C. M. S. Scholars achieve at high levels when they commit themselves. Commitment is more than half the problem, so I focus monetary incentives on success of achievement goals that reflect effort, perseverance and skill mastery. The student population is largely from lower socioeconomic households, with most of the student body on free and reduced lunch meal programs. While studies show that students raised in these types of environments make poor connections from core academic concepts to real-life applications, my students at CMS showed significant growth in Science last year.
So far I have supported my students with a classroom set of mechanical pencils (plastic) and refills (0.7 mm) so they can be successful. Regardless of the supplies they have lost or forgotten to bring, they need pencils. Pencils are a MUST to practice math, show learning in our class and show attempts to learn with evidence of their effort. Reviewing incorrect work is more important than correct work, it allows for misconceptions to be cleared up. The pencil is their communication devise. I need my students to be prepared, and I will work to incentivize their being responsible independently, until then I need them to have these more sturdy pencils than the plastic versions I bought at the beginning of the year.
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