The year began with a small dilemma. It was our first year departmentalizing our grade. I decided to color coordinate my scoreboards, one for each of my 2 classes. The scoreboards were side by side and I left them up so that each class would see how the other had done the session before. Was it the perfect motivation for the students? Not really as much as I had hoped, though the students did discuss with each other how the other group had done. It was time to take better aim.
Reward would have to be the main excitement with the scoreboard. In the beginning, I decided that a little music time would be great and would be free. After winning the first time, the reward was 30 seconds of a song. Each additional win added more time until they could listen to the entire song. It was a hit and a miss. Some students loved it and danced around, others just looked bored out of their boots. What could I do to hit my target?
After that 1st term, the reward was changed to free seats after 3 wins of the scoreboard. No cost to me and students would have to work longer to get something I was sure they’d like a lot since they had assigned seats. My mistake – letting them have those seats for the entire session with me instead of for just a few minutes or for one subject. While they enjoyed the reward, I left myself with no way to increase the level of their reward. So, I was initially right on target, but my shot fell short.
Was I able to hit the bulls-eye? - No. The free seating was fine for a longer time than the music. I tried rewarding equipment to use at recess and even shoes off in the room days. Nothing was just right for the groups I had. Despite feeling disappointed in not having a winning shot, my classroom did not fall apart! The other components of WBT I used, like the Super Improvers Wall, helped me survive the yearlong management gunfight and I look forward to the challenge next year holds!