How do you reward student progress in class?
Over the past few years, I tried and tested quite a few ICT systems in school, particularly rewards and sanctions. However, gone are the days where a teacher has to create a complicated excel spreadsheet to record their pupils rewards (or sanctions) and run competitions; something which quickly becomes impossible to manage and maintain for a class, let alone a year group or a whole school.
One that stands out from the crowd is Carrot Rewards; I’ve blogged about them before and how this system can reward student progress. It’s a cost effective, simple to use pupil rewards system for the entire school. It is designed to engage and motivate pupils whilst saving teachers time and effort when it comes to managing a centralised rewards scheme. It is genuinely innovative because the huge range of functionality means that it really can be easily tailored to meet the needs of all schools, whatever their reward scheme requirements.
As a secondary school teacher (11-18), this system is perfect for key stage 3 and I would imagine, a wonderful tool for key stages 1 and 2.
You can also customise your own reward scheme to design competitions, from class league tables to complex multi-layered whole school competitions; helping you to drive positive behaviour in the classroom. Teachers have access to up to the minute leader boards to track precisely how pupils, classes, subjects, houses, or even schools are doing …
How does it work?
Teachers have complete control over how rewards are given. When a pupil earns a reward, teachers drag and drop the rewards onto the pupil’s name. Some pupils respond well to public praise so their name can be flashed up on the whiteboard, whilst others like to receive rewards but not the attention, so the reward can just be automatically registered. Here are a few screenshots to help you understand the system;
Easy to use?
Pupils really engage as they have the instant praise from teachers when they are given a reward for agreed effort or behaviour. This is also supported by ongoing recognition of this, as all rewards are automatically registered in their own separate “MyStickers” account where they can log in and keep track of the rewards they have been given.
Carrot Rewards also encourages parent integration as all parents are invited to register, so they can be contacted using the method of their choice (email or text) when their child is given a reward, reaches a milestone, or wins a competition. They can also log in to see how their child is doing and keep track of their rewards, and have the ability to leave notes and words of encouragement. It is a great way to start a conversation between parents and kids about their education through rewards.
Accessible and inclusive?
For a reward scheme to work it must be easy for teachers to use, have the ability to be customised to meet the needs of individual schools, and be exciting and engaging for pupils. Carrot Rewards does all of this! The major features of Carrot Rewards is that it gives schools the ability to easily track and reward behaviour, effort and attendance. It also allows this at a local level for departments and teachers. Schools can decide which rewards they want teachers to be able to award, and the platform can be fully personalised to meet the needs of individual schools and classrooms.
Competitions can be run by class, form, house or year group, whatever the school needs. If the school want rewards to be exchanged for prizes, they have their own online Carrot Rewards shop which they can stock with anything of their choice. It really is very flexible! Students can also tailor their own profile as shown below; this encourages engagement with the system.
How will the product help schools with pupil assessment?
The National Foundation for Education Research stated in their research, that 4/5ths of schools in England use some form of rewards; according to research by Ofsted in 2008 (page 17);
“Rewards, such as opportunities to go on trips or to gain awards, were a powerful incentive for students who struggled with school. Rewards motivated the students to apply themselves more and to achieve better grades at GCSE level. (Ofsted 2008)”
This is simple to use, it saves teachers time and effort – which I am passionate about – and enables schools to implement a consistent approach to rewards. All teachers need to do is give out the rewards and all the reporting is done for them. The data provided by Carrot Rewards gives the school valuable insight into the behaviour of students, and reports can demonstrate this by year group, form class, house and/or subject; right down to the individual pupil. Schools also have the ability to define their own unique field that are important to them.
The most popular groups that schools ask to be tracked include Special Educational Needs (SEN), Gifted and Talented (G&T) and Pupil Premium; the data is always available in real-time, helping schools with pupil assessment. Carrot Rewards is recognised as an appropriate tool for measuring effectiveness of Pupil Premium funding, as it can be used to monitor individual pupil progress against their peers, in behaviour, individual subjects, or any other set criteria, to help ensure that the funding is used to improve their attainment and have meaningful impact.
Value for money?
Those in charge of the rewards system can ensure best practice across the school, or even group of schools or academies, as they have complete control. They can easily add or changes rewards, create new competitions and monitor rewards being given to highlight pupils who need more encouragement. Most schools have a consistency of approach where teachers know how many rewards they can give out, and what they should be for.
However, it is possible within Carrot Rewards for generous teachers to be limited, and less generous teachers encouraged, to ensure that competition is fair across the school. The costs are very reasonable! To a primary school, it is just a one-off £295 set-up fee, including creation of Carrot Rewards account, teacher accounts, pupil accounts and importing of the school timetable. Then, there is an annual fee of £795 for the Primary School Virtual Pack which includes unlimited rewards for the school year.
It’s worth a look; why not give Classroom Rewards consideration?