Last week, I bemoaned my students' lack of work showing. Monday, I put into play a plan of action that I hoped would solve that issue. So far, it seems to be working.
I have always used a system that involves blue tickets to reward the kids for making good choices. They get blue tickets which they can put in a basket on my desk, and at the end of the week, I pull out 3 names for simple little prizes like pencils and small toys and such.
Now I've added orange tickets into the mix (ORANGE!!??!!!!!). Where blue tickets are like raffle tickets, orange tickets are like cash. If the kids get an orange ticket, they can use it to buy a prize, they don't have to get lucky to get their ticket pulled from the basket.
But the only way they can earn an orange ticket is by getting a 100 on a test and showing all of their work. Anybody who marks all the correct answers but doesn't show how they got those answers will not receive an orange ticket. Anybody who makes a silly mistake and gets an answer wrong will not receive an orange ticket.
I introduced the orange tickets on Monday as we went over last week's test, and I gave the kids the spiel and the rules.
Yesterday, during the test over comparing (less than, greater than) and ordering (greatest to least, and vice versa), I didn't have to remind a single kid to show his/her work. There were a few silly mistakes made, where the problem said least to greatest, and the kid put his/her numbers in greatest to least order, but yesterday's test went MUCH better than last week's. Gradewise, there are still a few issues, but all of my kids showed all of their work, which to me, is a huge victory in a major battle.
I only hope that it continues throughout the year.
Also, I had the opportunity to meet the mother of the child who told me (AND put into writing) that his mother had told him, "Don't listen to your teacher."
Anyone want to guess what the outcome of THAT was? Even more perfectly, the principal walked by as we were meeting, so I got to tell the mother AND the principal about little A's claim. Of course, the mother denied it, and she was quite upset at her son for saying that. I should get much better results out of him now that his mom knows the score.