How to End Your Week On a High Note: A Friday Favorite!

21 March 2016 / Leave a Comment
By the time Friday rolls around, I  think it's safe to say that we all need a break-students and teachers alike. However, there is also a hint of excitement when Friday morning arrives, with the promise of the weekend in close sight. In Room 65, however, the excitement is tangible. Students arrive with smiles on their faces, conversation is abuzz with excited whispers, and everybody has a little extra pep in their step.

"Why?" you ask. I'll tell you why---it's "END OF THE WEEK AWARDS" ceremony day! The moment all of my kids wait for and talk about endlessly all week long.

A few months ago, I began thinking about my end of the year awards. I took a moment to think about each student's strengths and began mentally assigning them awards as the end of the year draws closer.

Once I began thinking about the awards, I felt myself becoming anxious and impatient, wanting so desperately for the day to come. Then, I thought, "Why wait?" And, my friends...a star was born.

End of the Week Awards are specific motivational certificates to recognize student successes during the week. We hold a Friday awards ceremony during our morning meeting, but these awards really can be used anytime. It just makes it a little more special and important to look forward to a formal ceremony every Friday morning.

There are over 25 awards with a wide range of recognitions. I have even created a checklist to keep track of which students get the awards every week so I can space them out fairly and make sure all students are rewarded regularly.

Prep is SO easy. I keep a binder of all awards with a few copies of each one in separate sleeves. Every Friday morning, I flip through the binder and pop a few out that I want to use.

Another plus? This is a great character-building routine. As I announce each award, I give an example of what the student has done to earn that award. Throughout the week, I recognize behavior that is award-worthy. It makes students aware of their choices and reminds them of their goals in the classroom.

Easy, exciting, and motivating--what more could you want in a Friday morning? :)


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