I have to share with you something that I absolutely love: The WOW board! This beautiful piece of poster board was introduced to me by my friend and colleague. I used it throughout the year but found it especially helpful near the end of the school year.
By this time, we have been reviewing/testing/practicing for days on end. I worked my kids hard this time of year and wanted to continue to reward their good behavior and accomplishments. The WOW Board is such an easy way to reward behavior, academic performance, improvement etc.
All I did was take a normal sized poster board (maybe 3 x 2 feet?) and created a grid system. I did ten rows and ten columns. I used stickers and put alphabet letters across the bottom and numbers up the side. I then laminated it for durability and let's face it, I don't believe a project is done until it's laminated!
After that was done, I hung it on my door and put a wet-erase marker clipped to the front. Anytime a student did something amazing, they got to put their name on the WOW Board. If a student had been struggling with turning in their homework and then brought it back three days in a row they got their name on the board. If a student gave me a really cool or interesting answer to a question that I asked they could put their name on the board. If a student was really kind to another student they could put their name on the board. That's the beauty of the WOW board. It can really celebrate anything!
I would tell the student to put their name on the board immediately after they had done something awesome. It was a quick "That's amazing! Go put your name on the WOW board!" and then I would move on. The students knew to quietly get up and write their name.
The students could pick any square on the board. You can see above that Joel liked to put his all in a row. Some kids put them randomly all over the board. It really doesn't matter.
There are 100 square on their so this is something the entire class has to work to fill up. When all the squares are filled up, we have a prize drawing. This is done with really simple things: pencils, erasers, bookmarks. Just things I had on had hand, nothing huge. The drawing part was fun because it tied in the grid system I had created using the numbers and alphabet letters.
I used the 1 inch tiles I had as part of my math curriculum but you could use whatever you have on had. I went through and marked each tile with a corresponding square on the grid. When all of the square were full, I'd go through and pull out 10-15 tiles. I would only call out what the tile said, not the name. For example, if I chose the tile J5, I would say "The first one is J5." Then the students would have to go along the bottom of the poster until they found J and then up the column until they found 5. It taught them graphing skills without them even realizing it! Sneaky, just the way I like it!
The kids loved doing this and we usually filled it up five or six times a year. You could even do it more often depending on how many times you have kids write their names. It's also easy to see at a quick glance who isn't on the board so you can make sure to look for positive behaviors from those students. That way everyone in the class can get on the board.
When the kids started getting restless at the end of the year, this was a great way to keep them motivated and engaged!