This is the second piece to our series on the Win/Win program. The first dealt with messages, now we get to the part that receives most of the attention: incentives.
Many people look at us as the folks that give out $100 to students, but there is much more to this and all the incentives for that matter. Motivation can come through many different means, and incentives are just one of them. That is why we feel that Win/Win is a entire program that includes incentives and so much more.
To understand the incentives, you must take a look at how students earn credit for effort and behavior. First off students and teachers are given a rubric on how students can earn credit for their effort and behavior. Each week a teacher decides if a student fulfills the requirements of the rubric, they then place a sticker for effort and/or behavior on a classroom chart distributed by Win/Win. Students keep track of their sticker totals in their Win/Win notebook as well the constant visual of the chart in their classroom. These stickers are the way we at Save A Mind figure out what type of incentive the student earns; basically each sticker is equal to one dollar on their gift card at the end of the year.
There are really three types of Win/Win incentives: mid-marking period, end of the marking period and end of the year, all of which align with the school year calendar.
These prizes are based on effort and behavior points (stickers) that students earn from their teachers. If they get 8 stickers, they get a prize. These are usually smaller, like a mechanical pencil or a bracelet. They remind students that there is more to come and that Win/Win is there all year long.
End of the Marking Period
During each marking period, students can earn up to 20 stickers. If students earn at least 19 stickers, they receive a larger prize. An example may be a Win/Win backpack or water bottle. These prizes can also be social in nature like a pizza or water ice party. After a student survey last year, we realized that more than anything, students wanted prizes they could share with their friends.
End of the Year
This is the big prize, a bank gift card that can be up to $100 dollars. The value of the card is based on the total of effort and behavior stickers earned over the first three marking periods, and also a student’s academic grades and attendance. The way our founder looks at this incentive is actually more like a paycheck. Mr. Funston reasons that school, academics and behavior, is actually a student’s first job. For the past two years TD Bank has been essential in helping us out to make the cards possible.
*I will add in a bit more about the MVP program used by specialist teachers, but look for more in the next post. When students get an MVP from a specialist teacher, they add a sticker (orange instead of blue) to the their classroom chart. By doing this they earn credit toward their end of the year gift card.*