Carrots and sticks
Whoever said that the carrot and the stick should not be used in schools?
Totally the contrary when the carrots are points students can earn towards a common goal of their choosing, and the sticks are the points they can lose.
Last week Maxwell School’s Years 7 and 8 were able to go “Paintballing” as they achieved their goal of 10,000 points.
How did this come about? About mid-April, they asked if they could have a “fun” end of the year activity- camping was not enough – so Paintball was suggested but only if they earned a minumum of 5,000 points each year group.
Points were earned for extra work, presentations, or projects. The students quickly learned that collaborative work brought in more points. Helping in class or lunchroom also earned points as did random acts of kindness or looking up words in the dictionary. Bad attitudes and rudeness lost thousands of points as did not doing homework. During the last three months, students found that working towards a common goal brought them together. Finally, they learned to support each other when one of them needed help.
It was a wonderful exercise, so great that the students have asked to repeat it next year.
So, bring on the carrots!