Saturday, December 8, 2012

We Love Hot Chocolate {Math Motivator}

Most of my chickadees struggle with knowing their basic math facts (and I can tell their isn't a whole lot of practice going on at home).  To motivate them to practice and learn their facts  I came up with the Hot Cocoa Challenge. 
We made cups of cocoa out of constuction paper.  My chickadees were told what facts to practice for the week and that they would be quizzed at the end of the week (I am differentiating, some students are practicing add./sub. facts and some are working on multiplication facts).  If they scored 80% or above they would earn a marshmallow to put in their cocoa.  We will be doing this each week from now through January. 
After they have earned 3 marshmallows for their cup, they earn a cup of hot cocoa.  After 5 marshmallows, they will earn cookies and cocoa.
This pic is from the first week (not all of my student's cups are pictured).  I can not tell you how excited my students were about being able to earn a "marshmallow" for their cup.  They kept telling me all week that they were practicing and on Friday, all of my students who were in school that day earned a 100% on their math facts and earned their first marshmallow.  We just finished up our 2nd week and not only are all my chickadees still talking about practicing at home, they did well on their 2nd assessment.
If you need a way to motivate your students to learn their math facts, give this a try.  I am still amazed and happy at how giddy my chickadees were when they got to glue their marshmallow onto their cups of cocoa!