Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Family Shields & Castle Points

Throwback to Winter Camp, here are the awesome 3rd and 4th Grade family or team shields:


I was so impressed with how well each team worked together - truly collaborated - on their team shield. I've actually never seen anything like it. Each team did, but Team Student in particular spent a good half an hour in the planning stage. They had several sketches and and kept testing out different swatches of colored paper. I'm not positive but I guessed that they were inspired by the shield shape to turn make their shield into a pencil. It is a very clever design. 

Team Eagle chose their best drawer and, boy, was he talented. A third grader, he spent a lot of time on the beak. Getting the shape right was very important. His fellow teammates watched every stroke and discussed ways to improve the drawing the whole way through. Perfection was their goal. 

Team Dragon also chose their best drawer. They decided to work off of a picture, two of the boys holding the Samsung phone in the optimal position. A flurry of conversation occurred throughout the drawing process. The six of them then colored it in at the same time. I dunno why, but seeing them all hunched over their shield, coloring it in, made me feel really happy. 

Team Hamburger took a little prompting. They got stuck up on their team name. So, I asked them, "What do you like?" "Hamburger, Teacher." So they divvied up the shield and made it into what I thought was a food themed team shield. The man with his head cut off throws me. "Knife, Teacher, knife!" Yeah, they were particularly proud about the blood, which is red. 


Finally, I wanted to talk about "Castle Points." Basically, a sticker was awarded for project completion and to the winners of the various games we played. This points system really helped them stay motivated and provided a  physical measure of all the work they did. And they really liked choosing the stickers to put on their team castles. The team with the most points would win a prize at the end of the week I promised. 

Of course, I stressed about what the prizes should be, because I just don't know what
kids like these days, especially Korean kids. Seriously, I did some looking online and ended up getting the following:

1. Small lego sets (1,500 won each)
2. Sticker sheets (1,500 won each)
3. Big eraser that had "MELON" written on it (1,400 won)
4. BIC wite-out pen (2,000 won)
5. Individually wrapped chocolate cakes

They went crazy for the legos and stationary stuff. I wasn't sure they'd like any of it, but they were all about the legos. There was a moment of hesitation for one student who couldn't decide between a lego set or the BIC whit-out pen, but he went with the legos. They opened the sets and put them together immediately. And the class was small enough that I allowed the other teams to choose the leftover prizes, which was fine by them. "Teacher, very very thank you!" Worth every penny, or won. The chocolate cakes were the only prize left untouched. //


  1. I love it! And you castle points poster is so pretty -- are those magazine pages cut into letters? Whatever it is, it looks great! Maybe I'll try having groups/teams for whatever camp I do in the summer. Group points would be easier to keep track of than individual (I didn't track any "points" or have motivation for good behavior/participation in my winter camp, so I could see the effects).

    PS - I didn't have the "ii" on the original blog url I got from you, so I didn't realize this existed until today! So far warning that you may get a bunch more comments from me as I read through past posts... ^^

    1. *your castle points poster...

      I should really use the captcha screen to re-read my comment before posting!

  2. I did the same thing! I was spelling "rebe" like "reba." I didn't find your Korea blog until you sent me the link to your Madrid blog! Too funny -- And yes, magazine letters: my specialty. I think I may try a points system for regular classes next year, too.