"If we teach today's students as we taught yesterday's, we rob them of tomorrow." --John Dewey

Sunday, February 26, 2012

And the Award Goes to . . .

Print, cut out and magnet to your fridge.
You've earned it, faithful blog reader!
The Hollywood awards season may have come to a close with the presentation of the Oscars, but it's not too late to do some award presenting of your own.  As a matter of fact, this may be the perfect time to recognize outstanding achievement in our classrooms.  I know what you're thinking--isn't this a topic for the end of the year?  Isn't that when we're supposed to award achievement, attendance, effort, etc.?  Sure, sure . . . there are plenty of awards to be given at the end of a successful school year.  But at the end of February when we're all getting tired of the every day routine, and the dreary weather, and the standardized testing, and . . . well, just about everything . . . this may be the perfect time to give someone (student, colleague, administrator, . . . blog reader) an unexpected, probably much-needed shot in the arm.

If you're a creative sort, you can certainly make your own custom award certificates in your favorite word processing or graphics program.  If that would require far more time than you can spare on any given day, though, there are lots of quick and easy online alternatives.  One of the quickest is at: http://www.senteacher.org/Worksheet/3/FreeCertificates.xhtml (It's actually called the Quick Certificate Printer!)  This one really is quick and easy, without having to settle for images or wording that are not quite right, or not editable.  Worth bookmarking for the times you need to capitalize on an unexpected moment of brilliance.

Have a little more time to prepare?  Try http://www.schoolexpress.com/awards/index.php or http://www.certificatestreet.com/templates.html.  Both are loaded with options for making some fun and interesting awards.  My favorites, though, are http://www.123certificates.com, where you can customize countless certificates as well as trophies and award ribbons, and http://www.printwithmypic.com/certificates/ where you can, you guessed it, add pictures to personalize awards.

So go ahead.  Take a moment to thank all the "little people" who contribute to your success, and let them know how successful they are as well. No need for a golden statue on the mantle when you can have a certificate from the teacher to proudly display in the place of highest honor in every home--the front of the fridge.

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