The adventures of a fourth grade teacher in East Central Illinois.

The Wiley iPad Challenge

Yesterday I mentioned that my students, along with the rest of the school, are participating in the first-ever Wiley iPad Challenge. This is a booster activity the PBIS team came up with to encourage positive hallway behaviour. Students, classes, and even teachers can earn points toward using a whole-class set of iPads for 20 minutes. We have several iPads in the building, but most teachers only have four. (My class is incredibly fortunate in that we have 4 iPads and 5 Nooks, giving us a total of 9 tablets. Some of the primary classes also have other tablets, too.)

There are two ways for students to earn points: individually and as a class. For an individual to earn points, the students has to be caught by a teacher or other staff member following hallway expectations: walking on the right, keeping hands, feet, and other objects to him- or herself, using a silent messages (no talking), and having a hall pass. If an individual student is caught doing the right thing, he or she will be given a small carnival-type ticket that is worth 1 point and will go into a drawing for prizes at the end of the week. An entire class can earn 25 points if all of the students are following those same expectations and another teacher (not their own) notices.

The goal is for each class to earn 150 points in a week. When they earn a total of 900 points, they will get their time on the iPads. Theoretically, this would happen quite rapidly. My students this morning determined that they are in the hall on average 8 times a day, going to fine arts or library or the computer lab or P.E. or lunch, or recess or buddy reading. So they could possibly earn at least 200 points a day or 1,000 points in a week! In practice, however, we are still working on 100% following the expectations, but I have to say, things are a whole lot quieter in our hallways this week than they have been most of the year!

Some may ask why we are so concerned about quiet hallways. The answer is quite simple: our halls echo and the sound penetrates classrooms, disturbing the main purpose of being at school: learning. Quiet halls lead to less distractions which leads to a better learning environment.

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