Motivate students with a school-wide learning competition!

Raquel Sosa is a 24-year veteran in education and a District Partnership Specialist at IXL Learning.

As a district or school leader, improving student engagement and motivation is always on our minds. How can we tap into students’ innate curiosity? How do we encourage deep understanding of a subject, while making learning enjoyable, fun, and exciting?

Learning competitions can provide a wonderful answer to these questions. It’s amazing how motivated students can be when they’re competing to show off their knowledge, or to win a fun prize!  

And, IXL now makes it easier than ever to start a school-wide learning competition! Creating a new contest only takes a minute, and you can fully customize it based on what will be most relevant and motivating for your studentsincluding the learning goals, timeframe, and whether students will compete individually or as a class.

Students will automatically see all of their progress along the way, creating an interactive challenge that makes learning feel more like a game. Plus, collectively joining in on the fun can help to bring students together as a unified learning community.

Create custom competitions with IXL Leaderboards

Creating customized learning competitions on IXL is a quick and easy process. First make sure you’re signed onto an IXL administrator account. Then, hover over the “Learning” tab and click on the “Leaderboard” link.

Then, you can personalize which classrooms will be a part of the competition, what the competition will be based on, the duration, and which subjects and grade level skills will count.

Once created, Leaderboards display the standing of each participant, their specific scores, and the amount of time left in the competition. 

For team competitions, random team names will be generated to keep the competition fun and anonymous. Teachers and administrators will still be able to see the name of the class participating.

When the contest ends, you’ll get an email to review the final results. Plus, IXL generates printable certificates for the top three competitors, for a simple and fun way to celebrate their success!

Get inspired with fun competition ideas

Whether you’re at the district or school level, here are some fun ways to use Leaderboards: 

Track grade-level performance with a fun twist

Start a Leaderboard counting the number of correct questions for an entire grade. You can  customize the competition to only count questions that are on grade level, so you know that students are working towards key benchmarks. Whether students are working on assigned skills or ones they’ve selected, they’ll earn points for every question they answer correctly. And, by having students compete as classes, they’ll be motivated to work together as a team and help each other succeed! 

Celebrate proficiency and mastery 

Start a competition to see which classroom can reach proficiency (a Smart Score of 80) or mastery (a Smart Score of 100) in the most skills! This will motivate students to strengthen their understanding in each topic. Then, celebrate the winning class or the top students across the competition with a pizza party or fun prize! Rewarding hard work keeps students motivated and encourages others to work hard as well.

Increase teacher engagement and improve data

Encourage teachers to use IXL with their students by starting a competition based on the most time spent on IXL! Practice makes perfect, so spending time working on skills is another fun way to measure progress. Having teachers use IXL as nightly homework, independent learning, review for tricky topics, and to introduce new concepts can boost their time in the program. And, as an added bonus, the more time students spend working on skills, the better skill recommendations and data IXL will be able to provide to teachers.

See how other schools are using Leaderboards

Teachers, students, and admins are loving IXL Leaderboards! See them in action:

As a district or school administrator, IXL lets you be a part of all of your students’ learning journeys in a fun and interactive way! So, don’t delay, let the competition begin!

Want even more? Find out how the IXL Elite 100 educators use the program, check out our other engagement tools, or read more ideas on how to make learning fun on the IXL Blog.

And follow along on IXL’s Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter pages to see more IXL stories!

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