“Someone who walks into our building may think that [students are] fighting,” J. E. Johnson Elementary principal Carrie Hammond-Walker explains in a new video posted by AJ+.
“But no, it’s Fact Dash going on,” she added, in the video.
That’s not hyperbole. Watch this video of elementary students competing head-to-head in a maths competition that happens everyday at the end of school.
What looks like utter chaos is a carefully crafted game created by Principal Hammond-Walker.
It’s a game that Hammond-Walker created when she was a third-grade teacher and her students were struggling with maths.
She’s now in her first year as principal at J.E. Johnson, located in Jefferson Davis County, Mississippi, and the game had exploded in the halls of the school.
“In our building at 2:15 it turns into a maths fact frenzy all over the school from kindergarten through sixth grade,” she told Business Insider.
The premise is simple enough. Teachers quiz students using flash cards with maths questions written on them. Students from one classroom line up side-by-side to compete with students in an opposing classroom.
The first person to shout the right answer joins the back of the line, while students who don’t answer quickly enough or get the answer wrong are out. The teacher whose classroom wins for the day gets a sticker on a ranking list to keep track of their record.
As an added incentive to win, the school has a monthly recognition ceremony called a “Blast Ceremony” where the students and classes who have won the most Fact Dash games are recognised. And the classroom with the most stickers at the end of the month gets a “Blast Party,” with a DJ and snacks.
Fact Dash isn’t just about having fun for Hammond-Walker. Her goal is to improve the student outcomes at the school at J.E. Johnson Elementary.
In Mississippi, schools are rated from “A” to “F.” J.E. Johnson is currently a “C” school. Hammond-Walker is doing everything she can to bring the school to a “B,” and she says she won’t stop until it is finally and “A” rated school.
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