I am currently seeking my master degree in elementary education to teach in Massachusetts. I love the idea of starting the year off with a theme; however I have a question regarding one of your tips.
My question is regarding the reward system. When you give out rewards for example at the end of the school year… Do you reward every student (even the ones who do not deserve it) or only the ones that did well throughout the school year?
Fantastic Question. Rewards / privileges are earned throughout the year. I am a big "you work for me, then I work for you" type of guy. Typically, if you don't meet the minimal standard then you don't get the privilege.
At the end of the year I do hold an award ceremony. Yes, every student walks away with at least two awards as follows: (1) Me Award -- I find a funny/meaningful moment from the year and customize an award for the student. For example, a student who was into the money unit might get the Donald Trump Award (2) Life Skill Award -- I have the students choose a life skill for each of their peers that they feel is that peers strength.
There are other awards (honor roll, service squad, citizenship, Science Olympiad, attendance, etc) that only specific students will receive as they have earned them.
In my blog next week I will discuss end of the year tokens-of-rememberance. There is a great poem about starfish which I will share later. I read the poem to the students, connect it to the class, and then give each student a starfish to keep. The same goes for the gems.
Thank you for the great question.
Director Vasicek www.mrvasicek.com
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