Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Motivation and Reward Systems to Implement

Not only has the new school year started, but it’s already been two weeks, which means two lessons with each group for me. And I’ve been really eager to start posting at least once a week in summer, but procrastination and lack of self-pushing didn’t let me do that.

In short, I was lucky to be a part of two camps – one two-week regular camp, where my colleague-partner and I were leaders of the youngest team and where I taught English 3 hours a day. I doubt I will describe this experience in detail as it’s not concerned with teaching English that much, it concerns working with kids though and therefore I might mention that time period here and there. What I really want to say about that camp is that I was genuinely happy. Every day of it. I loved all of my kids and felt truly overjoyed about the whole process.

The second camp was only 5-day long and was completely devoted to English. 4 teams and 4 team leaders, 8 teachers, our great boss and English every second of the camp = English Incubator. I was a teacher of project-management lessons, so it was kind of CLIL even. I will definitely devote a post to the English Incubator itself some time later. No doubt I loved every moment of it as well.
But that’s enough of “How I spent my summer”. I’d love to share something more up to date with you.

This semester I have 3 groups (3-4 graders, 5-6 graders and Intermediate) on Saturdays and 2 Elementary groups on Sundays. And I decided I should test two motivation approaches and see how each of them works.

1) English Journey Passport
I’ll start out by describing the approach I have with Saturday groups. I managed to create and English Journey Passport (here is the link for you to download the whole set). And here are some pages for you to take a preview look at.
The concept itself: every lesson we travel to a new place in England, Scotland or Wales. We go from South to North, learning a bit about each city we visit. When child visits a city = attends a lesson, he/she receives a new page for his Passport.

Page #2 – Student info page + space for drawing personal coat of arms or group’s coat of arms if you decide to spend time on creating one

Page #3 – motivational quote (can be any number actually, I’m planning to give it to students right in the middle of the course)
Page #last – brick wall where I’ll post coats of arms of the cities for every lesson that student attended
City Pages:
Students fill in
·        - the date
·        - name of the city
·        - an activity he/she liked most/least at the lesson; some impression of the lesson
·        - new words
Teacher fills in
·        - homework battery bar (color the number of slots according to the completion and accuracy level of h/w done)
·        - lesson activity slot (I give stickers which say great/good/try harder/you can do much better; actually any way to note how active student was at the lesson would do. You can have just three colors - active green, so-so yellow and passive red – and fill the circle with the appropriate)
·        - special achievements (to praise any distinguishing activity, e.g. “wrote the most creative story”, “made no mistakes in listening tasks”, “won in a vocab game”)
·        - new words (so it’s either you gluing a list of words students are supposed to learn from the lesson or them writing 5-10-15 new words they learned at the lesson).

I also have my personal info (mobile phone and e-mail) at the bottom of the page, near the envelope picture so that students and parents can contact me in case of any questions. You can adjust the pages to your personal needs using any visual redactor. To create the pages I used an awesome free web-site

2) As for the Sunday groups, I’m implementing something I have already tried before, and which I learned about from a great colleague of mine – Ksenia ( Each student made/drew/printed out his/her own image on a small piece of paper. And every lesson I stick them to the board chart at level “1”. Being active and giving answers at the lesson, students gain points and move up the chart. Those who reach 10 get a small prize at the end of the lesson (stickers or sweets).
Furthermore, I keep the record of all the points gained by each student at every lesson. And I will sum up all the personal results at the lesson 16 and reward the student who earned the most points with some cool stuff (some educational and fun stuff, I haven’t decided on that yet:))

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