I have previously shared how my last school implemented Student of the Month (SOM) and how this in turn led me to having my students nominate their peers. I did not have my classes nominate SOMs last semester because I was still trying to figure out how things worked at my new school, and by the time I had my bearings I was not feeling the positive vibes I needed to get something new initiated. My new school only awards one student with this honor and while they have all been worthy candidates, I personally feel that many other deserving students are left out because there is only one. This is largely due to the fact that my previous school gave one award in each subject area.
I decided to bring back Student of the Month this semester to help create that positive classroom community I’m striving for in my Spanish 2 classes. This time I had students respond to the question: ¿Quién merece el premio del estudiante del mes para enero? (Who deserves the prize for January SOM? in Canvas on a discussion. I then added some useful phrases we’d been working with in the TL (I believe that…, It’s obvious!, I think that…) and some questions for them to consider: (A) Who participates a lot?; (B) Who speaks more Spanish than English?; (C) Who is positive?; (D) Who smiles a lot? I took these questions and turned them into some basic “posters” describing what SOM winners do with emojis to help convey their meanings. I have to say… I’m pretty proud of myself for figuring out how to insert emojis into my documents! I also like that it’s another source of input on my walls, as well as a reminder for students who want to win SOM in the future. Feel free to use these posters if they fit your needs!
It was so fun today to present the SOM winners with their certificates, to read what their peers said about them in the TL, and to add their photos to the SOM space. As they were in front of the class, I reminded them that their peers had nominated them and asked if they wanted to say anything. Both said muchas gracias. Oh be still my heart!
If you’re reading this, I do have one favor to ask of you: what additional questions (and thus, qualities of a desirable candidate) would you ask students to help identify the SOM?