Scholar Dollars: Scholar Dollars

 
 
 
Scholar Dollars
Teacher In Action
 
 
Teacher In Action
 
 
 
Routines and Procedures

Scholar Dollars

Keeping students motivated is very important in a self-paced course. Scholar Dollars is a strategy I developed to reward my students for working hard and making progress in the course. The concept of Scholar Dollars is pretty simple. Every time a student passes a Mastery Quiz, they receive five Scholar Dollars. Students receive 15 Scholar Dollars for passing a Level Test. Scholar Dollars can be used to buy school supplies, snacks, or even a pizza party. On random days, I switch up the payouts on Scholar Dollars - doubling the amount given, only paying for 100s on Mastery Quizzes or Level Tests, or giving all the Scholar Dollars earned on that day to one lucky student picked by lottery at the end of class.  

Strategy Resources (2)
Teacher In Action
 
 
 
Poster
 
 
This is the price list posted on the doors of the Scholar Store. The prices are based on the unit price of each item when I buy them from Costco. To make sure I am not investing my full paycheck in the scholar store, I try to make 10 cents = five Scholar Dollars. I subsidize healthier items, such as granola bars, but no one seems to want them.
 
Teacher In Action
 
 
Poster
 
 
This is the price list posted on the doors of the Scholar Store. The prices are based on the unit price of each item when I buy them from Costco. To make sure I am not investing my full paycheck in the scholar store, I try to make 10 cents = five Scholar Dollars. I subsidize healthier items, such as granola bars, but no one seems to want them.
Benjamin Siegel
New Visions Charter High School for the Humanities II
Bronx, NY


 

About this strategy

Prep Time:
Moderate
Subject:
Math
Grade:
Tenth grade
Similar Strategies
Assessment & Data
Mastery Zone

My blended classroom is based on the Flipped Mastery model (please see the "Introduction to Mastery Based Learning" strategy video). When my students think that they have mastered the skills and concepts in a particular lesson, they show their completed notes to me or my co-teacher and get a Mastery Quiz. Students then head to the Mastery Zone, which is a section of the classroom reserved for students taking Mastery Quizzes and Level Tests. There is no talking in the Mastery Zone and the only technology permitted is a calculator. If they achieve at an 80% or higher rate, students move forward in the curriculum. If not, they review the concepts and materials in the lesson and re-take the Mastery Quiz in the Mastery Zone when they are ready. The Mastery Zone assessment strategy is a concept I adapted from the Algebros Flipped Mastery program.

 
Independent Student Learning
Pacing Calendar

The class pace is always posted at the front of the room, including the lesson that should be completed by the end of class as well as the following class. The class pace serves as a benchmark for students, letting them know how many lessons they should have completed by a certain date. The grading system I use is primarily based on student progress, so for students to get a good grade on their progress reports, its essential that they keep with the pace of the class. This is essentially a guide for students to use as they go through standards at their own pace. 

 
Feedback Systems
Class Forum

The Class Forum is a 2-5 minute portion of the Class Meeting (please see the "Meet and Greet/Class Meeting" strategy video) at the beginning of each week in which my students propose solutions to learning barriers that they have experienced or may see arising in class. This strategy ensures that my students' voices will be heard and empowers them to be change agents in shaping the class environment. While it is important to offer other avenues for individualized contact between myself and my students, having a space for a public discussion emphasizes the collaborative atmosphere that I want my students to work in every day. As a blended learning teacher, my practice is evolving from day to day and week to week. The Class Forum creates a safe and regular channel for my students to give me feedback about their needs and experiences. My commitment and responsiveness to my students' suggestions motivates them to be more invested in their learning and to our classroom community, which is critical to their success in my self-paced blended learning model.

 
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