HATTIESBURG, Miss – It’s a video that’s gone viral! If you haven’t seen it, some local Mississippi students put their math skills to the test, and the video of them competing against each other in a game called “fact dash,” is creating a buzz across the nation!
Earlier this week we traveled to J.E.Johnson Elementary school to meet the stars of this video!
It’s quiet right now but at 2:15 every day the halls of J.E.Johnson Elementary are bustling with kids excited about learning, “It’s about not sitting in those classrooms doing worksheets, using every little piece of our school as a classroom so during fact dash time, the hallways are definitely the classroom,” said principal Carrie Hammond-Walker.
Fact dash take places on every hallway, students are on edge to answer fast and correctly. The entire school participates; students go into the hallway and compete on a fact chosen by the teacher for the day. Classes in each grade compete against one another, determined to regurgitate a fact before their classmate, the winning class, receives a sticker. At the end of the month stickers are tallied, the class with the most stickers wins a healthy snacks party.
Kindergarteners battled one another learning sight words, while first through sixth focus on math.
4th grader, Keayla Conerly explains her strategy, “I’ll try to think of the answer. I’ll remember what i learned last year or this year or the first beginning of the school year. And I’ll just try to figure out the answer in my head, and then I’ll just say it.”
“Students are mastering their sight words quicker. In turn they’re able to read when they see these words in print or text. They’re able to identify these words quicker which improves our comprehension, improves our fluency,” said kindergarten teacher Susan Blackburn.
School officials started using this technique about five weeks ago and teachers say they’ve already noticed a change, “I’m seeing some of the students studying multiplication facts because they want to be a winner and if we can fool them into playing a game but they’re actually learning; win, win for education,” said Yashica Bass.
Principal Karrie Hammond-Walker said even the teachers are competing, it’s all about motivation. Walker also said student have even asked if they can incorporate more subject into the fact dash.
“But our whole point is to make sure that you master those basic skills, when you’re doing those high ordered questions, basic math won’t be your problem because you know those facts.”