Saturday, December 3, 2016

Fish Pen Motivation

       I was really getting frustrated with my students' pre-algebra grades when I remembered that neat little wooden fish pen I'd picked up at the Cracker Barrel gift shop this summer.  "Okay," I told them in my best teacher voice, "whoever improves their grade the most on this next algebra test gets this fish pen."  I was holding up the fish pen as well, hoping to tantalize them with it.  But I figured it wasn't enough, and that the test was too far in the future.  "In fact," I added, going out on a limb, "if you can all make a 100% on your math today, I will get you all a fish pen."  (Positive peer pressure- they all had to make a 100 on the same day.)  Big smile.  Panic.  Where on earth am I going to find 17 fish pens, and how much will that cost?  Too late.  I had already said it, and I mean what I say. 

Of course, they all got a 100% on their math that day, and they have, with a few exceptions, made a 100% on each of their daily math assignments since I made that brave announcement a few weeks ago.  It worked!  They realized they could do it.  But now I had to find the fish pens.  I found a few lame ones, and then I found the awesome ones pictured above, only I would have had to buy a gross of them (144) for $125.  I eventually found just 36 of them for a much more reasonable price on eBay.  Yay for eBay.  So, the students all got neat fish pens, they also all are making much better math grades, and I kept my word.   And, while I was looking for fish pens, I found this fish purse.  I just couldn't resist, especially when I saw the inside-- guts and all!  Whoo hoo!