Is messy printing common in your classroom? Are students apathetic to trying to write neatly? Improve student printing in your class in a fun and engaging way with a printing contest. I've been doing this friendly competition for a long time and it's always a hit with my students. Grab the freebie at the end of this post.
How does a printing contest work?
- We do this once a month-typically at the end of every month
- Sometimes we'll do this as morning work and other times we'll do it during literacy workshop.
- I'll put my sample under the document camera if we're doing it whole group, and students copy it.
- If students are improving student printing during ELA centers, I'll make 6 copies, one for each student in the table group
Students write their name on the back of the their paper and turn it in. I write a letter on each paper with a marker starting with letter A, then B, and so on. I cut up a bunch of paper and students walk quietly around the room to make their vote. This is a good time to talk about keeping votes private and to vote for the best printing rather than your own!
Once all the students have voted, we gather on the carpet and tally up the votes. Throughout our voting, we'll stop and talk about how many more does ___ have than _____ or how many more does ____ need to be equal to ___?
The winner of the printing contest
Once we've determined the winning paper, a student goes to find it without looking at the name. We do a drum roll and announce the winner. I write the student's name on a generic award, add the picture to our class Instagram account and the student grabs a prize.
- prize from our treasure box
- classroom money from our economy system,
- line leader
- free tech time
- listen to music while working
- free choice for 15 minutes
Grab your printing contest freebie
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Amanda Hudacek says
I absolutely LOVE this idea and have wanted to try it ever since you shared it on Facebook, but silly me is having a hard time coming up with what to have them copy. Can you give an example of what they copy?
I typically do this at the end of the month so I write a quick summary about all the things we learned that month. For example, “In March, I learned about telling time, close reading, and landforms. March was a wonderful month.”