Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Motivation by Estimation

jelly beans-April
candy corn-October
In our classroom we use a little motivation through estimation.  The good ol' estimation jar is old news.  When I was growing up, the  jar was filled with marbles, cotton balls, erasers, etc.  We were able to estimate how many items we thought were in the jar, and then we were given a piece of candy or 5 points on a quiz or test if our guess was the closest. Cool enough, but not too exciting if you were lazy like me.  lol Same concept, with a twist.  Why not make the WHOLE jar the reward (well the contents of the jar anyway)?  What do you have to do to get that whole jar of candy? Make good grades!  Simple as that.  For each A or B on a quiz or test you get one estimate. My teacher intern keeps an excel spreadsheet each month and adds the student's guess after each assessment. You have all month to try!  On the last Friday of the month we count the contents and announce the winner...winner takes ALL (sometimes winners...if more than one student gets the guess correct, they split the candy...good division lesson).  You start over again the next month with a different type of candy. I've been getting the candy from either Dollar Tree or the sale rack at Walgreens or Food Kitty.  In the beginning, I wasn't sure about the buy in, but after that first kid got the candy from the first jar, it's been a hit ever since.  I've always said that a little motivation goes a LONG way!

Here are the types of candy I have used so far, by month:
December-red and green M&Ms
February-conversation hearts

 Bribe Guess on.


  1. I like it. I think it's a good idea to reinforce estimation and reasonabless, which is a very difficult skill for kids to learn. I like your list of candy to use in the jar, too. Woudn't have thought of marshmallows for January! Thanks!
    Buzzing with Ms. B

  2. I agree with Chrissy---marshmallows are such a cute idea!

  3. What a good idea! This might add that motivation the kids need towards the end of the year. Thanks!

    Loose Shoelaces

  4. Hi! I'm your new follower. I'm an English Teacher, here in Mexico. And I found you through the ZAP game. I've been reading your blog, and it's amazing all the ideas that you have shared. They are simple and easy to do. I'm new at teaching, I've just graduated and I'm trying to get full of ideas.
    I wish you the best, your blog is GREAT!!!!