Tuesday, February 10, 2015

March Madness

Looking for a "new" behavior incentive for March? I thought I'd share what I did last year.

 I had quite a few of my (small group) kiddos who were not consistently doing their homework, behaving as they should, and being somewhat rude/cruel to their classmates. I had mostly boys, and they were all on the basketball team here at school. They were obsessed with basketball, which isn't a stretch here in Kentucky. I think kids here are born with a basketball in their hands. Anyway, ...
I decided to implement a behavior management plan including classwork, homework, and behavior all in one. I called it....wait for it....Mrs. Lafleur's March Madness Challenge. I know, it was SOOO creative.

Well, I didn't necessarily need it to be creative. I just needed it to motivate my kids, and that it did. I'm not a huge proponent for having kids compete against each other, but I made this challenge work in everyone's favor by challenging each kid to do his/her best without them realizing my point system and how I was giving/not giving points.

Here is basically how I set it up. I checked homework each day. I gave students credit for completing each activity. I just gave them credit for completing it. (They weren't sneaky like my kiddos this year, just writing down an answer that is completely wrong or doesn't make sense just to have something written down and get credit for it.) I kept a tally chart each day. For those who completed homework, I gave each student 2 points. Sometimes I gave more than one assignment for homework. I gave them 2 points for each assignment they completed.

 I also gave them 2 points (2 tally marks on my tally sheet) for each assignment they turned in that was middle-school quality work. (I had 7th and 8th graders, so that was how I encouraged them to do quality work.)
I gave them 3 points (tallies) for scoring 80% or above on quizzes and tests. We had a lot at that time because we were reading a novel, so I gave them quick quizzes every other day on the chapters they read. Plus we had vocabulary quizzes a lot then too.

The biggest thing that I wanted them to be conscious of was being KIND to classmates. Each time they got "caught" being kind to one another, I gave them a Class Dojo point. (I think I had it weighted to give them 3 points, but I can't remember that exactly.)

I would add up the points each day and keep a running total from then until Friday. On Fridays, I looked at my tally chart. I then checked my Class Dojo reports and added all of my kindness points to the chart (on Friday's section). I then added up all the points. I then  wrote each team's total on a post-it note and stuck it on my Team Point chart.

Here was the fun part that REALLY motivated my boys (and girls too!)...For every point they earned each day, they got to shoot my foam basketball into my Nerf-like basketball net. (The one in the picture below is similar to mine. You can get them at Wal-Mart, Amazon, or most sports stores.) This was where my boys got very competitive. I even made a 2-point line and a 3-point line for them to stand on. They earned points for each basket they made - 2 and 3 points, respectively on each line. So this gave the team that had lower points a little chance to earn a few more points.
(Click on the picture to purchase this basketball goal/net and ball from Amazon!)

At the end of the month, I totaled up the entire month's points and declared a winner based on the totals from the past weeks. The winning team got a free dress pass (those are huge at our school because they are rarely given out), a no homework pass, and a few other little goodies/candies. I think I bought a few little rubber basketballs from Oriental Trading or something and threw that in their little goody bags. 

For teachers who have a large class, this would be a somewhat complicated system. You could put the entire challenge (system) on Class Dojo for the month. Just add the behaviors and weight them for what you want them to show. 

I just thought I'd share an idea that worked for me and my kiddos in case you are a planner and are looking forward to spring and March Madness!

1 comment:

  1. This is great! I know the feeling of students not being motivated this time of the year. I love March Madness, so this is an awesome idea! I had a great time meeting you at the blogger meet-up on Saturday! I'm going to link your blog to mine and follow it! :) I'm excited to see more of your products from your TPT store. I'm heading there now to check them out!
    Have a great night!
    Happy Days in 4th Grade