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Inspiring stories

How I’ve boosted my students’ motivation with Netmath.

Author: Scolab | Publish on February 19, 2018

A Math teacher tells us about his use of our digital math resource.

“In general my students are good at math and score in the top percentile in our district,” says a math teacher in the United States, Josh Cavender [he uses Buzzmath, the American version of Netmath]. “Most have found math to be super easy – and boring! – in the past. I needed something that could meet the needs of all learners and keep them actively engaged.”

Keeping students engaged and motivated in their learning is one of the greatest challenges for many teachers. With over 15 years of experience in teaching math, Josh Cavender was still looking for a solution that could help him. One day, on a personal initiative, he decided to register for a Buzzmath license. Three years later, he is using our digital platform every day in class.

“The missions are a big motivational piece!”

At Scolab, while creating Netmath and Buzzmath in close collaboration with the teaching community, we understood this very important point: bored or scared students don’t learn. This is not a secret, but rather the key: to facilitate learning, you have to make students enjoy math. So, we created thousands of interactive and stimulating activities using gamification techniques. The “missions” are the part of our content that illustrates it the best. Students travel through time, meet famous mathematicians in an exciting adventure, and solve math problems all at once. As they are having fun learning math in the Netmath/Buzzmath universe, they are motivated and engaged in their learning.

“I firmly believe it helps students’ grasp the higher level concepts needed to be successful…while saving Mathlantis. It helps students see problem solving skills in a new light. I love how each mission is geared towards a different concept and the challenge within them. We “unlock” them at the same time and I challenge them to see who can pass them, who can pass them the fastest; and in the end who can pass all the missions. I use raffle tickets as a motivation that earns them great prizes; like box seats at the KC Royals game! [Kansas City’s baseball team] Plus, I have seen many of my students use Buzzmath missions to look deeper into the mathematicians that helped pave the way. It gives math education a higher dimension, connecting them with math history.”


“I enjoy seeing students challenge themselves by creating their own path of learning with a goal in mind!”

In the 21st century, education has undergone a major shift in mindset. Teaching is no longer thought of as driving on a highway to complete the curriculum program in front of a class of muted students, even if you have to leave some of them behind. New acknowledgments have risen from the educational community giving a new shape to modern pedagogy: learning at our own pace, from our mistakes, asking questions and having fun doing it, has been proven more efficient to foster deeper learning.

“We no longer live in the era of NCLB (No Child Left Behind Act) and have to teach students the exact same concepts day in and day out. What I enjoy about Buzzmath is seeing students struggle to get their solution. They are engaged, challenged, and learning how mathematics really works, through rigor and relevance! I can strongly attest that their growth in MAPS (Measures of Academic Progress) scores and love for learning can be credited to programs like Buzzmath.” Mr. Cavender tells us.

But this new way to proceed requires time to implement differentiated teaching and imagine exciting activities. This is where Netmath or Buzzmath intervenes. By offering automated corrections linked to reporting tools and detailed solutions with infinite retries, our platform has been designed to help teachers to meet these needs without losing any time.

“Students in my math class have weekly goals. Each student has a different goal that they are working on. Then, we set up a schedule and game plan on how they can use their time wisely to hit and exceed their goals.” Mr. Cavender explains. “I use this to help drive what they are struggling in based on data driven decisions. I enjoy seeing them challenge themselves by creating their own path of learning with a goal in mind! At the same time, they are competing in our class challenges. Students tackle the challenge at night to try and compete by earning stars and conquering missions!”

Josh Cavender currently teaches three sections of math that range from students at a 2nd grade level to some testing out of Algebra at the Shawnee Mission School District, in Kansas (United States).

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