Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Tried it Tuesday: An engaging way to check work!

When I first got home today from school I was all blah.. tired, grumpy, and sad. {My husband is deployed. I think it's allowed in small amounts. Just like chocolate.} But THEN, my husband got to call a little while ago and I'm suddenly in such a happier mood! Happy enough to not feel tired, grumpy OR sad anymore! With that being said, I'm linking up with Holly from Fourth Grade Flipper for one of my favorite linky parties, Tried it Tuesday!

As teachers, we always create super engaging lessons where every student in our class can't help but pay attention and hang on every word we say. Right? Ha! In reality, we try our best to create lessons that are as engaging as possible, because most of the time it isn't our instruction that's lacking--but students who aren't engaged can't exactly learn.

There are times when we have to put games aside and have students show us what they know in a written form to prepare for a test. Times like these don't seem to interest my students too much.. until today! I made a deal with my students that if they tried their very best on their review activity, I would bribe reward them with Hollywood bucks, our classroom economy. {I have a group of serious money lovers! They get to buy classroom coupons and occasionally a little candy, and it makes their hearts smile!}

So, how did this work?
1. Students were given time to work independently on a show what you know type of activity.
2. When it was time to check their work, each student was given square tiles that would "show me" if they got the answer correct, or "show them" if they needed to correct it (immediate feedback and learning!!!).
3. For each question they answered correctly, they got to either cover that question on their math paper with a tile or move a tile from the left of their desk to the right side.
4. Then, they wrote a FRACTION for the amount of questions they answered correctly, and got PAID!

See how that works? Students were engaged during the show what you know, because they wanted money. Then, while we were checking their work they were practically forced to pay attention so they could hear the correct answer to be sure they could cover a tile. It was seriously a light bulb moment in my head for sure!

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  1. I would recognize that Go Math paper from a mile away. Great idea, Mandy to get them motivated because you know as well as I do that sometimes those papers will make you want to rip your hair out! Glad you got to talk to your hubby tonight. I will never pick on you again about the Diet Mt. Dew...you've earned it. I'm on Day 23. It's not getting any easier!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  2. Glad your husband got to cheer you up Mandy! :) Such a clever way to get your students excited! So fun!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  3. Aww so glad you got to hear from him and your day turned around! Motivation is key... I like your ideas. Following you. :)

  4. I would like to thank your husband for his service, and thank you for yours, too. It's a hard life, and I'm so thankful there are people willing to live it! God bless!

  5. I didn't know your husband is deployed and am so grateful to the many men and women who make sacrifices for the sake of our country. Keep your chin up! Thanks for linking up this engaging math activity! It makes me miss teaching math. :(
    Fourth Grade Flipper