Saturday, February 1, 2014

Password to Enter Classroom!

I'm so excited to link up with Joanne @ Head Over Heels For Teaching for her Student Motivational Saturday Linky! Joanne is a very good friend of mine.  We went to high school together, have taught together, and she is my 18 year old son's favorite teacher! To tell you the truth, she is my favorite teacher too! She is the one who has motivated me to give this blog a try. I hope I'm not too embarrassing.

I have been having a difficult time motivating my fourth graders to study their multiplication facts on their own. Even with several Multiplication Incentive Programs in place students weren't making progress fast enough.  I was becoming quite discouraged and frustrated with their inability to pass their 3's & 4's times tables. Then one day, I had an idea come to me in the split second it took me to open my portable door for  a student whom was at least ten minutes tardy as usual.  As I cracked open my portable door and stuck my head out I stated, "You may only enter if you know the answer to 8 x 4." I shut the door and waited. My entire class was silent with anticipation. Within a few seconds my student knocked on the door again. I opened it and peeked my head out as he proudly exclaimed, "32!" I allowed him entry as my classroom erupted with chatter discussing this new password.  I was motivated by their reaction, so the following morning I posted a sign on my classroom door.

The password had not only motivated my students to study their times tables on their own, it is a way to incorporate daily practice/rehearsal!  My students look forward to whispering the password each morning.  If they don't know what the correct password is then they go to the end of the line where they can hear the password several times before they reach me again. I also make them repeat the entire equation three times if they don't know it.  My students enjoyed this so much that my bathroom monitors started to require students to repeat the password before entering and exiting the gang bathroom!  Even adults have to state the password before entering my portable.  It is just plain old fun!

I'm happy to report that we have progressed quite a bit over the last couple of weeks.  I've had my first student pass all of his facts through the twelves!

I'm hopeful that all students will have their ice cream cones filled up to the 12's before April 14th!  That's when we begin taking our state assessments, FCAT for reading & math.  

1 comment:

  1. Such a neat idea!! May need to add this for my 3rd graders! :)