Monday Made It #4

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been taking a long hard look at what motivates my students and how to best “reward” kids…without being gratuitous.  I have never been a fan of the “blanket compliment,” since it downplays what your hardest workers do while giving an unearned compliment to your slackers.  It doesn’t do much for the kids in the middle either.

With the sheer volume of testing, benchmarks, baselines, and all things data, I have a tough time keeping everything straight.  With that being said, I do want my fourth graders to help me out by being accountable and by keeping track of this data in a way that is tangible and fun.  Ok…as fun as data can be!

So enter…The Common Core Standards Rewards Ring!

This is a combination of two separate programs that have caught my eye in the last 30 days…

Spirit Monkey Spirit Sticks 
I love the Spirit Sticks, lanyards, keychains and other fun items at Spirit Monkey!  Click on the image to check out their blog or follow them on Facebook.  Their fun approach to student rewards really has me excited and I’m going to pitch their program to my new principal.   
There are also the “I Can…” cards that can be found at the Teachers Notebook and Teachers Pay Teachers stores.  My favorite is the fourth grade math set that is found at Twins-Teaching and Tacos.  Check out her store!  There are some sweet little freebies and the items that are for sale are 
R E A S O N A B L E !
There are other teachers with similar ideas out there…far too many to name…but they have great ideas as well!
Anywho…I designed the Common Core Standards Rewards Ring as a way for the fourth graders at my school to keep track of their progress throughout the year…a magical combination of motivating and useful at the same time!

Start with the 2-inch binder ring.  Any larger than the 2-inch ring and pony beads no longer fit.  If you aren’t a pony beads sort of person, pay no attention to this and buy the BIG HONKIN’ binder rings!  (I believe that is the industry term for them!)
The VIP All Access Pass and the CCSS Mastery Chips are available below if you want a jumping off point.  I personally believe everyone can do MUCH BETTER than these, but, if you are a little unmotivated or wishing to store up your artsy-craftsy mojo for a better project, then be my guest.
I designed the VIP pass to work with pre-scored business card templates…but I think circle tags would be super-cute as well.  I printed the CCSS Mastery Chips on white cardstock and then cut them out using a 1 1/2 inch square punch from my scrapbooking stash.  A quick hole punch and you have really useful chips that have a place to write in your CCSS # or identifier.  I figured that blanks would be easier to work with and your students could take responsibility for writing in the numbers if they’d like.
If you look closely, you’ll see that I used a neon guitar motif here…our school is doing a Rockstar theme for the 2012-2013 school year, so these match up quite nicely.  I’d certainly try to get my motif to match my classroom or school theme if I could…
Click here to find the guidelines that my teaching buddy and I will use as guidelines for the CCSSRR (love that acronym…don’t you?).  Personalize to make this fit you and your classroom!
Lastly, I put all of the beads and punched out stars (punched from glitter cardstock in star shapes for extra fun) in a great little organizer that will keep everything together.  You can write with a silver or gold marker on the back of these, so writing your student’s MAP scores on the back will allow your students to view their scores and keep track of their progress, right on the CCSSRR!  

Remember…sharing is caring, so make one for your teaching buddy or grade level partner(s).  “The Wonderful Linda” will be getting a set too…if I can make 1 set, I can certainly make 2!  So make another set…You’ll be glad you did!

Bonus Monday Make It…for the home!  

Last year, the World’s Sweetest Husband took me to IKEA for a little shopping on our 20th wedding anniversary…love this!  We were looking at a great display of black and white photography that they had set up.  Awesome photo layout…but no instructions and no hardware available for purchase.  Just the idea beautifully displayed.

The frames cost less than $3.00 each, so I bought 6.  They sat in my studio for about a year before I pulled them out recently and filled the frames with black and white photos from our trip to Yellowstone last summer.  My sweetheart of a husband helped me to put this together with hooks and eyes and I hung it from a wrought iron curtain rod.  It is above our fireplace and it’s the first thing you see when you walk into our house.  I love it!

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