Classroom Management: Using a WOW Board

Have you heard of the WOW board? This tool is not a brand new idea, but I only started using it last year. And, I intend to keep using it!

Using a WOW board is a great (and super easy) way to recognize individual students and reward their choices, achievements, and efforts. It is also a great way to boost self-esteem too.

What is it?
The board is simply a table that is printed onto poster sized paper. The table is labeled with letters along the bottom, and numbers along the side, creating cells. It is laminated so it can be used again and again.

I printed my board using the standard poster size setting on our poster maker. I know that some schools may not have a poster maker, but there is no rule that says your WOW board has to be poster sized!

How do you use it?
When you see a student making a smart choice, setting a good example, making gains, or whatever you feel should be recognized, they add their name to the board. They can choose any space they want and write their name in the selected space.

Many WOW boards have 100 spaces, but I like for it to fill up quickly, so my board has only 25 spaces. Since I use other means of recognizing students, like reward tags, I didn't want a board with 100 spaces. 

Since the board is laminated, students can use an Expo Vis-a-Vis marker to add their name. This makes it easy to erase and start over when we're ready to do so.

What do you do when the board is full?
When the board is full of students' names, I choose 5 students to receive a "prize." Really, they get to choose a classroom reward coupon. Prize buckets and I don't get along (#clutter). The classroom rewards cost me nothing and the kids love them. You can find all sorts of classroom reward options on TPT. Then, I erase the board and we start filling it up again and the cycle repeats.

How do you choose the winners? 
I usually just pick five random cells and write them on a sticky note, without looking to see whose names are in those cells. For example, I might write down A3, C4, B5, D2, E1. I call out the cell number and identify the name of the student written in that cell. They're a winner!

You could write all your cells (i.e. A1, A2, A3, etc.) on color tiles, small slips of paper, or anything else you can fit into a small bucket. Then, when it is time to choose your winners, you just pull a tile, slip of paper, etc. out of the bucket and match it to the name in that space on your board.

Using a Wow board is just another way to recognize your students and motivate them to do their best. If you'd like to give it a try, you can download my free template

If your school doesn't have a poster maker, don't dismiss the idea of using a WOW board. You could easily print this on regular paper and just use a smaller sized version. The kids will still love it!


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