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Teacher: Erin Smithers who teaches at Otselic Valley Elementary in Georgetown, NY. Erin Smithers can be contacted at

Name of Best Practice: Sweat Heads

Rationale/Purpose of Event: To assess behavior and effort during physical education class.

Suggested Grade Level: 2-5

Materials Needed: Posterboard with each class listed on it.

Sweat Heads

At the end of each class period, I have my students sit down in front of a chart and select one student from the class to come to the front. S/he selects one of four possible faces, on which the eyes (particularly the 0's) are written as numbers: 100, 80, 50, and 30. On the "100" face, there is a smile with lots of drops of sweat on it. On the "80" face, there is a smaller smile with a fewer amount of sweat drops. On the "50" face, there is a straight line instead of a smile with even fewer sweat drops. And lastly, on the "30" face, there is a frown with only 2 or 3 drops of sweat on the face.

Depending on how the class did as a whole, the student selects which face s/he believes represents everyone's effort and behavior during class. We talk about it, and students get an opportunity to share what they thought went well and what didn't during class and we decide (with the teacher having the ultimate decision) on a fair grade.

I stress with students that it is not individual names on the chart, but the teacher's name. That means everyone in the class is accountable. A couple students could ruin it for everyone. At the end of the year, the class with the most points receives a special party.

The younger kids especially respond to it well, and it teaches them at an early age how to assess their own behavior and effort. Teachers in the school have also offered rewards for the regular classroom based on the grade the students received in PE class.

Teaching Suggestions/Tips:

Be mindful of the status of each class~lots of bad reviews could have a negative effect upon a class. You may have to overlook some consistent behavior challenging students and focus on all students that follow directions and reward them. The behavior challenged students that often continue negative behavior may need their own personal consequence.

This should be done regularly so it does not require a lot of time that takes away from physical activity. It is a piece of an entire lesson, and should be done daily as a routine teaching practice.

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Posted on PEC: 4/3/2006 and has received 46 votes.

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