Grading papers is something that can take up a lot of time. Everything is going smoothly until you come to that paper with no name or maybe one that is missing an answer or two. Figuring out who those papers belong to can be a major time waster and handing papers back to have them completed can really eat into your day.
For the past several years, I have used a system that lets my students enter a drawing for a small piece of candy. Every time they turned in an assignment, they could fill out a slip of paper and drop it into the box. On Friday I would draw five winners. The catch? In order to be eligible for the drawing, they had to have put their name and number on all their papers and have filled in all the answers for the day. If they missed one of those items, they couldn’t enter the drawing the following day.
That system worked pretty well for me, but this year I decided to go with something new. It’s called Star Worker. I purchased the ad-free version of the Random Name Selector Pro app (by Walsall Academy) for my iPad®. When entering the names of the students in my class, I also added the name Star Student. Each child has his number on a star chart.
It stays there every day he has his name and number on his paper and also fills in all his answers. I then use the app randomly throughout the week to choose students to call on. If Star Student comes up, the next student chosen is the winner. If his star is still up on the chart, he can pick a reward card from our rewards bucket.
I downloaded a template for the reward cards from Christi’s blog on the Ms. Fultz’s Corner website. She uses a similar system called Top “Pop” Stars. (She has some great ideas!) I chose the ideas that were best suited for my class.
The best part is that if the kids do miss a name, number, or answer space, no worries. They can get back on the Star Worker board by simply having a day of no misses. They can also write ten of their spelling words to get back on immediately. I’ve never seen kids so eager to write spelling words before!
How do you encourage your students to give you completed papers?