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!)

video


 
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.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Spark Student Motivation: Accountable Talk-Live Professional Development




My students and I conducted a LIVE lesson for teachers after school for professional development. This was motivating to the teachers and my students! They love showing off! :)
My students also loved that they were part of the SURPRISE! Our faculty knew I was facilitating the professional development, but they didn't know it would be a live presentation with my students!!!
(My students were hiding in the back room of the media center.)

 
It was soooo awesome. I started the workshop with why using accountable talk is so important in our classrooms and then pretended I was going to show them a video of my class in action. Of course, since there wasn't a video...it didn't work. I acted all upset and struggled with the computer for a minute and then let them know it was ok because I had a back up plan! I walked over to the room, opened the door, and introduced my student participants! (The teachers were so surprised and excited!)
 
 
All of the teachers, all 50 of them, gathered around the group of desks and watched my students do their thing. I talked with the audience and my students at the same time explaining what I do and what my students are responsible for during this kind of lesson.
 


 
Students formed a discussion circle and used accountable talk and discussion stems to engage in a meaningful conversation with each other about a piece of text. They constantly cited evidence from the text to justify their thinking and prove their points. The stems help them lead their conversations and to stay focused with their arguments.
 
 
I wasn't nervous about facilitating the workshop or the lesson itself because I know my students' are amazing at accountable talk. However, I was scared they'd be nervous with 50 people standing around them and staring at them and they might not talk in front of that size audience.
BUT...I was wrong! They acted just like they do in our classroom! (Calling me over to show me the hearts they drew around my name at the bottom of the page, making jokes, and one even had to use the restroom during the lesson!)
 

The teachers laughed at their humorous comments and were as engaged as my students were. They were impressed with how much they pulled out of such a small piece of text.

Basically...my kids nailed it! They were so impressive. I seriously almost wanted to cry I was so proud of them. I've had these students for two years and to hear the conversations and dialogue they have between each other is beautiful. They've made so much progress together.


At the end of the lesson (my students didn't want it to end!), I allowed questions from the teachers to my students about the lesson, using accountable talk, and anything else they were curious about. Again, my students impressed me and were able to answer all of their questions with ease and with such enthusiasm. They did explain to everyone that we've been working on accountable talk for a long time and we do it often. They said they trust each other and know each other well enough to know when to include others in the conversation or help each other out. They are truly a class family.

The following is a short segment of the accountable talk lesson. You will see how my students engage in conversation with each other and build of each others' ideas and thinking.
**Ten of my students are featured in the video (I grabbed some extended day kids, teacher kids, and had a few volunteer to get picked up later). I have a variety of levels in this group including students that receive ESE and ESOL services. I wanted a mixed group to show that with practice, modeling, and the right tools, everyone can do it! :)



The materials/resources used in this video and to get my students to this level can be found here:
 
http://bit.ly/1jsk4Zd
 
 
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.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Spark Student Motivation: Classroom Transformation



Warning: This idea is not as simple as some of my other ideas to motivate your students. This one does take a lot of prep and some investment, but it's TOTALLY worth it!

Our school conducted a book study on Teach Like a Pirate and it's filled with ideas to engage and excite your students. The idea I bring to you today is..

A Classroom Transformation!

 
The week before my room transformation I piqued their curiosity by putting this message on my board. Of course, this got them excited! I told them just to bring scarves, hats, and gloves to stay warm. This simple message can work with any lesson you want to surprise your students with and gives them something to look forward to. (I purchased this light up frame at Michael's).
 
I've transformed my room for a day before for Halloween with black paper on the windows, a fog machine, and glows ticks, but this transformation was for the week. (I wanted to get as much use for the money I spent!) Thank you Hope King for the inspiration of this room transformation. :)
 

 I purchased a snow making machine to give my students the full effect! Living in Florida this gadget was VERY exciting! We turned it on every day (maybe several times a day) to play in the snow! It's like a foam that is dispensed, but it doesn't leave any residue.

 
I wanted to cover the furniture and walls with white sheets (which were way too expensive), so I used white plastic tablecloths from Dollar Tree. They're a little see-through, but they did the trick.
 
 

Of course, once you play in the snow and get cold, you have to warm up by the fire!
We got cozy by the fire and read our articles. (My students kept putting their paper in the fire like it was going to burn!) LOL


Each day we did a different activity with our snow theme. I focused on text structure writing. The following two lessons were inspired by food, which is the way to a student's writing hand!


S'mores were made for our sequential writing assignment. It's amazing how closely they wanted to listen to directions and steps for making something when it's edible!


 Each day we transferred what we learned into our text structure writing. I modeled examples and provided my students with frames and stems to guide them through their writing. These mini-offices are a great visual and tool for my students to use while writing.

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Non-Fiction-Text-Feature-Writing-Mini-Office-1373504
 
The writing I received this week was amazing! Yes, it was a lot of work on my part, but they did their
part and gave me their best writing because of their hands on experience.
 
 
For description writing we ate snow cones. I already had a snow cone machine, so I only needed to purchase the syrup and cups. For each type of writing I had certain requirements (a specific number of points, key words, number of paragraphs, etc.). For example, the descriptive writing had to include at least one piece of figurative language. They were super creative with these "juices"!
"The snow cone was calling my name."
"Eating the snow cone was a dance party for my taste buds."
 
 
 
 

Teaching text structure writing this week will prove to be worth the time and energy because it has already transferred over to their reading. This experience gave my students such concrete examples and something to remember and relate to, they will be able to recognize these text structures with ease.

I know this week's transformations were a little extreme, but once I started on this idea I couldn't stop! I was just as excited as my students. Equally important to me about this week is that I created memories. Lifelong memories about school and making learning fun!
 
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.

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