This year, I have a wide range of learners in my classroom. Due to this wide range, I have students that are struggling with basic concepts, as well as students that are ready for more advanced problem-solving and challenges. For instance, it isn’t uncommon for some of my struggling students to spend most of the class period on a few problems, where my gifted students may finish those same problems in five minutes.
This got me thinking…how could I create some “practice” where students could conquer problems at their own speed and pace? How could I create problems that increase in difficulty where my struggling students could be successful but my higher students could be challenged?
Enter…the Ninja Challenge!
This week, my collab teacher and I created a very simple Google Form for students to review Systems of Equations. It’s definitely a skills practice (and a little bit worksheet-y) but it allows students to practice these skills with increasing difficulty and receive immediate feedback through response validation.
As you can see, it isn’t the most exciting form…but it was a great way to see if my students understand the basics before moving into higher level problems later this week.
All students were required to complete up to the “Green Belt” problems. This means that everyone had to complete at least the four beginner problems. Through this, my struggling students had the opportunity to feel successful. After this, the students were challenged to continue through the next challenges, which were definitely the more advanced problems that required them to pull in multiple skills that they may not have combined previously.
As the students conquered these problems, they were awarded their ninja badges! I created a badge for the white, green and black belt problems – simply because it would be WAY too much money to print them for every color of belt. Yet, it was amazing how excited the students were to receive their badge! They were so into getting the badges that they worked so hard on the challenge problems. Later, they took their badges and decorated their notebooks, phones or set them inside their chromebook cases.
Since the students had such a blast receiving these badges, I definitely plan on doing this again with other activities. Next week, we will be doing a murder mystery game and I am currently creating badge for that, as well as badges that go along with their assessments. (Don’t worry – I’ll share them out!)
In fact…this may end up being a series of “badge” posts! Stay tuned!
Do you use badges in your classroom? Share below!