Incentives and To do’s

What motivates struggling learners?  Over 20 years, we have kept accurate data and this is what we have found:


1. Positive interest by an adult. A parent or teacher is the most effective. And the interest is most effective if it is random. Sometimes it cannot be random, because the adult must assist by pressing the corrects and error keys (in Reading fluencies) or saying the problems aloud (Arithmetic Hear/Type).  Random means going to the computer station once or twice during the independent fluencies, looking at a chart together, or having the fluencies ready to do when the child arrives home from school.


2. Improving a score, or passing a sublevel or level. Non-readers look for the blue print in the Finished Panel. If students have learned to read the charts, they look for the dots indicating the rising score, or the line that indicates passing a level.


3. Points. Students earn points any time their score improves or they have learned a word or definition.



  • 5 points for improving a score
  • 10 points for meeting an aim set by CyberSlate
  • 25 points for passing a SubLevel (sometimes called a Session)
  • 50 points for passing a Leve or a Passage
  • 100 points for moving to a higher Grade or Rank.


After each fluency is completed, CyberSlate announces how many points are earned. These a re added to the Points Column on the Menu, and the total is incremented at the bottom of the menu.

Some parents turn the points into a cash award. (A penny per point adds up quickly!) When parents give their learner a check or cash award, they may contact us, and we will restart the points from 0. If the student earned more points after receiving the cash payment, the points are still canceled, and the extra points earned since then are placed in the Bank.


4. Setting a goal. The Celeration Chart is highly predictive, so after a few weeks, a student can reliably decide that he will complete a Grade advance in Reading in so many months, or pass a Rank in Keyboarding or Arithmetic.


Big Menu

5. Getting all To do:’s down to 0.


The To do: numbers on the Menu are set in the original creation of a student’s folder. The To do’s at school are a different number than those at home.  Teacher, parent, or student may recommend a different number of To do’s , which are then changed by the CyberSlate consultant.


Some parents have made deals with their student that if all To do’s are at 0, they may watch so many minutes of their favorite TV shows, or play with their peers.