10 Ways to Make the Most of Our Leaderboards

Written by Lauren Lutz-Coleman

Introducing the Shoelace Class Leaderboard: An excellent tool for igniting classroom engagement, fostering camaraderie, and injecting a dose of healthy competition into learning. Elevate your classroom experience with our 10 expert tips to amplify the excitement! The Class Leaderboard is a new way of measuring the amount of points your students can earn compared to how many points other classes earn. The challenge session is the same as the individual leaderboard’s duration on a biweekly cycle. At the end of each session, all point values will be reset and all classes start from 0 again for the next session. The top classes will receive a prize of up to 1,000 Mcoins each delivered directly to their in-game mailboxes.

On Platform:

  1. Challenge your players to raise their class rank in a single session.
    Ensure each play session on a Shoelace game is a focused learning experience by setting a class goal for your players, like challenging them to raise their rank before the end of your English/Language Arts session. Watch your class pull together, establishing collaborative camaraderie, as their collective effort results in higher leaderboard status.

  1. Make sure your class knows that only correct answer streaks are rewarded!
    Accuracy is crucial to upping your leaderboard rank. Let your students know: it’s not an attempt at a question that will earn them points, but continuous correct answers. Leaderboard rankings are based on correct answer streaks, so there is no value to rapid-fire guesses.

  1. Class Missions are a great way to raise your score – lots of questions in a short time.
    Want to see quick results? Launch a Class Mission. In Class Mission mode, students interact with many questions in a short time span, spurred on by a timer and a big boss battle that increase the sense of urgency.

Off Platform:

  1. Use your class’s unique auto-assigned Shoelace Leaderbord name to intro a mini-lesson on cumulative adjectives.
    Have you ever come across the example phrase, “small, brown, leather purse”? It would sound wrong if we rearranged the adjectives, right? Consider “leather, small, brown purse” or “brown, leather, small purse.” How do we know which order to put them in?

    These are cumulative adjectives. Ordering cumulative adjectives is something native English speakers often find they can do intuitively, yet students who are multi-language learners will likely find a lesson on this topic helpful.

    Class names on the leaderboard contain cumulative adjectives. For example, I’m a proud player for Nifty Silver Orcas. Top classes on the leaderboard at the time of this blog’s writing include the Magnificent Mint Coyotes, Shiny Lemon Giraffes, and Magical Apricot Kangaroos 👏. These names serve as an opportunity to explicitly teach students the order in which we position adjectives in a sequence.

    Want help teaching about cumulative adjectives? Find some useful tips on page 10 of our Reading Comprehension Skills Guide!

  1. Use the class names on the leaderboard to build vocabulary.
    Recently, I met with a school reading specialist who, influenced by the research of Beck and McKeown (2002; 2008), was looking to increase students’ encounters with Tier 2 and Tier 3 vocabulary. Tier 2 vocabulary words include “descriptive vocabulary… that allow students to describe concepts in a detailed manner” (Hutton, 2008).

    Your classroom’s Shoelace Leaderbord name contains two adjectives, some of which may prove to be unfamiliar Tier 2 words for your students. Take, for example, words like “magnanimous,” “luminous,” “whimsical,” and “intrepid.”

    To use class leaderboards for vocabulary building, first have students scan through the class names topping the leaderboard. Have them create short lists of words they know, as well as words they wish to learn. Once word lists are in place, we recommend equipping students with graphic organizers they can use to build their knowledge of the novel words. You can find some great vocabulary-building resources on TeachersPayTeachers.

  1. Make leaderboard-inspired art.
    The descriptive language in class leaderboard names is designed to evoke imagery. Encourage students to transform their mental images into pieces of art, designing class crests based on their class leaderboard names.

    Some of our Shoelace team members play on the Glittering Magenta Cobras team. Check out the artwork our Director of Engineering, Rakesh, conjured up for our team!

    As you design your own class crests, please share them with us! You can email them to louisa@shoelacelearning.com or tag our social channels using @ShoelaceEDU!
Glittering Magenta Cobra
  1. Track class progress to tie in both SEL and math.
    Class leaderboard contests run every two weeks, creating a bi-weekly competition cycle. As your class participates in these 14-day contests, encourage them to track and reflect on their progress. What’s the highest leaderboard rank we’ve reached? What’s a reasonable goal for the next contest?

    As you establish goals with your class, tie it back to social emotional learning concepts you’re also teaching (we’re big fans of using the CASEL framework to do this). Build a bar graph to track class progress across each leaderboard round, building in a connection to mathematics and data analysis. These interdisciplinary extensions will not only build motivation for Shoelace, but help you reinforce ELA, math, and SEL content simultaneously!

  1. Post leaderboard contest dates on a class calendar.
    Especially important for teachers also completing List Item #7 (tracking class progress), post the Shoelace leaderboard contest start and end dates on a class calendar. Contests run every two weeks, so that players have enough time to rise up the ranks as well as fresh starts on a regular basis.

    Posted dates are a great way to motivate students to read more passages and answer more questions on Shoelace before the close of a leaderboard contest. Plus, players will have a visual reminder of when to check back to find the winners (as well as claim rewards, if they’re winners themselves!).


  1. Get it on the action! Join your class and play to contribute.
    Students LOVE when their teachers play alongside them; there’s a special sense of rapport that’s created as teachers and students swap strategy and challenge one another. But you’re not just playing— you’re also gaining an insider view into Shoelace academic content. Think of it this way: While you experience firsthand the passages and questions your players see, you’re also boosting class leaderboard rank!

  1. Queue up skills assignments.
    Looking to move your class leaderboard standing as quickly as possible? Assign skills assignments that are available in the Assignments Library. Skills assignments provide targeted practice with topics related to grammar, mechanics, language, word work, and figurative language. Because they focus on the aforementioned skills, they contain target sentences for students to evaluate instead of reading passages.

    The way these assignments are designed result in lighter reading demands (although not lighter learning!), which means they can often be completed in shorter time spans than other Shoelace content. Whenever you’re looking for fast-paced practice or time-sensitive practice, push out skills assignments to your players!

There you have it, 10 ways to make Shoelace Class Leaderboards even more engaging. Wondering where your class ranks? Keep tabs on your progress with our live leaderboard, updating in real-time. Compare your standing to peers and competitors effortlessly by asking students to log into Dreamscape and click on the trophy icon located at the top left corner. Good luck!

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