How long has it been since you've asked yourself this question: How do I get my students MOTIVATED to learn this skill we've been working on for so long? For me, it was just a few weeks ago.
We had been working on adding and subtracting with REGROUPING and my kiddos were not getting it. Well, maybe I shouldn't say they weren't getting it, because many of them were, but I had at least 5 students who weren't getting it and one of the reasons why was because they DIDN'T CARE. You know what I'm talking about, don't you?! So I brainstormed different ideas of how to motivate them -- and viola, I figured it out. Here's what I did:
I made a goody bag for each student and set them out for everyone to see. I told them that when they met their goal, they could have their bag to discover the goodies inside. So what was the goal? They needed to obtain a perfect score on three quizzes of adding and subtracting two-digtit numbers with regrouping.
This is what each quiz looked like. I wrote four problems on the board and had them copy the problems on a piece of notebook paper. When they were done, they brought it to me and I checked it. They got one point for each correct answer (so a score of 4 was a perfect score since there were four problems on each quiz).
I recorded their scores on these sheets. A score of 4 was a perfect score and when they earned three scores of 4, they got their goodies. As you can see, these three students started with really low scores but quickly became motivated to earn their surprise bag, and learned the math skill at the same time-- that's what I call a win-win situation. Some students earned their surprise bag after the sixth quiz and by the tenth quiz, everyone earned their bag. Hip, hip, hooray.
Are you curious to know what was inside each bag . . . .
A special pencil, two pieces of candy and a homework pass.
This worked really well in my classroom and we're going to start this process over again, but with a different skill. We're having difficulty writing in complete sentences, so I think that will be their next challenge: to write 3 perfect sentences. And of course a NEW surprise will be waiting for them.
If you're interested in using this in your own classroom, download the score sheet here.
If you do this, I'd love to hear how it goes. I used this idea with regrouping, but it could be applied to almost any skill you teach.