Monday, May 13, 2013

Awesome List

I am a really positive 3rd grade teacher.
I smile a lot and want my class to be a happy place for everyone.
I want my students to be positive and I model positivity any chance I can get.
I'm always looking for new ways to encourage my students and give them genuine feedback.  I get bored with doing the same things over and over again so it's fun to try out new things.

I've done the "Awesome List" off and on all year and the kids love it.
Anyone can be put on the awesome list for doing great things.
(being on task, being kind, helping a classmate, turning in an assignment, helping someone clean up a mess, keeping their workspace organized, following directions, listening on the first request, etc.)

They cannot be put on the list if they ask to be but they can nominate someone for the list.
I love that the kids are always looking for peers who are doing great things right along with me!

I write the title of the list on the board and the kids know automatically what we are doing for the day or for the week.  I ask the kids to write their own name on the list and say it in front of the whole class to remind others what we're working on.  Then, I periodically cash in the winners.  I'll call them back to my desk for a mystery prize.  I don't spend much money on prizes and I ask the kids for help coming up with prizes that they'll be motivated to work towards.  Some of our favorite options for winners are:
choosing your own seat
moving a friend to your table
helping the teacher plan an art project
picking one assignment to skip out on for the day
writing in marker all day
sitting in one of our comfy chairs instead of a normal chair for the day
working at one of our tables instead of at their desk 
choosing a book for me to read to the class
give them free time
extra recess or recess time
being in charge of something
leading the line
getting something from the candy jar
*I know many schools have a treat ban but luckily mine does not

The kids can be put on the list multiple times and the list is erased once prizes are awarded.  I've awarded them mid-morning before, half way through the day or at the end of the day.  I always keep the prize a secret so it's a little mystery motivator for them.  Let me know if you have any questions or if you give this a try in your own classroom!

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Smiles, Whitney