Saturday, February 27, 2016

Spark Student Motivation: Let's Make a Deal! Weekly Ticket Drawing

Let’s Make a Deal!

 I've been using this motivational trick since I interned! I have always loved game shows and try to incorporate fun anytime I can in my classroom! I got this idea from the game show "Let's Make A Deal". I pass out tickets all week for miscellaneous things (participation, sharing, prepared, helping others, using or finding their vocabulary words, correct answers, etc.). My students go crazy for tickets, even this time of the year because of my weekly drawing!

At the end of the week I choose 10-12 tickets and they receive a small prize (treat from candy jar). The last ticket called is the big winner and they can go for the treat (the for sure thing) or go for the deal (taking risks/chances).  In the photo below I try to offer a lollipop, but they usually walk up and say I want to go for the deal right away!

I have three bags set up: 2 are big prizes (full size candy bar, cotton candy, movie theater candy, etc.), and one is a zonk (paper clip, used homework pass, rubberband, etc.). They know there's a chance they could lose, but in 20 years I've NEVER had any student take the "for sure" treat and not go for the deal! I'll admit, I do feel bad when they get a zonk, but we're not all winners. It's a great life lesson.

Of course, I play all of this up with the "audience"..."Should they go for the deal? Do you think it's Bag #1 (cheers), Bag #2 (cheers) or Bag #3 (cheers)? It's up to you, you can go with the audience or go with your gut/heart? Which bag will it be?" And then of course, I drag it out by putting my hand in and out a few times to draw out the suspense! "Are you sure you want this bag?" And then I pull out the prize!

Here are some examples of "ZONKS", you could use anything that will get a laugh. You can use an extra homework packet, broken pencil, sticky note, tissue, rubber band, paperclip, (look around your desk for something you plan on throwing away!). Funny thing...many of my students (who aren't in the drawing) want the zonk as a souvenir!
Warning: You will feel bad the very first time someone chooses the zonk bag, after the first one it's not as bad, but those little faces when they lose....
(They have to learn to take risks and they win some and they lose some, but the odds are in their favor with only one zonk).

We don't have a strict candy policy at our school, but if you do you can use alternatives for your weekly drawing. I've done a book drawing too for a reading week.

Kids love to eat, it doesn't have to be candy. You can use healthy treats or snacks too. If they win the microwave popcorn and you pop it right away so they can eat it at their desk, you will be a hero! I also have water bottles prizes that are fun to display on their desk as another healthy choice reward!

School supplies are a win-win! When your students start running out of pencils or dry erase markers, put them in the bags! It solves your problem of them not being prepared and they win a prize!
The three bags are set up when they get back from lunch on Friday-they remind me every Friday when I drop them off not to forget to set up the drawing! I've upgraded my bags since I first started this incentive-for years I used Publix brown bags and sharpie marker numbers.

Here's a video clip of one of our weekly drawings:
(You will here them get mad at the end when I hesitate to check the bag to see if it's a prize! I like to play it up a little!)

I hope you had a wonderful week! Please link up any lessons, ideas, tips, tricks, incentives, ANYTHING you do get your students motivated or excited!
Don't forget to grab my button and link back to this post!
Check out all the wonderful ideas from my friends who link up and don't forget to leave some love by commenting....we LOVE comments!
***Please include the topic in the link up with your blog name.


  1. Joanne- Your classroom seriously has to be SO fun on a daily basis- love this idea!
    Aylin :)
    Learning to the Core

  2. I think this is a GREAT idea...Hmm gonna try something similar for my 6th graders!

    Anisa @ Creative Undertakings

  3. I think this is a GREAT idea...Hmm gonna try something similar for my 6th graders!

    Anisa @ Creative Undertakings

  4. Let's Make a Deal is one of my favorite game shows! I've been having a lot of my students slack off with homework and daily routines. I think you just helped me figure out the PERFECT way to get them back on track!

  5. Love your idea for Let's Make a Deal. Want to try this idea very soon. Thanks for sharing!!

  6. Love this idea! I'm getting bored with what we've been doing! Thanks!

  7. I'm teaching 4th grade next year and can't wait to do this!

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  9. Thanks for sharing this! Going to try to use something similar in my classroom soon. LOVE it!

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