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Thread: Point Card system

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    Senior Member jonesinjapan's Avatar
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    Default Point Card system

    After going to our mid-year conference, I was talking to a couple other ALTs about keeping 3rd graders interested in the class room as well as outside of the classroom, I was told about a point card system, where the more they participate in the classroom, the more points they recieve and after a certain amount they get a prize of some sort.

    I was wondering if anyone has used such a system before and if so, how did it turn out for them, I would imagine that would you have to be on top of it constantly but I think its something that I would like to do to keep them from being so damn apathetic.
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    Senior Member Tegan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Point Card system

    I teach in a JHS, and we use the point cards. They are called hanko points because the JTE stamps their cards. For example, when the students have to go around the class and interview each other, they get more points when they talk to someone of the opposite sex (2pts instead of 1) and 3 points for talking to the ALT or JTE. It seems to work okay here. Some kids only do well in English because of participation points/hanko points. There are two sections to our hanko point sheets. 3 rows and 11 columns for the kids each month to fill up. The first is pair/group work. They actually talk with their group or pairs and sucessfully complete the speaking together activity. The other is speaking voluntarily. When students are asked questions about a presentation, the students who volunteer to answer get hanko points. Some students get really into it. Of course this is only done with the 3rd years at my JHS, i don't know about other age groups.

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    Senior Member jonesinjapan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Point Card system

    Awesome, Thank you very much Tegan, I am planning on doing this only with my 3rd graders now but depending on how things go I might try it with the other classes. I especially like the different hanko points for different acheivments.

    I was wondering though, does the one with the highest point receive any prize at the end of the month? I was thinking going with that but im not sure on it though.
    Superman once wrote on the wall: "Batman is a wimp."
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    Senior Member Tegan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Point Card system

    Oh yeah, i forgot to mention that part. The way its set up at my school, there is a grade of c,b or a depending on how many squares get filled in. to fill the first row (11 acts of participation) the student receives a C, they get a B for filling in the 2nd row and an A for filling in half of the last row. This is done monthly. So each month they get a new sheet. So i suppose this is a monthly grade or two monthly grades. The JTE has clearly marked where on the sheet gets the students which grade. I see no reason why you could not do other sorts of rewards instead of grades. I don't think my kids get any prize for the highest number, so many of the students can go past the number of squared provided, but i can see why the JTE hasn't added more. There are some kids that do have a hard time getting a B or an A on this...the shy kids, or the ones that really hate English.

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    Senior Member jonesinjapan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Point Card system

    Well I just brought this up to the JTE and she said that the 3rd graders are too busy getting ready for the entrance exams, that such an activity will be too much for them, but she loves the idea and wants to really do it with the second graders since some of them are starting to develop the 3rd grade apathy.
    Superman once wrote on the wall: "Batman is a wimp."
    The next day Batman wrote: "Superman is Clark Kent."

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    Default Re: Point Card system

    What how would it be 'too much' for them? They can't handle the existence of points??

    At this JHS we have 'English Passports' which they can fill with stickers. They get stickers for answering questions in class and occasionally we do a more inclusive (well let's face it, yumi always raises her hand and shosuke never bothers to) one where they get points for completing a task they are all required to participate in. At the end of the year they get to trade in their passports for American-made school supplies.

    Another girl I know does it with sticker sheets that they can fill up with stickers, and whoever ends up with the most stickers out of the grade gets a prize at the end of the term. She usually gets something smallish like a souvenier from Okinawa or somewhere she's recently been.

    It's interesting to do it as a graded thing, too. But I only have experience with the prize-related ones.

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    Default Re: Point Card system

    We do the passport system at my SHS. Most ALTs I know do some varation of these point systems but not all.

    Here it's "hanko stickers," because we give stickers instead. Some of my area ALTs have more elaborate set-ups with ALT money which can be used to "buy" hanko points later, but at my school students just get stickers when the volunteer an answer, when I force them to answer (because no one volunteered) or when they win a game. Sometimes the game means they win for the whole team or row as well.

    The stickers then go on their passports. At assesment time I take their class grades and turn it into a master grade/number. Then, depending on the number of hankos they each have, their final grade gets a little boost. (I think it was something like 1-5 stickers = 2 pts, 6-10 = 4pts... etc. The JTE then took it away and did some extra magic after that.)

    The stickers themselves can be a big draw. Actually, I think my kids are more interested in the stickers than the points. I try to buy cute ones and brought a ton of popculture ones from home.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Point Card system

    We do this at my school. They have a point card that goes up to 100. Generally, they get a stamp for answering questions in class and stickers for winning games and finishing activities. There will always be students that couldn't care less about some stickers, but it works fairly well with the rest if you have a wide variety of stickers.

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    Senior Member kalliea's Avatar
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    Default Re: Point Card system

    I do a point card system in my JHS and my ES classes. The very first class the kids make name plates, with their names written in romanji. On the bottom of the plates I put a chart, with 12 boxes. When ever the kids do something good really good in class, I initial one of the boxes. Once all the boxes are done, they kids get to pick something out of the 'prize bag.' (A regular bag that I decorated with glitter.)

    The prizes are just little things, like puzzels or wash cloths from America, but they seem to like it. It also give the kids incentive to remember their name plates!

  10. #10

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    I have passports at my senior high school. I use them with 1st, 2nd and 3rd years - though by 3rd year they're usually mature enough not to need that sort of motivation. Some ALTs keep spreadsheets and stuff but I honestly don't think that's entirely necessary, and it's a lot of hassle. Here:s my suggestions for a no hassle way of handling it:

    1. Get the students to make their own passports. Get them to write some information (name, birthday, club, hobbies, favorites) and stick a purikura in the photo part.

    2. Use hanko stamps, not stickers which get expensive. Just get a decent variety of stamp styles and colors from a stationery shop.

    3. Stamp the passport whenever a student speaks in class or volunteers. For less motivated classes I even do this for participating in pair work and group activities. It makes a usually demotivated class actually give my activities (however bad!) a go.

    4. Check the passports at the end of each semester.

    5. Make the stamps go towards a participation mark. Hopefully your school has one for OC. It needn't be very much - maybe 5% of the total mark - but enough to be able to tell the students that their participation is being recorded and it will effect their grade. I've given out real prizes in class and the students said they wanted a stamp instead, so there you go. Marks are the ultimate motivator.

    6. Most difficult thing - be fair. Don't always give it to one person, encourage others to answer. It can get really difficult when all the students participate too - try to remember who you're giving stamps to.

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    Resident ewok wicket's Avatar
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    Default Re: Point Card system

    I had bankbooks, with columns for deposits, withdrawals and the total.
    I photocopied Australian 5 dollar notes for deposits and 1 dollar coins on "withdrawal slips" that were red.
    Completing a task well or volunteering earned money. Disruptive behaviour or refusing to participate earned withdrawal slips.
    I collected the bankbooks at the end of each class, transferred their running totals to my mark book and stamped the books.
    They counted for 10% of their class participation mark and also towards running totals for their class. At the end of each term, the class with the most money earned a class prize (usually a special activity, like a cooking class or playing Aussie rules football or watching an English movie).
    Posters on corridors showing the running totals worked. I used a thermometer and coloured in levels. A mate who nicked the idea (with my blessing) went one better - she drew huge money bags with coins in them and every time the class got a certain amount of money they got to colour in one of their coins. Kids who didn't care about earning money for their grades would still try because they cared about their class total.

    ETA: At one school I limited their "earnings" to 15 dollars (e.g three times) per lesson so that the quieter kids got to have a turn and the more outgoing ones didn't hog the limelight.
    Last edited by wicket; November 20th, 2008 at 04:28. Reason: Coz I forgotted somethin'
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    Default Re: Point Card system

    Bumping an old thread here, but I'm thinking of starting this up and I've come up with a couple of questions. I hope there are still a few point-card-using people around to answer them!

    First of all, how do you keep track of who gets how many points during a class? It seems impractical to stop class to give stickers/stamps, but I have a lot of students and can't remember names very well, so I wouldn't be able to know who I owed them to by the end of a class. I suppose you could tell the students to remember when they've earned one (one of my old JTEs used to do that, I think) and claim them after class, but I'm not sure how much I trust them. haha.

    Also, what do you do with the cards when it's not class time? Do the students keep them? Do you take them with you/give them to your JTE to keep? How do you give them points for when they talk to you in the hall between classes?

    I'm hoping I can get this started up at one of my high schools soon, but I want to make sure I have a good plan before I go into it and realize I don't have enough of a system.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sorccy View Post
    First of all, how do you keep track of who gets how many points during a class? It seems impractical to stop class to give stickers/stamps, but I have a lot of students and can't remember names very well, so I wouldn't be able to know who I owed them to by the end of a class. I suppose you could tell the students to remember when they've earned one (one of my old JTEs used to do that, I think) and claim them after class, but I'm not sure how much I trust them. haha.
    I just give them to them in class. Usually I get the JTE to give them a stamp in their passport when they answer a question and I carry on the teaching. I don't find it that disruptive really and the JTEs don't seem to mind (I often find it hard to include the JTE fully in the instruction or activities anyway, because as the native speaker I often take the primary instructional role).

    A mate of mine is more dilligent though and brings a sheet to his class. He marks down who got what and then writes it into a spreadsheet after class, which he displays for all the kids. Up to you how much of your time you want to put into a reward system really, but I think giving them out in class is ok.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sorccy View Post
    Also, what do you do with the cards when it's not class time? Do the students keep them? Do you take them with you/give them to your JTE to keep? How do you give them points for when they talk to you in the hall between classes?
    I let the students keep their passports. Do they forget them? Yes, of course. To be honest though, if they forget them I just leave it up to the JTE if we record their mark and give them one later. Part of high school is learning to take responsibility for yourself, so if they forget it I'm inclined to just say "that's tough, bring it next time". Most keep them in their dictionary cases or OC folder anyway, which they usually have. For my first year class who were completely useless with their possessions, we collected and gave out the passports each lesson. Takes up a bit of lesson time though, so I didn't like it so much.

    As for outside of class, I honestly don't think a reward system should be necessary. Most students are happy enough to talk to me outside if they want to, since it's just casual chat. I'd even go as far as to say it would be giving slightly the wrong message if you gave them a stamp for every time they talked to the ALT in general. I prefer to just offer it for the more formal classroom setting to break down the occasional wall of silence, and as a means of moderating and recording how well each student is performing in OC.

  14. #14

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    At both of my schools we use the nameplate/point card system but there is a difference in the way it is controlled.

    At my visit school where the JTE gives the stamps he limits it to a one stamp per student each class.....does that make sense?

    At my base school where I give out the stamps I sometimes tell students that I dont want to hear from the regulars or this question is for girls only ( have a class where its just 8 girls out of 40). Sometimes they just ignore me so I countdown from 5 and then let the regulars answer.

    I give out the nameplates after each class and leave maybe 2 minutes or 5 at the end of the lesson to collect them (its actually listed in my lesson plans) because i didnt want the kids to forget em. I keep the nameplates in a little box inside the computer room so if I'm not here then ppl know where to find em.
    The stamps are also part of their final term grades about 25%. So one stamp equals one point. I did this for students who are really bad at exams or English in general. The idea is for them to try- I sometimes give them a stamp even if they get the question wrong, at least they tried.

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    Senior Member loljapan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Point Card system

    I do it in high school. At one school we use a point card, one school we have ALT Bucks they can earn to buy prizes, and at my third school we use a lottery. I decide on the system based on the types of students and what the JTEs are willing to do.

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    Senior Member saritajuanita's Avatar
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    Default Re: Point Card system

    ooooo i like the sound of a lottery. we use stamps sheets at my school, and i wanted somehow to incorporate prizes but it would clearly be the same few students winning them all the time. if we did a raffle and each stamp was worth one ticket anyone could win and hopefully the slower kids would try to get more tickets in the pot. hmmmm the wheels are a'turnin

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    Quote Originally Posted by saritajuanita View Post
    ooooo i like the sound of a lottery. we use stamps sheets at my school, and i wanted somehow to incorporate prizes but it would clearly be the same few students winning them all the time. if we did a raffle and each stamp was worth one ticket anyone could win and hopefully the slower kids would try to get more tickets in the pot. hmmmm the wheels are a'turnin
    That's actually a really cool idea! I've never done prizes because I thought it would turn most kids who didn't win off bothering at all.

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    Senior Member loljapan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by saritajuanita View Post
    ooooo i like the sound of a lottery. we use stamps sheets at my school, and i wanted somehow to incorporate prizes but it would clearly be the same few students winning them all the time. if we did a raffle and each stamp was worth one ticket anyone could win and hopefully the slower kids would try to get more tickets in the pot. hmmmm the wheels are a'turnin
    Yeah we've had it work really well. We usually hold the lottery at the end of the school year because of the amount of classes each kumi get with me, but I think if I taught at the school more regularly we would hold the raffle at the end of each term.

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    Burasuto from the pasuto. Wanderlust King's Avatar
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    Drew these up today. If anyone wants to use or alter them, feel free.

    I figured I'd let the students have a little class-time to draw a picture to personalize their passport, thus the white space on the front page. Every month I'll plan on giving them a fresh point card to staple onto the back of their old one.






    Also, via Google, I found some play money someone had made and offered up for free use.

    Last edited by Wanderlust King; June 28th, 2009 at 01:32.

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    Resident ewok wicket's Avatar
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    That's a good idea, Wanderlust.
    Here's my bankbook stuff for anyone who wants to adapt it for their own use, for what it's worth.
    I kept track of how much money kids had by collecting their bankbooks at the end of each lesson [they put the money and withdrawal slips in], filling out the column and putting my stamp on it. Then I kept a record of how much money they had in my teacher record book.
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