The Magic Boards

Every once in a while, we’ll share some techniques that our Fellows have been finding most effective in their classrooms. Here, Lutfi Afiq, one of the 50 Fellows from the first Teach For Malaysia Cohort, explains his 3 Magic Boards that yield great results.

What you need:

  1. 3 clipboards
  2. A4 papers in 3 different colours

“The 3 Magic Boards consist of the Board of Shame, the Board of Coolness and the Board of Superheroes.

Board Of Shame

This involves negative reinforcement and consequence. Each student with their name on the board will be subjected to the following consequences:

  • Name written once: A meeting during recess or after school in the counselling room.
  • Name written twice: Students to be brought to the most feared teacher in the school.
  • Name written three times: A call to the parents.

Board Of Coolness

This is the board of positive reinforcement. Every time students participate, they get to write their names on this board. Each name is worth 10 points. The maximum number of times a student can write his or her name on this board is 3 times (for a total of 30 points).

Board Of Superheroes

After writing their names on the Board of Coolness 3 times, the next time students participate or answer questions, they’ll get to write their names on this board. Each name is worth 50 points, so a student that has their name written here has a total of 80 points.

Students get to write a SuperHero name of their choosing beside their name and they will be addressed as that SuperHero for that particular day.

At the end of each week, I announce the top three students in the class with the most points. Whoever has the most points at the end of the month gets to claim a special present!”

Besides being able to use these boards to control his most challenging classes, Lutfi’s school principal was very impressed with his creativity. She even went the extra mile by offering to talk to the PIBG and ask them to provide funds for all the presents. She suggested that he award the monthly prize during assembly for more effect, and plans to integrate the concept with the merit-demerit system in the School Discipline Board.

A classic example of a simple idea that goes a long way!

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