Glitter-Loving Teacher Motivates Students With Some Bling

NBC Universal, Inc.

If there was one grade, one class, I had to say was the most boring, it was sixth-grade math. Sorry to my teacher, Miss Eileen.

Grace Urbanus' sixth-grade math class at Richardson ISD's Northrich Elementary is tackling integers and exponents.

If you look a bit more closely, you'll see a lot of things in this classroom sparkle. On "Glitter Friday," students work in stations together on different types of math problems. And when they get it right, Urbanus breaks out a pretty rad reward.

"I was in a sorority at A&M and we wore glitter, and my parents made me go to their house a few years ago and they were like, 'you need to clean out your closet.' I was like, 'OK,' I found three big things of glitter," Urbanus told us. "At work, I sprayed it on me and the kids were like, 'I want some,' and I was like, 'You do? OK? Y'all care about this?'"

They certainly did, so it became a reward for mastering math.

"One hundred percent, this is the reason I enjoy coming to school," said Emma Means, a student in the class.

"The first time I came home with glitter my Nana was like, 'What is on your face?'" recalled Anabelle Rossi.

"A lot of time I like to do a beard. Today, I decided to do a mustache," added Brent Stuckey.

Not just fun, but effective. There's been a significant increase in their ability to not just solve these problems but do them precisely and quickly.

It may have taken me half the class, but I, too, got better. And Miss Urbanus awarded me with glitter.

Grace Urbanas, teaching students, and me, that exponents and integers aren't so bad after all.
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