Friday, August 23, 2013

Sticker Sheets: Incentives for Students

This might sound strange, but kids - even high schoolers - love stickers.  My first year of teaching, I had an "Ausgezeichnet!" stamp that I used on quizzes when students got an A.  I later switched to putting stickers.  The reaction was the same - they LOVED it.  

At one of my Professional Development meetings that year, one of the mentors suggested using student incentive sheets where students get rewarded for X amount of times they do whatever behavior you're trying to promote.  I decided to connect this idea with the stickers (which I was already doing).

Blank student sticker sheet - click here for the file
At the beginning of the year, each student receives a sticker sheet (see above).  It's basically just a grid of 5 x 16 with each box just big enough to put in a sticker.  Whenever a student earns a sticker, he/she puts it on this sheet.  When they have a full row of five, they can trade it in.  

Just make sure you have lots of stickers handy...
How do students earn stickers?
When we play games, they might get a sticker if their group wins.  If they help out by filing papers or pushing in chairs at the end of class, they could earn a sticker.  Sometimes I'll give them one if they catch a typo or error in a worksheet.  An A on a quiz or test would get them a sticker, or if they get an entire exercise on a quiz correct. During the first few weeks as you're trying to set up classroom management for the school year, you can reward students who are working on the drill or who got out their homework (without needing to be prompted) with a sticker.  There are a bunch of ways you can come up with - these are just the few that came to mind.

What do they get for trading in a row?
When students trade in a full row of five stickers, they can get one of two things.
1. +2 points on a quiz (though not boosting them over 100%)
2. A homework pass (They don't actually receive any points with this options - they are just excused from doing a homework assignment.  It's more helpful in avoiding a loss of points.)
These are the two options I give my students, though I'm sure you can adjust or add to this list.  

How do you make sure they don't re-use them?
As students turn them in, I cross out the row with a sharpie, then date and initial next to it.  Make sure they have all their stickers on their sticker sheet.  If they try to turn in a row but a row that has already been marked off is missing stickers, they need to fix the missing row before they can turn in another.  

Alternative: Students can cut off each row as they turn it in.  Then you have the "used" stickers and can dispose of them without worrying about them getting re-used.

Here's a student sticker sheet from last year
Over the past few years I've found this to be very successful.  It gives students a little extra motivation and something tangible to show them that they're doing a good job.  And most of all, the kids love it!

- Frau Leonard

No comments:

Post a Comment