Monday, July 25, 2016

Sweet Graphics and a French Horn Girl

It is Classroom Decoration Idea Week here at the Plain Professors, and this is one idea I am going to "borrow" (steal?).  

When we are traveling, we enjoy visiting schools and seeing different teacher's classrooms.  This one happens to be Katherine Byler's 8th grade classroom at Calvary Christian Academy.  Now, her fiance just happens to be a graphic artist and he made this neat map for her, but we all have access to maps, so that shouldn't be a problem.  (He also painted the lighthouse and helped with the posts and real ropes on top of the extra chalk board.  And Twila is holding a French horn in its case, in case you were wondering.)  
Here is a close-up where we can see the push pins.  Aha!  Each student was assigned (or could choose) their own country.  They earned one push pin if, by Friday, they hadn't had any late or missing homework assignments, didn't have any bad behavior marks on their record for the week, and had said their Bible memory on time. 

Here was her reward system:
7 pins = Homework Pass to skip any daily assignment once for no good reason 
14 pins =  a little container of "Think Puddy" (each puddy has different names and they all do different things. Some change colors with heat, some are magnetic, etc.)
 21 pins =  a free Math Lesson Pass (where they could skip doing a math lesson) and a $5 giftcard to Wal-mart
28 pins = a giant chocolate bar and a book that she chose for their interests 
Then, every student who managed to get 30 pins or above (there were only 33 possible) was rewarded by having their teacher take them out mini-golfing and to Pizza Hut the week after school let out.

I like the idea of using geography as part of a motivational plan, and as I'm teaching American history this year I'm planning on doing this with a map of the United States and my own twist on the rewards, although I probably will use some of her creative ideas.  To read more about encouraging your students to achieve, click on the link to the post below.  
To Motivate, or Not to Motivate: That Is the Question