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Our Participation Card System is an objective way to encourage and track participation. No dead air in class!
The Big Idea:
The goal is to incentivize participating in the classroom with concrete tangible rewards. Student have a participation card that they bring to class every day. When they participate (answer a question, write on the board, win a game), they get a sticker. Each participation card has a number of spaces students will need to fill in a given period of time—giving students a concrete objective goal they need to meet!
Why it works:
Especially in a foreign language classroom, students often experience anxiety and hesitation to speak aloud in class and in interactions with their peers in their new language. A lack of motivation and incentives in this environment can lead to dead air in classroom conversation, wasted time, and students not being driven to do their best. Having defined expectations and clear goals motivates students to rise to the challenge and encourages them to do their best work! I believe in this system because I have seen it transform my classroom!
Ideas for implementing this system:
In order to streamline this system in my classroom, I ask students to keep track of the stickers they have earned during class by marking on their Participation Cards. Then at the end of class, I lay out stickers on the front desk and everyone collects the stickers they’ve earned! In my classroom, students’ participation cards are worth 80% of their participation grade. The other 20% is comprised of elements of class participation which cannot be evaluated on the basis of stickers & cards (paying attention, staying off phone, working with others when asked). I rely on my classroom notes & observations for this portion of the grade. In order to increase the challenge for my students with each Unit of the class, I increase their goal number of stickers with each Unit. I structure my classes into three units where students need to earn 30, 60, and then 90 stickers! I have included 30, 60, and 90 sticker chart templates, grading templates for each of these, and a presentation to explain this system to your class! These materials are designed specifically for an Intro Spanish Class—but this system could apply well to any foreign language course! These materials can be customized for another purpose or language upon demand. Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.