Using Competitions to Enhance Learning for Elementary Students

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Using Competitions to Enhance Learning for Elementary Students. Grant Black and Sharon Laux Center for Entrepreneurship and Economic Education University of Missouri-St. Louis. Benefits of Student Competitions. Motivate students to apply knowledge in a competitive format - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


Using Competitions to Enhance Learning for Elementary Students

Using Competitions to Enhance Learning for Elementary StudentsGrant Black and Sharon LauxCenter for Entrepreneurship and Economic EducationUniversity of Missouri-St. Louis1Benefits of Student CompetitionsMotivate students to apply knowledge in a competitive formatEnhance collaborative learningBuild students analytical and problem solving skillsDevelop students leadership and teamwork skillsStimulate students interest and activity in a subject

2Student Competitions and the Common CoreAddress Common Core standards related to language arts, math, higher-order thinking skills, and problem solvingStudent competitions motivate and enhance learning

3Connections to ClassroomCompetition is tied to what students are learning about economics, geography and entrepreneurship4th grade students learn about MissouriMO HiStory is an online curriculum that supplements 4th grade curricula

4th grade is when Missouri students learn all about their states history, government, symbols,

Meet Me in Missouri if designed for 4th and 5th grade students4MO HiStory Free Online CurriculumMO HiStory supplements social studies curriculum by integrating economics, entrepreneurship, geography, history, and Missouri heritage MO HiStory includes stories of 20 Missouri entrepreneursHistorical mapsLesson plans for teachersFun learning games

In addition to the stories of 20 Entrepreneurs who helped build Missouris economy, the website has lesson plans and two games that reinforce what the children are learning about Missouri in class and through using MO History. Dunk Tank Man (like hang man) and Spin to Win 5MO HiStory Common Core ConnectionsReading for informational textSpeaking and listeningMath

6MO HiStory Correlation with National Standards for Economics

7Teacher WorkshopTraining on curriculum, MO HiStoryRecruitment for Meet Me in MissouriOutline teacher responsibilities for participating in competitionGive examples of competition activities

The teacher workshop introduces teachers to MO History. The workshop is hands=on background information in economics is shared, teachers get to do some of the activities as the lessons from the curriculum are demonstrated.

Near the end of the workshop we encourage teachers to bring their students to the Meet Me in Missouri competition. We go over the agenda and describe the types of activities their students will be engaged in during the competition.

Teachers are very enthusiastic about this curriculum and this workshop helps to boost participation in the competition.8BudgetFundingPromotionMaterials

BudgetThe cost for Meet me in Missouri is around $1,700 for 150 students. This covers expenses materials used during the activities (poster board, markers, stickers, copies, etc.), cookies and drinks for the students and teachers, lunches for Center Staff and judges, ribbons, t-shirts, parking for guests and University taxes.

FundingFunding for the day has come from grants from local companies, the St. Louis Council for Economic Education, and the Magic Housea childrens museum.

PromotionMeet me in Missouri is listed on our website starting in the Summer or Fall. Save the date emails are sent at the end of March saying registration begins soon. Email announcements are developed and send by campus marketing to teachers in several counties in Eastern Missouri in April. Sample announcement above.

Materials varyPoster boards, copies of test and activities, scissors, markers, stickers, etc. Ribbons for winners.Name tags9PartnersTeachersSchool volunteersUniversity faculty Council membersCenter faculty and staffThe Magic House, St. Louis Childrens Museum

Several volunteers are needed for a successful competition.Teachers bring volunteers from their school to assist with managing the children. The Center recruit UMSL faculty from the Economics department to serve as judges for the Problem Solving Activity.

Members from our local council, the St. Louis Council on Economic Education have served as judges, as well.

The Magic House provided free passes for all of the children participating in the competition.10Partner RolesTeachersJudgesJudging room coordinatorsRoom CoordinatorsGradersFunders

Teachers prepare students for competition, create teams of 3-5 students and send team member sizes for t-shirts

Judges --Each team of students will bring a print advertisement and present a commercial that you must judge. Each team has a maximum of 2 minutes to make its presentation. A rubric is provided for the judges

Judging room coordinator will keep the time, and tally the scores of the judges.

Room Coordinators: Teachers and school volunteers perform this role. They serve as facilitators for the production activity, the test, the problem solving activity, and the t-shirt design. They also guide the students to the judging room for the presentation of the advertisement/presentation.

Center faculty and staff develop , organize and promote the competition. They also provide an orientation to the day,, grade the tests, and present awards .

Funders pay for the expenses of the competition.

11RegistrationOrientationProduction ActivityTestProblem Solving T-shirt designEvaluationAwards


The day begins with a welcome to all the teachers,. Students and volunteers and a general overview of the day. The group then heads to several rooms with tables arranged for the teams to work. Teachers and school volunteers are assigned rooms. Teachers and room volunteers are instructed not to help students with the days activities.

At the end of the day, all of the participants return to the auditorium for the awards ceremony. First, second and third place ribbons are awarded to winning teams for each of the days activities. In addition, teachers are given Certificates of Participation for each of the students. 13Production ActivityDesigned around entrepreneurs in MO HiStory

The production activity is changed from year to year because some children participate in both 4th and 5th grade. The activities are based on one of the stories from MO HiStory. One example of this activity is the production of a greeting card. Joyce Hall who founded Hallmark is one of the entrepreneurs featured in MO HiStory.

30 minutes: Production Activity examplestudents are given directions and evaluation criteria. This is a tem activity.

Suppose your team is a business that manufactures greeting cards. Your goal is to produce as many cards as your team can by carefully following the directions below.EVALUATIONYour team will be judged on (1) how well the directions are followed to produce each card and (2) how many cards are produced. If your team produces a lot of cards but does not follow the directions on how to make them, none of the cards will be counted.

Room Coordinators

PaperHappy Students Day stickersColor pencilsLarge yellow envelope which the resources were in for the completed good. Make sure team puts their team number on it.

Procedures Distribute resource envelopes to each team. Explain the task using the instructions. Point out that students should carefully fold the paper and write the numbers/A+ carefully with the correct colors. Check to be sure everyone understands what to do. (5 minutes) Production 10 minutesStop production. Allow teams 2 minutes to consider reorganizing their production methods and to check for quality.Production 8 minutesWrap Up: Be sure teams put completed products in the yellow envelopes and put their team numbers on the cards/envelope. Have the assigned chaperones collect envelopes with completed products and take them to the lobby. Ask chaperones to collect all leftover supplies, sort like items into piles, and place in the Production box. (5 minutes)

14TestCovers state standards for 4th grade social studiesEconomicsGeographyHistoryGovernment and civicsState symbolsMO HiStory curriculum

20 minutes is allowed for the test. The test is a team activity. Each student is given a test, but they turn in a group answer sheet.15Problem Solving ActivityDesigned around entrepreneurs in MO HiStory

Problem Solving Activity --30 minutes Team Activity

One problem solving activity we have used is based on the William Danforth story from MO HiStory (Ralston Purina). Students are given a little background about Ralston Purina and then directed to create a new good or service for Nestle Purina Petcare Company. They will then present their commercial for their new good or service to a panel of three judges.

OBJECTIVESCreate a good or service for Nestle Purina Petcare Company based on consumers love of pets. Create a commercial and advertising sign for your new product.Present your commercial and advertising sign to a group of judges who will evaluate your product, commercial, and sign for Nestle Purina Petcare Company.INSTRUCTIONS For your new product:You must create a new good or service related to pets.It can be a new invention or an innovation made to an existing product.You can create something for the pet owner.You can create something for the pet.For your commercial:Make sure you provide the following information:The good or service you will produce and if it is a new invention or an innovation made to an existing product.A clever name for your product or service. Make it appealing, catchy, or something your audience will remember!Who should buy your product and who will be your typical customers, your target market.What is unique about your good or service. How is it better than what the competition offers or what is currently available? What incentives do people have to buy your product?

Discrepancies in judging panels bias --looked at team average scores and compared them to room average scores. Adjusted the team score up or down according to the difference between the overall average and the room average.

16T-Shirt DesignEvaluationActivity Sheets

The judging of the groups presentations takes quite a bit of time. While teams wait, they a sack lunch that they brought. We supply drinks and cookies. After lunch they begin designing a Meet Me in Missouri t-shirt. The winning design will be made into the t-shirt the next years participants wear. The winner also receives a t-shirt with his or her design.

A short evaluation is given to each student.

Activity sheets, such as entrepreneur seek and find are given to students who are finished with the t-shirt design, lunch and evaluation, and have their problem solving activity judged and are waiting for the awards ceremony.179:30-10:00Registration10:00-10:10Orientation10:15-10:45Production Activity 10:50-11:10Test11:15-11:45 Problem Solving 11:30-11:45Judges Meeting 11:50-12:40Judging of problem-solving T-shirt design (Students may work on this before or after their problem-solving is judged)LunchStudent evaluation 12:40-1:00Awards

18Questions and Comments?



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