Saturday, October 5, 2013
This year I've had a lot of students coming to school each day without their homework completed. Now mind you, I don't actually give homework to my students. The only thing they get for homework is any work that was assigned in class that they weren't able to complete during the school day. I can't explain why so many of them aren't getting their work completed in class, never mind as homework. I've never really had this problem with so many students in one year before. I'm doing things the same, so clearly it's the students changing and not me. Do you know what that means? That it's time for ME to change, too! Just because I've done something in my class for years, and it's worked for years, doesn't mean it's going to work for every class that comes through my doors. Every class comes with its unique challenges, and apparently this year it's homework completion (and attendance -but don't even get me started on that one!) So I did some brainstorming with my sweet hubby and have decided to reward those students who come to class with their homework done. Each day when students come to class, if they have everything down that they should, they get a homework ticket. They write their name on the back of the ticket, and drop it in our Homework Bucket. You only get a ticket if you are completely current. If you were absent and have makeup work, no ticket. If you have corrections you haven't completed, no homework. Basically nothing can be outstanding. Here's what the homework ticket looks like (you can click on the image to download the entire page of tickets).
At the end of each week I draw one ticket (sometimes more depending on what I think will work best for that week). Whichever student gets their name drawn, gets to pick one of our classroom rewards. I have lots and lots of reward coupons they can pick from. Here's a small sample...if you'd like to see all of the coupons, I have them up on TeachersPayTeachers. There are 35 individual rewards and 10 class rewards, plus some blank coupons, too.
Besides homework coupons, the other way to earn a reward coupon is to have your name drawn off our BINGO board. Our BINGO board has 100 spots. Once the board is filled we draw to see which student will earn a reward coupon of their choice. Students can get their name on the board for just about anything...showing kindness for another student, finding a vocabulary word in their independent reading books (and being able to define it or use it properly in a sentence), finding a spelling word in their independent reading books (and being able to spell it properly), dressing up for a spirit/color day, and lots more. I look for reasons to let students sign their name on the board. We pretty much fill a board every other week or so. In addition to getting individual names on the board, they can also get 5's (because they're in the fifth grade) on the board. The earn a 5 by being complimented by another adult in the building, getting 4 checks in PE (a classroom management system our PE teacher uses), working quietly when they are in small groups, etc. Again, I look for reasons to let them put a 5 up on the board. If a 5 is selected, then the entire class gets a reward. Here are what some of the BINGO charts I've used look like...