ShalomLearning partner school, Congregation Shearith Israel, located in Atlanta, GA, is implementing a new solution to a common dilemma: motivating students to complete independent work. Several schools choose, as a policy, not to assign students activities to complete outside of class. There are many reasons for such an approach and many advantages to giving out of class activities, including:
- Assignments allow students independent practice and self-assessment;
- Families have insight into students’ classroom learning with at-home activities;
- Activities provide teachers a tool to informally assess students to identify needs for individualized student instruction.
However, not all students are intrinsically motivated to complete assignments. Many teachers and schools are looking for creative ways to incentivize students. Shearith Israel created a fun tool to help mitigate this obstacle: HaGalgal (The Wheel), an incentive program for Hebrew work at home. The program is simple:
- Teachers assign work for their students to complete between Hebrew classes.
- Each student who logs into my.ShalomLearning.org and submits the assignment gets an entry into the class drawing.
- Each class, the teacher draws a name, and that student gets to spin HaGalgal.
- Each month the class with the highest percentage of students with submitted assignments spins the wheel for the whole school to see.
- At the end of the year, the student who has submitted the most assignments will win a special prize sporting the school logo.