One of my mistakes my first year was putting all the prizes in the treasure box in the beginning of the year. Then, once everything in there had gotten uninteresting to the students, I had already spent the little money I was given and couldn’t replenish it. These became one of the most popular items in my treasure box, because, let’s face it- kids just don’t like homework.
I made sure to write the student’s name on it and sign them when a student won a homework coupon because they weren’t valid without my signature. In addition, I would require my students to staple the coupon to the corner of the assignment when turning it in, so I couldn’t lose it (since it was 1/8 sheet) and it was clear to me which assignment the student wanted the coupon to count for. When I graded the assignment, I would only tear off half of the coupon, so the student would have “proof” that I had seen their coupon and there was no way for students to try to use it again. I chose bright color paper to run these off on, so I could always identify them easily in a pile. I made it clear to my students that I would not replace lost coupons. Since they had a student’s name on them written in my handwriting, there seemed to be no incentive to try to steal them, so that worked out nicely as well.
Just because I’m nice, I gave each student one coupon at the beginning of school, and because teachers have no money nowadays, this was their birthday present also. The kids seemed pretty excited to have the option to skip homework on their birthday.
Click to download the homework coupons.