So I’m very fortunate in life to have some amazing long-standing friendships. One of my closest buds and I met at age of 13 in the halls of Atlee High School, and while I’ll spare you details about what we were like at that age, we have had and continue to have the privilege of growing up together – personally and professionally. Whitney is a truly outstanding teacher in Henrico County, and I always love to visit her classroom and “talk shop” with her about her students’ struggles and strategies she’s trying.
In a recent conversation, we discussed our mutual belief in the philosophy that grading homework punishes kids with no support at home. Whitney is implementing an idea that I’m LOVING: Homework lottery tickets! If kids do their homework every day in a week, they earn a scratch-off lottery ticket that she made. And your odds are significantly better than Mega Millions since very ticket is a winner! Prizes include:
- Lunch with the teacher and 1 friend
- A fancy new pencil
- Five minutes of computer time
- The opportunity to be featured on the class blog
- Taking your shoes off at your desk all day
- A chance to bring in something special from home to share with the class
- A turn serving as class photographer
Most of this costs nothing, it motivates students, and homework just miiiiight get done at a higher rate. Now don’t make me get started on the topic of meaningful homework. If you’re asking kids to do it – make sure it’s meaningful, ok? 🙂 Anne Keo wrote a great blogpost on this topic if it’s a new concept to you or you want to be challenged.
Check out Whitney’s blogpost with directions on how to make the tickets and even a template to use if you like her reward system. While these ideas might fit better with elementary students, it could CERTAINLY be tweaked for secondary students. Take a peek and do me a favor, tell her favorite Atlee Raider sent you. 🙂