Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Motivation Bracelets- Rewards!!

Are you there yet in the year?

The place where you are practically on your knees, begging the students to just make it a few more days!!

"Just hang in there!"

"Once we get everything done, I promise we'll do some really fun stuff!!"

Yeah.  I'm there. Totally there.  On the knees and everything.

We have 6 more days.

Today we had Career Day.  Parents from the community came and spoke about their jobs.

The kids were expected (from administration, not me!!!) to take notes on each speaker (there were 4).  Then, they had to write 2 paragraphs about their favorite speaker.

I promise you, this did not go over well with my cuties.

At all.

So, when I start collecting their 2 paragraphs, I see that most had written about 3 sentences.  Incomplete sentences, that is.  They have given up.  They're done.  Toast.  Probably burnt toast.

So, I do my half hearted, "This really is unacceptable for an almost 5th grader to turn this in as 2 paragraphs, when it's not really even one!" but my heart's not in it because I don't really blame them.

So, instead, this pin popped into my head:

I knew when I pinned it this weekend that I wanted to make bracelets for them, but I wasn't sure if they'd really work for my 4th graders.  But, I tried it anyway, because, really, why not??  The worst they could do is say they didn't want it.

(You need to click on the picture above and go to KindergartenWorks and then click and go to THEIR freebie because it's great AND it tells you how to make the gluey stuff you need for the bracelets to stick!  How cool is that??)

So, I read all of their papers about Career Day and ended up picking about 10 kids that mostly followed directions to give the bracelet to.  I picked a lot because I wanted a lot to feel the thrill of it being successful. Now, seriously, when I did this this afternoon, I really wasn't sure how it was going to go.  I just knew I was aggravated that they had totally given up on school, yet I have three more assessments they are working on that they need to do well on.  So, at this point, I'll try anything!

So, I explain my reasoning behind these bracelets:

I told them that there were some students that did follow the directions for the Career Day writing, and since they did, they are my hero.  So, I was going to give them a superhero bracelet that they could show to their parents as proof that they were my hero today for doing the RIGHT THING!

So, what was their reaction?  They were on the edges of their seats.

I call the first name.  There's applause.

(I'm thinking...wow...really??  So I compliment them on being so supportive of one another and clapping for their fellow peers.)

I call more names.  More excited applause.

I tell them I have called all the names.  Disappointed faces.




They totally took the bait.  So, I explained that I will be making more bracelets for other random heroes I find throughout the day, a math hero, a reading hero, an organized hero, a friendly hero, etc., etc.  And will give them out at any point in time.  They'll never know.  Because heroes are everywhere, right?

Now, for these bracelets, they were only paper.  I didn't have time to do all that I wanted to in such a quick turn around.  BUT, here's how I'm planning on doing it.

I will print them in color and laminate them.  Then cut them.  I will find a fun way to organize them.  I will hand them out at random (because it's fun that way).

What I did was staple it once I had wrapped it around their arm.  I told them that they could take it home, show their parents, then use it as a bookmark.  If I had laminated them, it would have been way better, but again...time was an issue today...

Here are my Writing Superheroes!!

I am going to make more bracelets when I have a spare moment and load them to TpT and share them with YOU so you can try them if you would like to!  I'll probably share it for a Friday freebie!  Be on the look out this week!  (**Updated- check this post HERE for the bracelets.)

I've thought about putting a parent signature on the back (printed) so they have to get it signed for those students that would NOT be motivated by this at first.  The reason being, some of the students in Stacia's class didn't feel the bracelet was enough to motivate them.  But, I think that if they had to show their parents that they earned something GOOD then maybe it would eventually lead them to WANT the bracelet because their parents would be excited they are NOT IN TROUBLE ALL THE TIME!  But I don't know.  It just depends on how the parents would react (or wouldn't).  What do you think??

I'm linking this up with two of my sweet blogging peeps:

Holly for Tried it Tuesday because I tried it today.
And Joanne for:

for Sparking Student Motivation, even if it's not Saturday!

So, what do you think?  How do you like our bracelets?  Will YOU try it??  (I mean....after I get my act together and finish making them for you?)


  1. I love it and think it's a great way to get your students motivated!

  2. Love it! I actually bought several packages of these from Dollar Tree a few years ago (the colored ones you get at the fair)and my kids went crazy over them too! I love the little thinks that spark them! I wish I could find those cheap bracelets again! Thanks for linking up and sharing!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching


    I love that idea - I think my kiddos will eat. it. up.

    Thanks for sharing - I'll be on the lookout for that freebie :)

    Hang in there - you're in the home stretch!

    Joy in the Journey

  4. I love this! I am going to have to try this ASAP. I have a few kids who have totally checked out-but are very "prize" oriented. So glad you shared this!

    Hunter's Tales from Teaching

  5. Oh my gosh! I so love it, and I want to do it too!!!! I think it would go over well as long as it's presented the right way. :) As long as all kiddos know that they have a chance to earn a bracelet, I think it'll work just fine. Can't wait for your post of more bracelets.

  6. I love the bracelets (don't love that you only have 6 days left!). I think these would totally motivate my kids and I will be on the look out on Friday!! I hope they do the trick for you and your "cuties" bring out their best on the last few assessments (since the smell of burnt toast is awful!).

    Looking From Third to Fourth

  7. Awesome, awesome, Awesome!! I am totally doing this! Thanks for sharing the great idea. I still have a month left, so I will definitely be utilizing this strategy. Enjoy the last week with your kiddos.

    The REAL Teachers of Orange County

  8. I love the idea and I could use them for tomorrow!! Lol my students are driving me crazy...!

    Literacy Spark

  9. That's such a great idea! I love that they applauded their friends...and it will encourage those 'easy, done' kids to work a little harder next time!

    :) Kaitlyn
    Smiles and Sunshine

  10. My kids are very competitive this year. I think the bracelets just may work for them. Thanks for sharing.

    Third Grade Galore

  11. 6 days?? How nice! I have 15! LOVE this idea. Yes I will try after you make them! LOL! Thanks for sharing!
    Beach Sand and Lesson Plans

  12. That's such a cute idea! I think even my fifth graders would love it! Deep down they all love to please their teachers and parents and when it is noticed, and in such a special way, it's even better :o) Thanks for sharing!

    Teaching with a Touch of Twang

  13. Oh my goodness. We're there. As in, we're done Friday, and my kids were done the beginning of May. I've been doing my best to keep them motivated and engaged, but this group doesn't want any part of it! I'm hoping this idea is a life-saver for the rest of today and tomorrow. Thanks so much!

  14. Oh YEAH!! We started our 26 days countdown on Monday (thanks to YOU!) and they are SO DONE already! Homework not being done, turned in not even done, missing complete sentences...you name it! We need something considering there are FIVE WEEKS LEFT! ugh! Thanks for sharing:)
    Fourth Grade Flipper

  15. My first graders will eat this up! WAY better than the ol' sticker-on-the-shirt to show mom and dad! Thanks for sharing. :)
    Creating a Thoughtful Classroom

  16. Oh my goodness!!! What an amazing idea! I am getting the printer warmed up as I type! Thank you for sharing!!! :) Melissa


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