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I'm always thinking of ways that I can intrinsically motivate my students. It's always been my personal preference to not reward students with tangible things routinely. With testing season approaching, I wanted something that would give my students the extra motivation to continue to work hard and keep their behavior in check. In addition to that, I want students to own and monitor their progress. So...that is when I came up with the idea to create student resumes. This was also perfect, because I always try to incorporate real-life into the classroom.

  • I first showed my students an actual copy of my resume. I talked to them about each section with an emphasis on the Profile & Highlights part because I wanted them to write their own. I described that part as the "hook" to my resume. It's the opportunity to sell myself and make employers interested in me enough to look at the rest of my resume.

  • I then told my students to write their profile & highlights. It was interesting. I had to point out some of my students positive characteristics and then I had students that handed me a page full! I took what they wrote and then created and typed each of them a resume.

  • When I showed my students their resume, it only had their name and typed "Profile & Highlights" they had written. I reinforced that they can only put something on their resume after I have certified they really have that credential. When I certify them, I give them the exact credential they can certify on their resume.

sections on the resume:

  • Character Traits - This section is for when my students consistently show kindness, follow classroom procedures, persevere through challenges, etc. I love this section because all students have an opportunity to build their resume, even if they have a lot of unfinished learning.

  • Awards & Recognitions - This section can include recognition students receive outside of the classroom. However, the main purpose is for those routines I have in place to recognize my students for various academic and behavior actions.

  • Relevant Experience - This section is for other skills I want students to know, but it isn't directly aligned to an academic standard. For instance, after teaching place value strategies I prefer that my students use my QRS (Quotient-Remainder-Short Division) method for dividing. Another one I have is automaticity with multiplication facts.

  • References - This section is for when school staff or another student gives a very genuine compliment about the student.

  • Academic Standards - This section is for students to track each of our academic standards in Math. The way that I am tracking mastery is through 100% on standard-aligned quizzes I created. If I had started doing this earlier in the year, then I probably would do this section differently. However, since it's so far in the year I choose to use the quizzes to be consistent on what is viewed as true mastery.

My students really bought into this. If you are interested in using Student Resumes, you can click here for a PDF copy to print. Or, you can always create your own for different variations. Regardless, I highly suggest giving Student Resumes a try in your class.


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