Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Table points

I know a lot of teachers that offer table points when tables can pull it together and do a good job, or when participation starts to taper off a bit, table points can re-energize student's interest in helping out. I have seen many ways to manage table points. Here is how I like to give out table points. I hang cups from the ceiling above each table. When I want to reward tables I toss them monkeys from the Barrel Of Monkeys game. If they fill the cup, the monkeys get to link on to the sides of the cup and overflow from the sides hanging on for dear life. Why Barrel of Monkeys? The kids love it... and that is what occurred to me at the time. I like it because they can put their points in their own cup, the cup is basically out of reach when the kids are sitting (so they are not tempted to play with them), and I can carry them around with me or toss them to tables from the front of the room. I even found a variation on the Barrel of Monkeys game that uses rabbits instead, which makes it perfect to use during spring. At the end of the week we count up the points and the tables with the most points get first choice of ribbons to hang from their cup string. All the tables end up with ribbons, but there are some that are definite class favorites. (More on the ribbons another time.) Silly? Perhaps, but it is the small out of the ordinary things that the kids really enjoy.
A little nonsense now and then is cherished by the wisest men. -Roald Dahl

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