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Annette's Notes, Issue #001 -- Student of the Week
May 24, 2014

Student of the Week

Something I have used from time to time to encourage good classroom behavior is "Student of the Week."

I tried this again recently when we had some newer students who were a having a bit of difficulty adjusting to the structure of our particular class. This often happens when younger students are promoted into the class (they come from a class of 3- to 5-year-olds, where they are the oldest, to a class of 6- to 10-year-olds, where they are the youngest) or when students are totally new to Sunday school or when students have been in school all day and are a little antsy at an evening class, etc.

First, I try to make sure the kids know we are trying to create a classroom atmosphere where everyone can learn and have fun. If one person's behavior is distracting from this goal, it is a disservice to the rest of the students. Mostly I find students are on board with the goal, but sometimes it helps to have a little incentive to practice self-control (that is, raise your hand if you have something to say, listen while others are talking, say only good and kind things, etc.).

What we did recently was announce that we would be choosing a Student of the Week toward the end of each class period. I created a bag of small prizes from a gift bag with a piece of dry-erase posterboard attached (so names can be written, erased, and rewritten from week to week).

I also keep a dated list so we can remember who has been Student of the Week which week, to make sure we spread the title around.

The prizes in the bag are small but fun, and the Student of the Week chooses one.

But the main prize is that the Student of the Week gets to be the teacher’s assistant during the next class period. Our students like to:
  • Hold visuals during songs or the Bible Lesson
  • Ask review questions
  • Use the pointer (they love the pointer!) to point at words on song visuals, books of the Bible on the board, etc.
  • Hand out Bibles
  • Read Bible verses aloud during the Bible Lesson or Bible Skills
  • Pass out snacks or craft supplies
TIP: Be sure to announce who is the next Student of the Week with excitement and thank the current Student of the Week with enthusiasm for their assistance. :)

NOTE: We have run into the problem of a Student of the Week missing the next class period. When this happens, we fit the student into the teacher’s assistant role as soon as possible when he/she is able to be in class again, either sharing duties with that week’s Student of the Week or filling in when another Student of the Week is absent.

Think About It

Ask yourself:
  • Would this idea (or a variation of it) work in my class to help encourage good behavior and fewer distractions / more learning?
  • How could I implement this idea in a simple, straightforward way that will be fun for both students and teachers?

If you have any questions or comments about this idea, feel free to contact me. I love hearing from you!

Blessings, Annette

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