I enjoy recognizing students for their on-time, on-target writing
Last year, sometime during the second quarter, I decided to start awarding students for their hard work on their weekly written homework assignments. I came up with four awards to recognize students for being on-time and for doing a good job. The awards and the skills they address follow:
- The Annotator Award for their annotating of the nonfiction article that was assigned
- The Most Interesting Lead in the World for the lead they wrote to begin the response to the prompt of the assignment
- The Voice Award for using their unique writer’s voice and not being afraid to take a risk by showing that voice
- The Extra Award for their proficiency in some other area
Using memegenerator.net, I created some memes to put on a bulletin board in my classroom. The bulletin board is shown above.
This weekly recognition has had good results. Students like to check the board when they enter my classroom on Mondays to see who won the awards in the previous week’s assignment.
I post the student’s work next to their award’s sign, and make sure to write feedback and notes in the margins. Sometimes I highlight the “golden lines” that really stood out to me as I reviewed their writing.
I’ll write more about these particular weekly assignments in a separate post coming soon, but with today’s post, I wanted to relate the importance and positive outcomes of providing these weekly awards.
I figured that if students found motivation and agency when they completed their submissions for the various contests we entered, they would do the same if I treated these weekly assignments like mini-contests. That’s exactly what’s happened.
It’s been a good thing and one I plan to continue for the 2018-19 year.