“Boletos,” or “tickets,” are a staple of my Spanish classroom. They come in handy for everything from classroom management to discussion grades to reflection. I keep an index card box full of them on my desk at all times. Here are five ways that I use tickets in my class:
- “Payment”: In my classroom students have various jobs that keep the class running smoothly. Students receive tickets when they do their job and do it well. Students also receive payment in the form of tickets for doing the daily Bienvenida (see the Creative Language Class if you don’t already know about this awesome activity). Students write their name on the ticket and put it in the class ticket box. Every Friday, I draw a name from the box in each class. Read below to find out about what happens next!
- Rewards: Much like the “payment” above, students receive tickets for doing awesome things. They write their name on the ticket and stuff it in the ticket box. Many times, when engagement is low while I am probing for answers to questions, I’ll start handing out tickets for any kind of response. All of a sudden everyone is “in” again! You know those days when you had a pep rally in the morning and the class ring people are coming that afternoon, plus X Club is leaving early to go help out at Special Olympics? And NO ONE cares about being in school that day, much less in your class, finishing a story about Porky the Pig and his trip to the mercado in México? This is your TICKET (pun intended)!
- Birthday gift: “Oh, Suzy, of course I remembered that today is your birthday!” Instant, free, non-discriminatory birthday gift.
- Discussion tracker: Have you ever wondered how to grade those discussions? Do you use Socratic Circles in your AP class and spend too much time creating a complicated rubric? Do you struggle to get some students to participate, and others to just, well, dial it back a little? Make your life easier by handing each student two tickets. They get one ticket to ask a question, and one to give an answer (of course you can add to this as needed). Students write their names on both tickets, and write “question” on one, and “answer” on the other. At the end of the discussion, you have all of your “task completion grades” right there in your hand!
- Reflection/Exit Ticket: Ok, so this is a no brainer, because we’ve all used exit tickets for reflection. But imagine that you are teaching away and an administrator drops in for an informal evaluation. You reach the end of all of your planned activities and you realize that you did not plan for an effective reflection opportunity at the end of the lesson. Like the pro that you are, you grab your box of blank tickets from your desk, you hand them out, and you tell your students to write down one question that you still have after this lesson. Way to wow ’em, Teach!
As you have noticed, the first three activities involved a “ticket box.” I found my ticket box at the Dollar General. It is small, has a lid, and has two openings on either side. Like I said before, on Fridays, I draw names from the ticket box. Here is where it gets really good. When I draw a student’s name from the box, they get to draw from ANOTHER box to see what their prize will be. Here is the list of FREE prize options that I used at the beginning of the year. Admittedly, the students weren’t too pumped about a lot of these, so we have narrowed it down quite a bit, and many days I just reach for my prize box or my bag of Dum Dums.
As always, please make sure that you click “file” and “make a copy” before editing anyone else’s Google Doc, gracias 🙂
Let me know how you use tickets in your classroom!