Student Motivation-Get That Planner Signed!

I just love Saturday mornings in the fall!  I get to sleep in for a little bit, but if I get up early enough I can beat my son, Jake, to the computer.  If Friday night went as planned, my house is clean and the grocery shopping is done!  I know it doesn't sound like the best Friday night, but a Saturday and Sunday without cleaning or grocery shopping is worth it to me!  

The best thing about Saturdays in the fall is looking forward to a Michigan football game, hopefully a big win this time.  

I'm still not fully recovered from the last few nail-biters and no one else in my family ends up in the same room with me by the time the game is over. I'm afraid I have a tendency to yell a little bit at the t.v.  When we almost lost to Akron, I scared my dog, Emmitt, half to death!  He even ended up leaving the room, and normally he is at my feet 24/7.  

I'm also excited on this Saturday morning to link up with Joanne at Head Over Heels For Teaching to talk about student motivation.  

There are many things that I have tried over the years to motivate my students, some more successful than others.  

This morning I'm going to talk about motivating my students to get their planners signed every day.  The planner is an essential tool for communicating with parents and for teaching students to keep track of their own homework assignments.  But it won't be effective unless students fill it out and get their parents to sign it every day.  

To motivate students to do this I offer an individual and a class incentive.   If an individual student fills out his/her planner and gets it signed every day during the week, then he/she earns gum on Friday.  I keep a huge tub of Double Bubble behind my desk that I get at Sam's just for this.

The class reward that I offer is this:  if everyone in the class has their planners filled out and signed on a particular day, they earn a segment on our class caterpillar.

When the caterpillar reaches all the way across the white board, the class earns a movie and popcorn, a reward for the kids and me!  Every morning the students anxiously await the announcement about whether or not everyone got their planner signed.  Well, this year we were off to an extremely slow start.  In about twenty days of school, we had only earned it once.  :(  We had also started out a little bumpy in the behavior department, but lately things had begun to noticeably improve.  

On picture day, I had my students bring their chapter books with them so they could read quietly while waiting.  They were so well-behaved!  Three different adults commented on how nicely my class was behaving, so I decided to do something I have never done in twenty-three years, change the rules for the class caterpillar!  Gasp!  I told my kids that every time another adult in the building complimented us on our behavior, we would earn another segment on our caterpillar.  So, that's how we got to the four that we have now.

If you would like to try this incentive with your class, you can download my Caterpillar Incentive at my TPT Store for free!  

Your class will love seeing the caterpillar grow!  After they earn the reward the first time, start the incentive over, but this time remove a segment each time they show the desired behavior.  Good luck!

I'm also linking up with Charity for Manic Monday over at Classroom Freebies.  Check out all the free goodies!

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

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