Do you teach perseverance in your early learning classroom? While perseverance is not the emphasis of our standards, we all know that children aren't likely to get far in school (or life) without it. One way we can foster perseverance in our classroom is to set longterm goals, monitor our progress, and then reflect on and celebrate our success. Footsteps2Brilliance creates a wonderful opportunity to do just that.
Ms. Kathy Jacoby and Ms. Teri Spampinato in California were new to Footsteps2Brilliance this year. They wanted to make sure that their students got the most out of the program, and they understood that using it consistently would produce the best learning results.
Together, their kindergarten team decided to set a goal. While reading Anyway Cafe, they challenged their students to read 5 million words on Footsteps2Brilliance by the end of the school year. The students got to choose their reward: a pie throwing contest! Ms. Jacoby and Ms. Spampinato are looking forward to a pie in the face in exchange for seeing their children gain this wonderful experience.
The 5-million word challenge opened many opportunities for students and teachers:
- Parent engagement. Because Footsteps2Brilliance can be accessed on any mobile device with or without an Internet connection, it is ideally suited for home use. Families contributed words read by using the program after school and on the weekends.
- Meaningful math lessons. Words read are prominently displayed in Footsteps2Brilliance teacher reports. Each time the teachers showed their students the current number of words read, they had the opportunity to explore measurement and to compare big numbers.
- Perseverance. Let’s face it, 5 million words is a lofty goal! In order to keep students on track, the teachers identified smaller goals along the way. For example, children celebrated reading 3 million words with a fun activity where they dressed up as a character in a book and paraded the school showing off their accomplishment.
We are so proud of the students in Ms. Jacoby and Ms. Spampinato’s classes for making so much progress toward this year's goal, and we look forward to seeing pictures of their pie-throwing contest! How are you helping your students to persevere?