Team: Math Sprints
Mentor: Dr. Darnell Johnson
Team Members: Illiana Thomas, Tiwana Walton, TreAsia Fields, and Chelsea Goins

The Effect of Math Sprint Competition in Student Achievement on SOL Mathematics Tests at Camelot Elementary School

Given Virginia’s Standards of Learning (SOL) (1995) mandates, Virginia’s elementary teachers and school leaders utilized research for teaching methods that encouraged gains on the end of course mathematics tests.  The relationship between teacher motivation methods and student achievement on Virginia’s End of Course SOL Test for elementary deserves investigation. Virginia’s elementary students in grades three, four and five must maintain an annual pass rate to meet Annual Yearly Progress (AYP) as recommended by the national “No Child Left Behind Act” of 2001. Camelot Elementary School is a Title I school housing high concentrations of minority students who normally achieve lower test score gains than students in other schools.  Camelot has a student population receiving at least seventy percent free and reduced lunch nested in a low middle class neighborhood in Chesapeake, Virginia.

This research will be based on school effectiveness by developing and testing hypotheses about the specific relationships between student competition and state wide testing results in elementary mathematics in grades three, four, and five at Camelot Elementary School in Chesapeake, Virginia. The study will compile data from the “Math Sprint Competition”, a series of student group related reviews of state released test items in a math test relay format. Research will focus on with methods for motivating a control group of elementary students in mathematics for grades three, four, and five from 2001 to 2003 versus an experimental group of students motivated by the use of a math sprint competition from 2004 to 2007.  Students will be compared from teaching methods that include: direct instruction, problem-based learning, technology aided instruction, cooperative learning, manipulative, models, and multiple representations, communication, and study skills.

A group of twelve elementary teachers from Camelot Elementary School will participate in this research to ascertain how frequently they use research-based teaching methods and to determine the influence of teaching methods on their students’ achievement. A multiple regression analysis will be used to show results from a 40-item state wide test for each grade level. Individual Pearson Product Moment Correlations will be conducted to determine which variables possess strong and statistically significant relationships. This analysis will determine if gains in the benchmark scores are an impact of the series of math sprint competitions used as motivators before each benchmark assessment.