BlueStreak – Student Engagement
The best way to help students recover from the disruptions of the past year and a half and improve math learning loss is through engaged instructional time. This math instructional time should combine elements of social emotional connections, active participation and cognitive investment to be meaningful and relevant.
BlueStreak provides engaged instructional time because it contains social-emotional activities in the strategy logs, active participation in the digital gaming platform and cognitive investment as students move through the mastery of skills in the foundational levels of the math program.
The Framework for Engagement with Mathematics by Dr. Catherine Attard, University of Western Sydney, indicates that teachers can re-envision their teaching instruction to improve student engagement in math. The following items are important for improving engagement:
1. Math tasks need to be positive and provide opportunities for all students to achieve a level of success. Success develops engagement.
BlueStreak gaming tasks are built with an adaptive engine that provides students with constant positive opportunities for success. From the pre-test to the post-test, students move through the math foundational levels, with a heat map that records successfully mastered equations, as they interact and engage in digital gaming.
2. Students should be provided with an element of choice. Learners are more likely to get excited and engaged about their work when they have some power and control over what or how they are learning.
BlueStreak provides students a choice of digital games to play as they engage in their math content.
3. Relevance of math is linked to a child’s experiences outside the classroom.
BlueStreak connects students’ gaming experiences outside the classroom with relevant foundational math content strategies and skills in the classroom.
4. Technology should be embedded in math lessons and used to enhance math understanding. Allowing students to choose digital platforms gives them some ownership of their learning. Providing them ways of tracking their own progress, lets them see where they are and how they are getting better. As students see that they are moving towards competency and are experiencing success, they become more confident and engaged.
BlueStreak provides students with ownership of learning as they interact with “heat maps” and individual student reports that keep them on track for their personal mastery success with the math content. Badges provide students with acknowledgement that they are improving and enhance their sense of engagement and confidence in mathematics.
5. Math lessons should regularly include a variety of tasks that cater to the diverse needs of students. When learning is too hard, it’s frustrating. When learning is too easy, it’s boring. It’s the “sweet-spot” where learning can be engaging and fun.
BlueStreak has an adaptive engine that provides an individual learning path from an initial pre-test diagnosis, the “sweet-spot”, where students begin their path to mastery of the foundational skills.
6. Student work should be a launch pad for discussions about the connections between the various strategies for math solutions and the multiple entry points of the content. These discussions help the students’ positive math identity as they see their math ideas have value. Students learn that there are multiple strategies that can solve a problem and that they can engage in the strategy that works best for them.
BlueStreak’s Strategy Logs provide math strategies for computational problem solving. These strategies relate directly with the math content in the game’s learning cards. Student reports guide teachers with discussions, in small groups, of the strategies used for equation solutions. From there, students can determine the successful strategies that work best for them.
7. Science indicates that learning for understanding happens when we intergrate new knowledge with our exsiting knowledge. It is the prior knowledge that we can build on and begin the process of engagement in mathematics.
BlueStreak is designed with learning cards that develop new foundational skills within the gaming program. As students successfully achieve mastery of skills, this prior knowledge is used to sustain engagement as new learnings are presented until students have mastered their content level.