Want to learn more?

Dr John Nietfeld | jlnietfe@ncsu.edu

Sofia is looking forward to her time in Missions with Monty today. Monty,

the monitor lizard with a knack for teaching, inspired her at the beginning

of the program when he shared his own personal story of the importance

that accurate monitoring played in his life. Monty assigned Sofia with a

challenging goal during her first mission during which she learned a lot

about weather systems and also how to improve her learning while reading

science text. Sofia likes how Monty helps her and the other students with a

strategy training camp at the beginning of each mission. Before Monty

came along she had no idea that reading about science required the use of so

many strategies. But she has found that by using Monty’s strategies she is

starting to understand science like never before.
 
Recently Sofia has been working her way through the Ecosystems Mission, the second of three missions in the program. She is gradually making her way towards the ultimate goal of the mission – to find an elusive snow leopard by transporting herself into its lair high up in the mountains. She likes seeing her progress on the map as she makes her way through the snow leopard’s ecosystem step by step on her quest to find the lair. Her time in this mission has made her realize just how interrelated living organisms are and this discovery has opened a world of questions in her mind making her curious to learn more. She has learned that her progress in the mission accelerates in direct relation to her skills, knowledge, and monitoring meters that are displayed as she plays. The skills she displays during training camp with Monty and then her comprehension scores and the accuracy of her confidence judgments from each passage contribute to her scores. In her last Mission Sofia obtained an Expert Monitoring badge to add to her sash. During the current Mission she performed well on the Highlighting Challenge, one of the six different strategy challenges offered during training camp, and was able to unlock her choice of three new animal avatar possibilities. She chose the Red Ruffed Lemur. After the working on a passage about beavers Sofia suggested an activity for the class through the Lesson Portal where you make guesses about the population of beavers on a topographical map based upon knowledge of the landscape. Now Sofia’s lemur avatar is wearing “Chuck Taylor” high-top shoes because her teacher chose her activity.
 
Sofia has found it useful that Monty is available for advice even after training camp when working on a mission passage. The program has rewarded her for asking him appropriate questions at the right time. She has called on Monty to provide strategy tips a couple times during the Ecosystems Mission when her teacher has used the Teacher Dashboard to make the passage invisible to students while answering the comprehension questions. Sofia has also contributed to helping out her classmates by leaving strategy tips in the program and she especially enjoys getting a ‘bite’ on one of her tips that earns her points on the strategy meter. Sofia listened carefully to Monty’s instructions from the beginning and has taken many notes in her Missions Journal. From each passage she is trying to predict what information would be useful for the top-secret final mission that Monty will give her. She hopes that most of the knowledge needed will come from her Missions Journal and the passage summaries that she writes and submits to her teacher. Sofia has never read much about science at home during her free time but since Missions with Monty started she has spent many nights rereading the Mission texts and the additional texts to improve her skills, knowledge, and monitoring meter scores. She is now beginning to enjoy science and now realizes that with a little effort and some good strategies that she can begin to understand even the most difficult topics.
 

 

Example of a Student Using the Program
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