Golden Tickets: A Recipe for an Awards/Management System

August 7, 2009 at 8:56 pm 1 comment


  • one roll of raffle tickets, gold/yellow in color
  • an enormous pickle jar for each class period, cleaned and labeled
  • an even larger receptacle for the full body of your students
  • grade-boosting coupons (“Get Out of Assignment Free,” “Add 10% to Any Score,” etc.)
  • dollar store trinkets


  1. Give one ticket to each student.
  2. Explain to them that tickets will be awarded for any number of reasons – having great insight, showing up especially prepared, improvement, excellent score on exam, being on task, etc.
  3. Show them their class’s pickle jar and demonstrate the process of writing their name on the ticket and dropping into the jar.
  4. Allow them to practice step 3 with their ticket.
  5. Explain that each fortnight (hey look, a vocab word) you’ll pull a ticket or two from the jar. The owners of those tickets will receive a prize – one of the aforementioned coupons, or their choice of doo-hickey from a bin of goodies.
  6. Begin the term by distributing tickets liberally (but appropriately). Become stingier with tickets as term goes on.
  7. After each fortnight drawing, dump all tickets into the larger receptacle. At the end of the year, one student (not one from each class) will win a more substantial prize, at your discretion.


  • Use a double roll of tickets, and require them to keep track of their half of the ticket in order to win their prize. Teaches responsibility, makes drawing-day more interactive, also makes drawing-day more time-consuming.
  • Don’t empty out the pickle jar after each drawing. Increases odds for students who are consistently “good”; decreases odds overall for other students, especially those who did something unexpectedly awesome.
  • Sing “I’ve Got a Golden Ticket” every time you hand one out. Demonstrates confidence and cross-curricular connections. Makes you look like a dork, and may highlight poor singing skills.

Entry filed under: IDEAS AND TOOLS.

ALA Recommendations for YA Libraries Teacher Education, Teacher Practice

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Rachel  |  August 9, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    Just found your blog and I love it! You’ve got some great ideas and topics on here. I teach elementary, but I’ve still enjoyed browsing through your posts.


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The Bee’s Knees

This is the teaching journal of a student first-year second-year THIRD-YEAR (!!!) English teacher. I am writing this blog as a reflection for myself, a way to keep friends and family updated, and a sharing-ground between other educators online. I love comments!

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