The interactive bulletin board that invested my students in our adaptive software


World, meet our Lexia board. I knew when I dove into blended learning that I wanted my students to track their progress on our adaptive reading program. Originally, I planned to make individual data booklets but I soon realized I wanted to go bigger. If I truly believe in the power of this “other teacher” in my room, I thought, then I must make it have a huge presence. So the Lexia board was born.

I am departmentalized so I teach two sections of reading. We named one group the Spartans and the other Cougars after our alma maters. Students put a sticker up on the chart immediately after they pass a level. We call that “leveling up.” It comes with a cool pink certificate (posted the next day), free time on the computer as a reward, and a quick cheer from the class. We’ve made leveling up a pretty big deal because it is. Every time students go up, it means they have either filled important gaps in their learning or completed advanced concepts that we might not get to during the grade level instruction. The program provides students with a personalized learning path and a feeling of accomplishment as they master each skill. They still get the biggest smile on their faces when they walk by my table with both thumbs in the air to indicate they have just passed the level.

Now leveling up is great but there is a key factor that really pushes students to get there: usage minutes. The more minutes students put in, the quicker they level up. So each week, I post the names of five students with the most minutes and most growth from the previous week. I also recently added a classwide incentive for meeting usage minutes. If every student in the class hits their minutes in the previous week, they get a sticker on the door. The class with the most stickers at the end of the year gets a pizza party.

This board has deeply invested my students and me in the power of an adaptive program as a teacher, facilitator, and most importantly, a cheerleader.

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