Unlock the Magic with Hope King

This year I’m implementing a new incentive system in my classroom and I cannot wait to get it started with my students! I learned about this system from Hope King, a teacher at the Ron Clark Academy, blogger, and overall Queen of Education. Students receive keys for going above and beyond with their behavior and academics. At the end of each month they get to see if their keys unlock the lock. If it does, they will get to participate in the monthly reward with the other key winners.  Hope has the best explanation of how she set up this system in her classroom over on her blog. She also has a video tutorial and a freebie on her Teachers Pay Teachers site! Instead of repeating all of her fabulous ideas and instructions, hop on over to her site  to get your magic started!

Hope’s Blog Post

Video Tutorial

Teachers Pay Teachers Freebie

My system looks pretty similar, except I use six locks instead of twelve. I found my locks at Dollar Tree, the frame on amazon, and six small wooden boxes at A.C. Moore. I can’t wait to get started with this exciting experience for my students next month!

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Tammy says:

    What type of rewards are you doing with your students at the end of the month? I would love some suggestions that are “on campus” that require no travel away from school (not permitted by my district for select students). I would love to try this with my students. 🙂 Thank you!!!

    1. I’m going to start with simple things like lunch with the teacher, extra recess, making the announcements over the loud speaker, picking your seat, etc. Then we’ll see if I can partner with different businesses, restaurants, etc. to see if I can get gift certificates or opportunities for the students. I hope this helps!

  2. Kara Newhouse says:

    I can definitely imagine kids’ excitement around the unlocking ceremonies, and I love the colorful visuals Hope King’s drawers and locks create for her classroom. But I wonder what you think about how external rewards systems affect the development of intrinsic motivation?
    Related to that, I want to read Alfie Kohn’s “Punished By Rewards” but haven’t gotten to it yet. Have you read it?

    1. I think that’s a great point, Kara. I’ve decided to hold off the “unlock the magic” until October to establish routines and procedures in my classroom that do not warrant any reward. Starting in October I will reward with keys for academic based ideas such as a fabulous connection, poignant question, etc. I will have to check out Kohn’s book!

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