Friday, October 17, 2014

Secret Scientist

I always try to find ways to encourage my kids to work hard ALL the time, not just some of the time. Sometimes, that requires a little incentive.

I took the idea of the "mystery walker" for younger kids and turned into something that I could use in the science classroom with older kids. During labs, it's easy for kids to let others do the work while they just sit there and have fun. Instead of giving those kids a discipline tactic, I figured I would try to find someway to reward them for doing their part, and alas...


During a lab or a group activity, I might choose to have a secret scientist. I have 5 classes every day so each bucket has a little bingo chip with the names of the students for that class. Before the activity begins, I pull one name and I am the only one who knows who the secret scientist is. Since they don't know if they are the secret scientist or not, they ALL do what they are supposed to. Why? Because I let them get into my fancy prize box if they do and if they are the secret scientist. These are prizes that are a little more expensive and I have fewer of so the kids love any opportunity to get in there! It's quite a sight to see. 

At the end of the activity, I decide if my secret scientist did their job or not. If they did not follow directions, did not do their part or just chose to mess around, I tell the class that my scientist didn't do their job. Because I don't want to embarrass this person, I never tell who the scientist is. If my secret scientist DID do their job, I start by saying "My secret scientist ... (and then I brag on all the good things this person did). My secret scientist is.........(I always pause forever and make them wait and they get giddy and yell MRS. BRAZELL!!!!!! And then I give the name). The kids always clap for that person as they go get the prize. It's so cute!!

This has been a huge success as far as getting all kids to participate. I hope you could use something like this in your room! Happy teaching!


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