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Loken's Tokens

Wendy Loken's first grade class with their stuffed animals.

As students in Wendy Loken’s First Grade class get compliments from other staff and get caught doing the right thing during their school day, they earn a “Loken Token.” One by one the students have filled up the jar this school year, which means the whole class earns a reward. Loken turned this event into a learning opportunity by first having the students vote on choices for their reward.

The students came up with ideas like an extra recess, no homework for a day, show and tell, or to bring in a stuffed animal for a day. The class created a secret ballot and using tally marks voted on the winning choice, which was to bring in a stuffed animal on Friday, January 13, 2012.

Loken wanted this reward to be more than just the students bringing in a stuffed animal. So during Writer’s Workshop time on Friday, students wrote five facts about their animal. Then students practiced reading their facts to get ready for a special introduction for the class. Each student then had to read their writing and introduce their animal to the class.

Here are a few of the facts shared by some of the first graders. Ashleigh Spruiell wrote “My bear’s name is Alley. It is a girl. She is pink. I got her from build-a-bear workshop. She has brown eyes. In my mind she is a fashionista. She is my first build-a-bear ever. She has sparkles in her fur.”

Another student, Lainie Ross, wrote “My favorite animal is Winnie the Pooh. I love him because I got him with my own money!”

Nate Viele, another student, wrote “My stuffed animal is red. I sleep with him. He is a good dog. He eats my bad dreams. He is good. He is five years old.”

From counting tally marks to writing and reading facts, Loken turned a class reward into a learning experience her students will always remember.

Written by: Beth Medlin, Media Coordinator and Wendy Loken, First Grade Teacher
Posted: Jan 20, 2012 by Beth Medlin

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