See how he inspires students to become confident mathematicians and achieve stellar MATHia results.
Gone are the days of “sit and get” and “skill and drill” in math classrooms, and 6th-grade accelerated math teacher Joshua Moseley knows it. You won’t find his students sitting quietly, trying to memorize a lecture of tips and tricks.
Instead, Mr. Moseley’s classroom at the International Leadership School of Texas, Grand Prairie (ILTexas, Grand Prairie) is full of music, collaboration, and incredible academic accomplishments—all aspects reflective of the charisma and energy he brings to math education.
Mr. Moseley’s passion for student motivation is palpable. His exuberance when he speaks of their accomplishments in MATHia, the one-on-one math coaching software component of the Texas Math Solution, is infectious.
Mr. Moseley is genuinely excited to go above and beyond to celebrate his students’ math milestones with invigorating and inventive incentives, from jingles and chants to “ice saber” battles to pizza parties and more. We’re just as excited as he is to celebrate these accomplishments!
Math Confidence for Every Student
When ILTexas, Grand Prairie, started using the Texas Math Solution and MATHia during the 2021-22 school year, Mr. Moseley knew there was huge potential for student gains. MATHia adapts to the individual clicks and keystrokes of each student, so a truly personalized math coaching experience takes place—paving the way for each student to attain deep mathematical understanding.
During that first year, Mr. Moseley’s students were doing well with MATHia, but he knew not everyone was reaching their full potential. Some were crushing the workspaces but others struggled with the motivation to approach such an in-depth and individualized software program. At first, MATHia can seem like a big ask! But Mr. Moseley knew if he could just motivate his students to dive into the program, they would be blown away by the results and become the confident mathematicians he knew were lurking inside.
“These kids deserve an opportunity to have an opportunity to succeed,” Mr. Moseley states. “So this year, our second year with the Texas Math Solution, I hit the ground running. I saw what wasn’t working and what needed to be improved,” he says, of deciding to incorporate motivational techniques outside the established grading system.
Once he started recognizing students in front of the entire campus and incorporating unique incentives and activities, Mr. Moseley saw the blossoming confidence and stellar results he anticipated.
“The workspace goals for my students more than doubled from last year, and they’ve crushed that,” he shares. “I have more than triple the number of achievers than last year.”
Mr. Moseley is a teacher who, when he sees what his students need, does his best to deliver. And Mr. Moseley’s best? It started a campus-wide culture of increased math motivation and confidence.
Motivating MATHiacs and More
In order to figure out what would best motivate his students to dive into MATHia, Mr. Moseley went right to the source. Of course, they said they liked what most kids like—candy, treats, and prizes—but they also wanted recognition from their teachers and classmates.
Mr. Moseley acknowledges the importance of this recognition, saying, “I don’t want to bribe them—I want to boast about them.”
In this spirit, students who meet MATHia workspace milestones are acknowledged both in-class and campus-wide and get to sport fun titles such as “MATHiac” (Mr. Moseley’s creative name for his MATHia maniacs), “Master of MATHia,” “MATHia Maniac,” or “MATHia Mystic.” The school year is divided into six cycles; students can achieve these titles each cycle and receive certificates of achievement for each level.
And Mr. Moseley keeps the entire campus involved in motivating each other by inviting everyone to become a “MATHianiac.” These people cheer on the MATHiacs in class and during morning and afternoon announcements with a fun jingle that’s guaranteed to put a smile on your face!
But the celebrations don’t stop there.
When Mr. Moseley’s students achieve one of these recognition levels, do well on a test, or come in for extra help, they get to spin prize wheels while classmates cheer them on. Rewards include stickers, candy, mystery prizes, ice sabers (aka ice pops), posters, raffle tickets, and bonus prizes like the opportunity to teach the class for ten minutes or share their winnings with a friend.
If you’re walking through the halls and hear, “Spin that wheel! Spin that wheel!” you know it’s time to celebrate MATHia milestones!
Challenge Rewards, a series of special celebrations with other high-achieving classmates, is another method Mr. Moseley uses to increase math confidence and motivation. This year, students who completed half of the grade-level workspaces by mid-October attended “Slice of MATHia,” a party where they enjoyed a slice of pizza while celebrating with friends and teachers.
And Mr. Moseley’s wheels are always spinning, so he’s already imagining new challenge rewards to try, like “Pi Your Teacher,” a rock, paper, scissors contest, and a “MATHiñata” event with piñatas and prizes.
The Results Are In
It may seem like all fun and games, but does this MATHia motivation actually work?
The accomplishments of Mr. Moseley’s 6th-grade students speak for themselves—they definitely have a great time and are learning, too!
As of January 9th, 2023:
23 of his students have finished the accelerated 6th-grade MATHia workspaces and are working on 7th and 8th-grade workspaces.
Three students have finished 7th-grade MATHia workspaces.
Two students have finished 8th-grade MATHia workspaces and are ready for Algebra I workspaces.
Students have completed 15,231 accelerated 6th-grade workspaces in total.
The average MATHia completion for his accelerated 6th-grade students is over 65% (and it’s only halfway through the school year!).
He also sees more active participation, peer collaboration, and increased mathematical discourse, stating, “When they recognize a concept in class, I know they’ve been in those MATHia workspaces. They’re ahead of the game. I have students who are great table tutors who help provide explanations during independent practice.”
And Mr. Moseley notices this confidence boost across the board. “Even students who might be called low achievers started blowing these workspaces out of the water once they felt that sense of pride and independence,” he says, noting that student underachievement isn’t just a matter of limited capacity.
With the right teacher in your corner, every student can do great things—and we’re so grateful for teachers like Mr. Moseley who go above and beyond to develop this confidence!
Increasing STAAR Confidence
Mr. Moseley is also excited about his students’ MATHia Adaptive Personalized Learning Scores (APLSE), which are research-proven to accurately predict standardized assessment scores. Most have predicted end-of-year APLSE scores that indicate the potential for high scores on the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR). He also acknowledges the benefit his students receive from working through the MATHia workspaces that mirror new STAAR item types.
“STAAR is changing this year,” he shares. “I immediately went to the new item types and recognized them from MATHia. I started showing the kids, and now I hear every day, ‘Oh, I saw that in MATHia! I saw that in my MATHia workspace!’”
With high APLSE scores, practice that mirrors new STAAR item types, and increased scores between the beginning-of-year tests and recently completed midterm assessments, Mr. Moseley is confident about his students’ future academic success.
“I have zero doubt that students who are high achieving in MATHia will also be high achievers on the STAAR,” he says.
“I like using MATHia as a confidence booster,” Mr. Moseley concludes. “I tell kids all the time that MATHia is twice as hard as the STAAR will be. If you truly trust it and don’t just guess, it will give you the confidence you need to fly through the STAAR.”
It Takes a Village
Mr. Moseley credits much of his and his students’ accomplishments to the unwavering support of the ILTexas, Grand Prairie, administration team. “It’s one thing to be supported,” he says, “But everyone has trusted me to do what I felt was best for my students.”
He would like to thank the following staff at ILTexas, Grand Prairie:
Mr. Brandon Overton, Campus Math Instructional Coach
Mrs. ShaDaria Wallace, Campus Dean of Instruction
Dr. Charvelia Lewis, Campus Middle School Assistant Principal
Mr. Adrian Apodaca, Campus Principal
Ms. Casey Terrell, Tarrant Area Math Coach
Mrs. Angela Schoenberger, Tarrant Area Academic Director
Mr. Rodney Cooksy, Tarrant Area Superintendent
Mrs. Kim Axtell, Director of Mathematics
Dr. Laura Carrasco, Deputy Superintendent of Academics & Student Services
Mr. Eddie Conger, Founder & Superintendent
Are you ready to create a culture of celebration and motivation in your district and watch math confidence grow? Follow Mr. Moseley’s lead and see what the Texas Math Solution has to offer.
Before joining Carnegie Learning's marketing team in 2022, Karen spent 16 years teaching mathematics and social studies in Ohio classrooms. She has a passion for inclusive education and believes that all learners can be meaningfully included in academic settings from day one. As a former math and special education teacher, she is excited to provide educators with the latest in best-practices content so that they can set all students on the path to becoming confident "math people."Explore more related to this author
These kids deserve an opportunity to have an opportunity to succeed.
Josh Moseley, 6th Grade Accelerated Math Teacher, ILTexas, Grand Prairie