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Engaging Every Student

February 23, 2023

Turn Practice into Play With Giant Steps

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Pear Deck Team

Teacher working with a student at a table with Giant Steps logo

Meet Giant Steps!

We’re thrilled to introduce the newest member of our family. Giant Steps is a gamified digital learning experience designed to boost student collaboration and independent practice. Like Pear Deck, Giant Steps is easy to use, promotes a positive learning experience, and brings best practices for active learning to K-12 classrooms. Powered by learning science and educational research, Giant Steps helps educators improve outcomes through practice that feels like play. 

What makes Giant Steps unique? We’re glad you asked! Let’s take a look.

Science that makes learning fun

Learning games are fun, but what’s most important to you (and us!) is that they’re also effective! Using researched-backed methods like retrieval practice, feedback, collaborative learning, and differentiation, Giant Steps ensures students learn and have a great time while doing it. 

Research shows that regular practice improves learning and retention. Giant Steps provides engaging classroom activities and Daily Remixes — auto-generated questions tailored to each student’s unique learning experience — so learning doesn’t have to end when the school day does!

Amanda Guieb, a 3rd-5th grade teacher, said she likes that students have the fun, interactive experience of playing with teams in class, but then have easy access to practice alone and still get points. “It really helps incentivize individual practice and get the opportunity to remember what they discussed with classmates.” We know feedback helps build a growth mindset, so Giant Steps also helps educators provide real-time feedback during practice sessions to drive motivation and engagement.

The Giant Steps personal profile homepage
Daily Remixes use spaced repetition and interleaving to help students sharpen skills and boost understanding.1

Co-created with educators and students

Our goal was to design a new experience that gave K-12 teachers and their students what they couldn’t find in other practice games — so we went straight to the source. We enlisted teachers and students in classrooms across the country to tell us what they wanted to see in a learning tool and gather feedback on prototypes. More than 70 educators and 5,000 K-12 students helped shape what Giant Steps is today! (Awesome!)

So what do they think of it? Check out these stats:

  • 100% of teachers surveyed agree* their students love using Giant Steps.
  • 96.4% of teachers surveyed agree Giant Steps helps improve student learning and mastery.
  • 92.9% of teachers surveyed agree Giant Steps helps foster a positive and supportive community in their classroom.
  • 100% of teachers surveyed agree Giant Steps helps them drive positive engagement with their students.

*Agree throughout refers to the combination of “agree” and “strongly agree” answer choices

Educators and students tested prototypes and provided feedback on the development of Giant Steps to create a unique and effective learning experience.

Making the game your own 

Giant Steps is for every student, every day — since day one of development, Giant Steps has been designed with inclusivity in mind. Built-in accessibility features like keyboard navigation allow every student to participate and learn, while practical tools like timers and audio support help all learners feel comfortable and encouraged during their learning journey.

One middle school teacher said, “Students with IEPs can shine within their groups and don't feel pressured to answer the question even though it's timed. Students who are quieter have gotten excitement out of their XP earnings and talk to those they wouldn't normally talk to show off their Special Deliveries.”

Speaking of Special Deliveries…

As students move through the Giant Steps world as their own custom avatar, they’re rewarded with experience points (XP) and tickets that can be used to unlock unique and fun avatar accessories. In developing avatar options, the Giant Steps team consulted with DEI experts from the University of Southern California Rossier School of Education to ensure all students could see themselves represented. Learners can craft an avatar that includes a wheelchair, cast, insulin pump, hearing aids, cochlear implants, a hijab, a patka, a dastaar, a bindi…the list goes on!

As they play Giant Steps, students will be represented by their unique avatars. This personalization creates a greater sense of engagement and belonging.

Plays well with others

Teamwork is at the heart of the classroom and learning science shows that it’s vital to boosting academic performance. Giant Steps promotes student engagement through Stickers, Reactions, and High-Fives that allow learners to communicate and show support for their peers. This encouragement helps students take their learning to the next level! 

As one high school teacher said, “I love that kids can build confidence by seeing what their teammates are choosing. It has opened up some conversations and thorough explanations peer-to-peer. I also love that it is competitive and fun, but there is a factor of luck to ease the pressure of the competition. I think this adds to the fun!”

Giant Steps promotes student engagement through Stickers, Reactions, and High-Fives.

There’s so much more to say about Giant Steps, but we think the best way to experience it all is to play! Giant Steps is free for educators and students — so visit to set up your account and start playing today.

It's as easy as 1-2-3 to create a Classroom, select your subject, and add students!

For more tips to help you get started, be sure to check out our Help Center.

Please note: at the moment, Giant Steps is not available outside the United States. To receive an update when that changes, please sign up here!

1. Retrieval Practice:

  • Morano, S. (2019). Retrieval Practice for Retention and Transfer. Council for Exceptional Children, 436-444.
  • Pashler, H., Bain, P. M., Bottge, B. A., Graesser, A., Koedinger, K., McDaniel, M., & Metcalfe, J. (2007). Organizing Instruction and Study to Improve Student Learning. National Center for Education Research.
  • Emeny, W. G., Hartwig, M. K., & Rohrer, D. (2021, February 27). Spaced mathematics practice improves test scores and reduces overconfidence. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 35(4), 1028-1089.
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Pear Deck Team

Helping teachers deliver powerful learning moments

Pear Deck

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