IMMOKALEE - Lake Trafford Elementary School(LTE) is coming up with creative ways to motivate and engage its students. Take the recent schoolwide challenge from media specialist Alma McDermott, for example. During the month of February, McDermott challenged students to achieve 80% or higher each week on their iReady tests, which is one of the school’s Wildly Important Goals, or WIGs. If at least 10 classes met the goal, McDermott agreed to lock herself up in the school’s display case for 100 minutes (10 minutes per class)!
McDermott came up with the idea after noticing that only four or five classes were meeting the 80% goal each week. She really wanted to see that number increase. “If everyone meets their weekly WIG, then the school will meet its goal of improving reading by a certain percentage,” McDermott explained.
She began working out the details with assistant principal Dr. Nathan Poteet. Together, they decided that 10 classes was a good number for which to aim.
McDermott began promoting the challenge on the school’s news and talking it up a bit with the kids. “I became a bit of a minor celebrity in the weeks ahead as students would stop to tell me they had gotten 80% or 100% or that the whole class met their goal to lock me up,” added McDermott.
All of the efforts paid off! The school had 11 classes meet the February WIG, exceeding its goal.
“The push to lock up Mrs. McDermott was certainly a motivator for many classes,” shared principal Joy Alvarez. “It was all in good spirit, and Mrs. McDermott followed through with her promise.”
McDermott stepped into the display case on Monday, March 1, at 10:30 am, bringing her laptop and work to keep busy. As students entered the cafeteria for lunch, they were able to see and wave to McDermott through the glass. She was finally freed around 1:45 pm—much more than the 100 minutes originally agreed upon. “I think Mrs. McDermott will do just about anything to motivate kids to read,” Alvarez added with a smile.
Due to its success, the school has decided to keep the challenge going. If 12 classes meet the weekly WIG during the month of March, students will get to see Dr. Poteet get pied!