Walmart had some great prizes in the office section: tiny clothespins, spiral paper clips, post-it flags, and colorful pencils. Target often has tiny seasonal erasers and felt stickers in their dollar section. Most of the time, the prize was a simple sticker. I would throw in something more exciting on occasion to keep the students interested. I'm usually not a fan of tangible rewards, but I will be using this system again next year. It was fantastically effective!
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Do missing pencils make you crazy?
I never knew that a small problem such as missing pencils could drive a teacher crazy! You have students who constantly lose pencils. Of course, there are students who intentionally break pencils. There are pencil-chewers. There are students who have plenty of pencils, but the erasers are all ripped off. Then, there's the over-sharpening, which results in pencils that are an inch long! It was always so frustrating when I would ask students to begin an assignment and someone would frantically blurt, "I DON'T HAVE A PENCIL!" Last year, I happened to find a wonderful solution. The "Wise Owl Teacher" shared a freebie in her TPT store. You can get it here. It was amazing. All of my students had pencils. For every assignment! All the time! For the entire school year! I couldn't believe it. The system works pretty simply. Every student starts off the week with 8 sharpened pencils. On Friday, students turn in their pencil boxes. Checking the boxes on Friday took a few minutes, but it was SO worth it. If a student had 8 pencils in good condition, he or she would recieve a "friend of pencils" card and a small prize. If a student did NOT have 8 pencils, he or she would get an "oops" card. That student would start the new week with 8 pencils, but no prize.