Thursday, September 20, 2012

We Get Our "KICKS" out of Learning and Achieving our Goals"

Hello everyone!  I wanted to share with you this year's Super Improver's Wall in my classroom.  I heard that we are now calling it the Super Improver's Team, but that still needs to be changed.  I have a plan on how to implement that change... more to come on that later.  I was trying to think of a creative way for the students to move up color ranks.  I have seen many of you come up with some really good  originals.  Then I happen to remember a story I bought from ATA (American Twaekondo Academy) when my children and I belonged there.  It is a story of a tiger that wanted to earn his stripes.  It tells a tale of determination and perseverance.  So, I shared the story with my students the first week in school and told them that we would determine our own goals and with determination and perseverance, we would achieve them by breaking records and making personal improvements.  With that said, I told them that they would all start out as white belt level learners.  Each of them would have to earn 5 stars in order to earn a stripe.  After they earned 3 stripes, they would move up a color with the goal of achieving "black belt" status by the end of the year.  Of course, I had the question, "What happens if we get black belt before the end of the year?"  The answer is simple.  "You will then work toward 2nd degree and 3rd degree etc.!"  Below are some pictures that I took today to share with you.

Of course, no one is this far.  I just added some various color belts so you can get the full effect.  The lighting in the room is not great for getting  terrific pictures.  That is too bad because the karate kids are really cute!  They are from digimyworld.

There is no difference between the yellow and blue backgrounds.  All the belts would not fit in one chart, so I had to use what I had.  I just separated them between 3rd and 4th grade.  This makes them easier to locate quickly.  That was the first thing I pointed out to the kids.  

Currently, everyone is still at the white belt level, but many of the students have two stripes and everyone has at least one.  I am hoping for some students to get to orange by the end of next week.  I also plan to take pictures at yellow and turn them around on green.  The same thing will happen on red and turn at black.  We need to keep it exciting!

I made some really cute certificates too with the same graphics to match.  I am planning to create a small ceremony to hand them their next ranking belt.  One of my professional aids came up with the idea to play "Kung Fu Fighting" during the ceremony.  I think it would be really motivating for those who did not receive three stripes yet to want to earn them.  Plus, to let all the kids celebrate by dancing for a few minutes would encourage them all as a team!  The more people that move up, the more "celebrations" we can have!

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