Accountability = Leaderboard
Leaderboards in education are often taboo, but when done right they can be a powerful motivator. Each student is not only accountable for themselves, but for the entire class. The leaderboard shows both rank and progress, and goals are adjusted based on student ability and past performance. Students who weren't previously engaged in math quickly become hyper-attuned to climbing the ranks, or being first to hit their goal. Students at the top will fight to keep their place while plowing through the standards, while those at the bottom will gain point multipliers for progress, allowing them to keep pace and rocket up the board after a solid set of games.
DNA: The Hunt = Chemical vs Physical
Looking back to our hunter gatherer ancestors, teamwork is key to survival. Working alone we starve or die, but by hunting as a pack we take down the game and thrive. This teamwork is ingrained in the DNA of Fluintcy. Most learning is achieved as a chemical process in the brain, which can dissipate after a few short weeks. By combining the team score and leaderboard dynamics, we are recreating the hunt. This stimulates a powerful signal to the brain to learn this skill as permanent memory, building new axons and dendrites.
Practice = Permanence: The Brain Glucose Pinpoint
Studies show that when a student takes on a new task, the blood glucose consumption in their brain spikes to roughly the size of a quarter. With repeated practice, it goes down to a pinpoint and then becomes permanent. This factor is the essence of fluency and automacity, freeing up the cognitive load to tackle more difficult tasks, and building a strong foundation for confidence in all forms of learning.
Each of these principles alone do not create the motivation and engagement to answer hundreds of math problems correctly each day, as witnessed by the sub-par results of most programs and the slipping numbers of the U.S. education statistics for mathematics. However, Fluintcy is much greater than the sum of its parts. When combined just right, these factors brew a powerful tonic… one rarely witnessed in the modern classroom, especially with at-risk youth.