Students in one fourth grade love being rewarded with dog tags for math accomplishments. They like wearing the tags, which identify them as having solved problems. The recognition for them is becoming very popular
At Center Elementary School in Plum, Pennsylvania, the dog tags have meaning to the students, as they can be worn and shown, and arent just like a medal or certificate that is put away later. Also, some students have family members in the military and are proud to wear their dog tags just like family members.
10 year old Dylan Akut wants to tell his brother Zach about the “dog tags” he received for his performance in a math fluency program at Center. Zach is a U.S. Marine who is at boot camp.
Zach wears dog tags that identify him as a member of the military.
“I haven’t gotten to see (Zach) yet,” Dylan said.
“I will tell him about the dog tags we have.”
Center Elementary Principal Jeff Hadley recently started the program.
Hadley said the students in kindergarten through sixth grade receive the metal tags on chains once they pass timed tests in certain benchmarks at each grade level.
Teachers periodically give the written tests.
The tags have the Plum School District logo and Plum mustang on one side and an example of a math problem that the student has mastered on the other side.
Hadley said Center’s PTA raised money for the dog tags.
“Our goal with this new math fluency incentive is to ensure we have a dedicated focus on mastering basic math facts while at the same time making this learning motivating and fun for students,” Hadley said.
Peggy Mankovich, a fourth-grade teacher at Center, said the program that is just a couple of weeks old has been well-received by students.
“It motivates them to be excited to learn their (math) facts,” Mankovich said.