When I was a high school teacher, I noticed something surprising: kids–even those who were “too cool”– loved to be recognized. (My 17-year-olds would beg me for stamps nand stickers! Seriously!) And many of their parents didn’t know exactly how to recognize their efforts and good work, even though they wanted to.
Good work doesn’t need to be recognized in an over-the-top way. One of the easiest and most effective ways to celebrate excellence is to have a plan and a ritual for good grades and great effort. Celebrate immediately when grades or projects come home because immediate validation will prove to children that their work is important and valued. This is important especially for reluctant learners who need that little boost of self-confidence to keep working, even when it feels useless to do so.
Here’s an easy way to make your kids’ hard work special. This project is quick and only takes an hour or so to put it all together from start to finish.
- long pallet sign (I bought mine at Michaels)
- black mini clothespins
- wooden stars
- black chalkboard paint
- gold paint
- liquid chalkboard markers
- wood glue
- Paint the chalkboard sign by painting with horizontal strokes and letting dry. Then coat a second time with vertical strokes. Let dry.
- Paint the wooden stars with gold paint.
- Once all is dry, take three mini clothespins and position them so they are equally spaced. Spread the glue thin on the flat side of the clothespins and adhere to the sign. Make sure that the clothespins can be opened by squeezing at the top so that they can hold papers.
- Glue one gold star in the upper right hand corner of the sign and one gold star in the lower left hand corner (this will be on one of the clothespins).
- Allow to dry and then prime the chalkboard by rubbing chalk onto it and then wiping it off.
- Decorate with chalkboard paint pens!
I love that this keeps the fridge clear and it makes it makes student recognition special. You can change the saying on the chalkboard as needed (“Yay, Josh earned an A!”, “Report Card Time”, etc.). or change the use entirely (for mail, bills, etc.).
This post is sponsored on behalf of Lincoln Military Housing.