Karate belts equal eager math students

May 15, 2009 7:09:24 AM PDT
A math teacher in Delaware is putting a little kick into his lessons.Students at Harlan Elementary School may not be able to chop a brick in half, but they are sure showing their chops when it come to math, thanks to a karate themed program called Karate Belts that rewards students with colored wristbands after every quiz or test.

"I have the orange, the green, the blue, the purple, the brown, and I just passed the black belt, so I'm done all my math belts?it's exciting," fourth grader Peter Casper said.

Teacher Sam Fawks received an award from the state Chamber of Commerce for creating the math belt program and Harlan Students were named Superstars in Education.

Fawks says he knew rewards plus kids equals learning success.

"They get excited and they come to me and say Mr. Fawks when can I come in and take my next test? Can I come in at recess to take my next test? That's exciting knowing they're so engaged and they want to progress," Mr. Fawks said.

"It makes you feel better that you finally got to that higher level or that different band color," sixth grader Jessica Hughes said.

Fourth grader Shaka Dorsey got his black belt and bragging rights among his peers.

"So they can think I'm good at math and also to think I'm brave to take all the quizzes," Shaka said.

For Antoine Fulton, getting an arm-full of karate belts makes him and his aunt happy.

"She's really proud of me. She knows I can do good and do good things," Antoine said.

Schools all over the country have adopted the karate belt program in classes ranging from math to foreign language and for educators that means it passes the test.

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