iReady Incentive Ideas

iReady Incentives for Students

This year, my district began using the iReady program across all grade levels.  It has been an interesting journey so far and I thought I would share a bit about the incentives we have in place in my class that are helping the students to progress through the lessons.  Here are a few things you need to know before we proceed:

1)  iReady is mandated for 45 minutes in BOTH Reading and Math per week by the district.
2)  We are only using the diagnostic and the adaptive MyPath lessons.
3)  I do not have admin access on my end, so the features I have available to me are limited.

So now that you have a little clearer picture of the iReady expectation in my district, we can move on :)  When I started the program at the beginning of the year, my students simply weren't doing iReady.  They had no intrinsic incentive to do it, so I needed an extrinsic one.  So I searched the internet and tweaked some ideas I found to suit the needs of my class.

Incentive 1:  Punch Cards

iReady punch cards to incentivize passing tests

I started by using these punchcards in MATH.  (I only did math because iReady as much more easily integrated into my existing math routine.)  When students passed a lesson in math, they would walk the card and computer up to me and I would mark the lesson down as completed.  I have these in groups of 10 because the iReady dashboard shows me how many lessons they have passed in numerical order.  If they have passed 15 lessons, I know that this is their second card (the first one was used for lessons 1-10) and they are getting the 5 marked.  Every 10 lessons passed they get a new card.  Makes accounting super easy for me.  

You can get the cards I created here.  Again, they are ONLY for MATH.

Incentive 2:  Lessons Passed Reward

Using magnets on the white board to track lessons passed on iReady for the week.

After a while, I found that the cards were really only being used by about half of the class regularly.  The other half weren't as motivated by them.  So, using an idea from two teachers at my school, I started keeping track of lessons passed.  As a class, we set a goal of 3 lessons in math and 3 lessons in reading.  If they reached the goal by the end of the week, they would earn a reward.  Again, my class decided that they wanted extra PE time if they reached their goal.  So each week, the kids work on passing 3 lessons in each domain.  That takes roughly the 45 minutes per subject per week that my district wants, so it works out nicely.  If they make it by the end of the week, they get the reward.  If they don't, they work on iReady while the others get the reward.  

I use numbered magnets (affiliate link here) to keep track of it all.  I also check the date of the lessons passed either on the student's computer when they tell me they have passed or on my teacher dashboard.  I am the only one who can move the magnets, but I do a final check of the computer before the reward is given.  If you would like the little cards I have on the board to organize it, here it is!

So far, this incentive is working very, very well.  Most of the kids are motivated to work instead of just stare into space or push buttons and fail. 

Incentive 3:  100% Whole Class Reward

100% Reward chart for iReady

I also wanted to reward the class as a whole.  If the kids get a 100% on any test, Math or Reading, they can walk up to the chart and color in one section.  When it is fully colored, the whole class gets the specified reward.  The chart can be found here.

This is largely on the honor system.  I am not really checking every single 100% the kids say they get. So far, they are pretty good about being honest.  If I notice one kid constantly going up there quickly, I will check, but for the most part they have been good about being truthful.

Incentive 4:  100 Goal Name List

Some kids need personal and public recognition.  Because of that, I have 4 signs on my wall.  If they get 25 lessons passed in reading or math, they can write their name on the sign.  Same at 50, 75, and 100.  The goal is for them to get their name up their twice (once for reading and once for math.)  Some kids LOVE seeing their name up there and have been very motivated by this.

Now I understand that this is a lot of rewarding and incentivizing this program.  Frankly, right now my class needs it.  Maybe in the future they won't, but right now they do.  So we will keep going with these incentives until they either don't need them or they don't work.  We are just taking it one week at a time.

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