My grade 3 math teacher once drew an illustration on the blackboard – with chalk – that has stuck with me. A student had given an answer for a question that was a bit off. The teacher said he was wrong – student said “close enough.” That prompted the drawing of a haystack and an airplane. Next scene – a stick man lying dead (how to show a dead stick man?!) – close to the haystack. If you’re trying to survive the jump from a plane, there is no “close enough.” To this day, that’s the image that pops into my head whenever I hear those words.
The 50 Piece Challenge wrapped up last week. 17 students started the incentive program.
- 8 made it to 50 and were each awarded a book of music and yet another dollar store prize (junk) from the treasure box (not sure which one they liked better!)
- 4 gave up along the way. No surprise that 3 of those were my famous Friday students. The other was a student who excelled this year and kept tackling more and more difficult rep. It took longer to learn each piece.
- 3 weren’t quite up to it – I was glad I’d broken it down along the way. Every time they reached 10 they got to comb through the stuff in the treasure box.
- 2 made a valiant effort in the end but I didn’t feel I could reward them the same way I did those who made it.
I did, however, give the final prize to one student who only got 48 pieces “learned.” This was the “close enough” and from the reaction, I made the right decision. Having done an incentive program for two years running, I think I should continue. Students like it and have come to expect it.
I know there’s an abundance of programs and ideas floating around the blogoshpere, but I’m not one for too much fuss and crafts and extra materials. Let me know if you have a good one that is fairly simple.