One of my classroom management techniques is to give my students group points. They can earn group points for a variety of things, some big, some small, you name it all. It's amazing how hard they work for their group points because they like their reward. If they were in the class next door with my teaching partner, they would get to pick a pencil out of the prize box. YIPPIE a pencil! Please read the pure sarcasm, and please remember that I teach 6th grade. That age could care less about a pencil. The reward for my students is to go to lunch with them, my treat. The kids LOVE it and I wish I could record their faces when I tell each new class this news at the beginning of the year. And it's great because they will do just about anything for group points. It seriously makes my job so much easier because all I have to do is grab my clipboard that I keep track of points on and the kids instantly straighten up in their "learning positions" (meaning they sit up with their hands on their desks and a cheesy grin). It truly bliss.
So the thing about this is that I generally have to drag the points out for like 5-6 weeks because it costs me roughly $30 every time I take them out, and that gets a little taxing. My husband had the bright idea to ask the parents if they would be willing to pay for their child if they won. (I work in a very well to do area). So I sent out an email and asked for their opinion. I got a 100% feedback with an outstanding yes! So I will now end group points every 2-3 weeks, and the class is super excited about it! I am as well because it's such a nice way to get to know your students in a more relaxed setting.
Now for the amazing generosity...many of the parents responded to my email by not only saying that they would pay for their child, but they would also pay for me. I was very grateful that they were showing such kindness. But then I got an email that surpassed them all! One parent actually said she was going to bring in a $100 check to help cover the past and future expenses! I of course couldn't let her do that, but I was amazed at her generosity. How sweet is that?!?!