Using Content-Based Games to Boost Student Engagement in STEM: Sheryl Coe
Sheryl CoeAKA "Maestro"
Traditionally, teachers have been masters of maintaining just the right distance between themselves and a student’s desk to keep the student on track, often without saying a word. When COVID swept through the 20-21 school year, Sheryl Coe, aka Maestro, knew it was going to take a very different approach to keep students engaged from their living rooms through their Chromebooks. As Sheryl says, the real challenge was to “get students actively engaged and interested in math during virtual learning”.
During the fall of 2020, teachers across New Haven tested out Legends of Learning to see if students would be engaged in the platform and motivated to invest time when learning from home. The Maestro did an amazing job coordinating training sessions with hundreds of teachers, where they learned more about Legends and how to effectively utilize it in a variety of classroom settings. The experience spread like wildfire around the district.
Legends of Learning went from a relatively unknown resource in New Haven to a weekly resource students engaged in for review while they leveled up their avatars. To date, students in New Haven have answered more than 174K questions for math review! “Game-based learning is competitive and engaging. It is keeping the students actively learning and participating with…math” says the Maestro.
Sheryl’s greatest joy is “seeing the number of teachers and students engaged with Legends of Learning grow with each passing day and watching the number of games assigned and played rise each week”. In fact, New Haven Public Schools has instituted a competition for math teachers, in which the top users in the district get capes shipped to their school! After seeing all of the fun that the math team had with the competition, the science team is now also participating in the challenge.
Sheryl goes by Maestro because her powers of organization are extraordinary. She works with 40 coaches and countless teachers, knowing all of them personally, chatting with them throughout meetings, and encouraging them as they continue trying out new resources with students. Maestro, you are a true legend!