If there's one thing that's true about adolescents, it's that they want to fit in with their peers. So I wanted to come up with a system that would reward the whole class for following expectations and demonstrating all the positive choices that can be made in the classroom.
I've already blogged about my use of the 100 Chart, which is a fantastic motivator, but this an alternative idea that I used for my first two year: The Class Point Competition. In my experience, the class point competition went the extra mile in motivation because it kept the class accountable to the rest of their peers. No one wanted to be the class in last place, and they knew they were 100% in control of the outcome.
The concept is very simple: I determined a pre-set point goal for each period (15 points worked for me, for a total of 30 points per day in my ELA class). I would simply deduct points whenever the class (or at least the majority of the class) wasn't making the best choices.
Too much talking? Procrastinating? Bickering? Shout outs? This solution allows you the luxury of simply erasing numbers rather than redirecting them with words time and time again.
I also added numbers to class totals when students identified an OAW (see last week's post for more here) or did other "above and beyond" type things.
I simply used a small dry-erase board to conveniently display the class totals, so they always knew where they stood compared to the other classes. I kept the daily total on my front board so it was convenient to erase as necessary, and the I usually had one student in charge of adding the daily total to the overall score at the end of class.
The class with the highest total at the end of each term receives a class party where we have a small treat and a game day or a movie as a reward.