For many schools, it’s not uncommon for students’ math skills to diminish over the summer break. Not so at Greenwood Elementary, where principal Brad Gustafson created an IXL Summer Learning Challenge to help students continue to learn and grow over the summer months. The format of the challenge? IXL bingo. It was offered on a volunteer basis, and parents were encouraged to get involved.
“Teachers looking to foster increased mathematical engagement and thinking in their students should look for creative ways to make math fun and authentic,” said Gustafson. “There is a misconception that math is isolated to the school setting.”
The bingo tasks were designed to help students progress through the math skills and get them to appreciate the fun features of IXL; individual challenges included earning two ribbons a week for a month, getting nine prizes in a row on a game board, and changing their personal avatar using virtual prizes earned over the summer. Positive feedback from involved parents soon poured in; their children loved the challenges, and many were eager for even more! Students who achieved multiple bingos received school-wide recognition upon returning to school in the fall, and all participants received a specially designed “dog tag” necklace featuring the school’s Grizzly bear logo and a simple yet powerful truth: Math: A Bear Necessity.
“Math transcends everything and it’s important that educators partner with parents to promote that positive message,” said Gustafson. “Math can be creativity, problem-solving, effort, collaboration, trial and error, growth, practice and technology…all rolled into one! IXL can make that happen.”
Curious to learn how other schools have implemented IXL? Check out our new IXL in Action page!