Saturday, August 23, 2008

Good Week

My first full week of school was a good one. My students this year seem to want to do well, and I've come up with a new motivator.

I've divided my students up into four-person teams, and I have them compete for points when we review our homework each day. I use a spinner to determine which team gets the opportunity to answer, and each team's leader gets a four-sided die to determine which of the team members is the one to answer. If the student doesn't know the answer or doesn't know which question we're on, we quickly move on. If we don't have homework to grade that day, I check to see who has their materials. At the end of the week, I give a quiz. Students who get 80% or better earn one point for their team, and students who get them all right earn two points. The team with the highest accumulated points wins the week. They get prizes, ranging from candy bars to mechanical pencils to money, and they also get to choose where in the room they will sit the next week.

I treat the whole thing like a big game show, and they seem to respond to it. I will probably make small changes to the rules as we go, and I'll need to mix it up so they don't get bored with it. I'm encouraged, though. It's a good start.

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