Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Super Improver Cards

On my last blog, I mentioned the Super Improver cards I was using with my small groups.  I see at least 11 groups of students a day ranging from kindergarten to fifth grade.  I teach reading, so we do a lot of work with comprehension and fluency.  I use the Super Improver cards to show improvement in any of these areas.  If my students beat their Super Speed record, they earn a star.  If they improve with their gesturing, they earn a star.  If they nail the critical thinking part of the lesson when they had been struggling, they earn a star. You get the idea. 

On the WBT forum I had several question about how I had adapted the Super Improver Wall to Super Improver Cards.  Actually, I had some help from my friend Staci Glass.  She was setting up her Super Improver wall for her third grade classroom.  We were trying to come up with a way to make this effective and, most importantly, easy for us.  She designed the cards.   They have worked great for me!  I travel from pod to pod at one of the elementary buildings I work in.  I have a very large easel type cart that I keep my supplies on.  On this cart, I have a small file box that has a folder inside for each group that I see.  When I meet with my group, I pull out their Super Improver cards.  We play Super Speed.  If they beat their record, they earn their star.  I let them choose the color star they want and place it on their card at whatever level they are on.  They have to have 10 stars on one level before they can move on to the next level.

I told them that at various times they will earn a special reward.  They won't know what it is or when it's coming.  (They seem to love the not knowing.)  I will do the picture suggestion, that Chris Biffle gave, at the end of the fourth level (40) stars.  I will take a photo of them with a friend making funny faces or whatever they would like that is appropriate.  Then the photo will be developed, brought back to school, and turned with the picture side against the inside on the album (Remember, I don't have walls.)  When five additional stars are earned and placed on the back of the photo, we will turn it around to share with all.  I will also occasionally give out additional surprises; such as, after 18 stars they get to play a learning game during our group time.  I don't want to give out the surprises at the end of levels, because that is what they expect.

This has been the most effective tool I have used to both manage behavior and keep students focused on doing better. 

Thanks WBT for, yet another, wonderful tool for our teaching tool belt.

Until next time.

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