I’m thinking of going back to positive participation tickets. Instead of giving my students actual things in the draws though, I’ll try for less tangible prizes, like having a group in for indoor recess, or taking a small group to the gym or getting first choice of responsibilities.
My reasoning? Well I’ve been trying for the past three and a half weeks to get my students motivated, not only to learn French, but to be respectful and supportive in our classroom. I’m trying to create a classroom environment that is conducive to learning and at times I’m struggling. I feel bad for the students in our class who are trying very hard and I would like to reward their struggles with more than just words. I feel like I shouldn’t have to. I feel like they are doing what they are supposed to and they should feel wonderful about themselves because of it, because they’re meeting their learning goals that we set, but I’m also starting to feel like it isn’t enough.
I’m also finding that quite a few of my students are hesitant to try, hesitant to make a mistake. I hope this is not because of anything I’ve done. I model that I make mistakes all the time and have to fix them “Madam a fait une erreur!” I exclaim and fix it, or look up a word I don’t know on Google Translate. But learning a second language is tough and it’s put them out of their comfort zone for sure. I get that. I’ve been there. After all, French is my second language and I didn’t learn it until I was 12.
So my idea is to start off using the tickets and then gradually use them less and less frequently in hopes that the external motivator will help build some positive habits that will become internal motivators. Am I foolish in thinking this? Am I opening up a can of worms that I won’t be able to close or am I doing the right thing here? Really looking for some advice on this one.