known as an energising and favourite component of this product, tapping into Live Mathletics made a lot of sense.
The competition ran for 5 weeks (we found that longer competitions started with massive vigour, but slowed down towards the end). We
ran two competitions simultaneously. The first was the class with the highest ‘Live Points’ in each year level. Winning classes received a small cash prize to go towards their end of year class picnic. As you always have individuals who excel in such competitions, we decided to award badges to the top 10 Mathletes in the school, with the top 3 receiving a medal. Points were drawn from a combination of Live Points and Curriculum Points, which are accessible via a Mathletics Administrator’s login.
Over this 5 week period, our students earned over 1.3 million Live Points. Of course, some classes were more engaged than others, but the classes who won, were those with students who wanted to do more at home. One Year four class earned over 400,000 Points!
Setting up a competition in-house like this requires a few things. First of all, you need agreement from school admin. Secondly, you need a consensus of support from the relevant school committee. Thirdly, you need to be sure that you can run a fair competition and that the data you source is reliable. Finally, you need to market and promote the competition heavily.
Marketing for this competition included: custom designed colour posters placed around the school; spruiking on parade; social media like the school Facebook site; weekly progress updates on parade and in emails to teachers; custom video promotions to the school community. We also placed posters with weekly running positions of each year level.
The energy and positive banter generated around this competition contributed to a sense of fun within our school community. In the meantime, we have increased our engagement with online learning. It is great to see the joy on student faces as they beat their friends and increase their points. It would be great to run this one again!