Introducing...Chris Lawson! A valued member of our Entourage Programme, Chris has provided us with some tips on how to use TT Rock Stars to maximise engagement amongst his pupils. We’ve come to believe that Chris has somewhat mastered the art of increasing engagement; in the last academic year, 96% to 100% of Chris' pupils were active on TTRS. How did he do it?! Check out the below for some insight!
KEY FACT FILE
Parbold Dougles C of E Academy
INCREASING ENGAGEMENT IN TT ROCK STARS
Beyond the ‘dress-up launch days’ (enjoyed by students and teachers in equal measure!), there are many things that you can do to sustain and increase engagement in TT Rock Stars. Be it the start of a new year, with an opportunity to have a whole school focus or a class teacher wanting to sustain the momentum already achieved, we’ve got you covered with some hints and tips for supporting and sustaining engagement:
1. IT'S ALL ABOUT THE ATMOSPHERE
A rock concert would be a bit of a flop if it played classical music as you entered…right?
So, it is just as important you set up the right climate for learning and underpin the use of TT Rock Stars. If you have been using TT Rock Stars for a while – ask the children – what do they like? Do they enjoy the competition element or prefer to work more independently on their goals? Some classes are different to others and what some students like, others will be less comfortable with. We found that personalising the programme to suit each child ensured they stayed engaged.
Now, here’s a tricky one – intrinsic vs extrinsic motivation. Do the students want to get better, to get better? Or to get a certificate on a Friday? Some may argue that this is a chicken and the egg situation – you cannot have one without the other.
By supporting students to manage their own goals, achieve and celebrate with them, they are much more likely to lead to sustained impact. By all means, create mini leaderboards, print or send certificates (available from the teacher dashboard) – who doesn’t like a cool certificate? But, always draw it back to the students’ own journey towards that ‘Rock Status’ they have been aspiring towards. As a school, we moved away from weekly rewards to as and when, with teachers identifying real effort (games played) as well as those knocking milliseconds off their scores.
3. SOMETIMES YOU NEED TO MOVE BACK TO SPRING FORWARDS
TT Rock Stars innately has features to ensure that students are given the right questions at the right time; this ensures that students don’t have too easy or difficult questions. We encourage the teachers to pay close attention to the teacher dashboard and identify children who are stuck on a particular level. It may be that they haven’t been on in a while and need to drop back to then improve further. The use of the ‘fast forward to next gig’ is a great tool to utilise here.
4. MIX IT UP!
Technology is brilliant for its responsiveness and formative assessment and TT Rock Stars is certainly that. However, don’t be afraid to use the superb written paper worksheets for the children to complete. Some may prefer this to a PC or iPad and variety is the spice of life!
5. ROCK BATTLES
There is nothing like taking on another class in a rock battle to get the school buzzing… or another local school!
We have done numerous of these events in our own school and with local schools, not to mention the competitions TT Rock Stars runs throughout the year. Our most successful internal competition was where the winning class got to make their own pizzas and have a pizza party!