"Easter Eggs" in Assignments?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Myrisophilist, Jun 11, 2014.

  1. Myrisophilist

    Myrisophilist Habitué

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    Jun 11, 2014

    My students rarely read directions on assignments. I've been mulling over an idea about how to address this, or at least reward those who follow directions (and therefore cause me less frustration). Please tell me if you have done something similar or if this is just a bad idea for some reason:

    You know how video games have hidden "easter eggs" that reward you in some way when you find them? Assignments could have easter eggs in the directions for an assignment -- a single sentence that instructs the student to write a word or letter somewhere on the paper so the teacher knows that the student has read the directions thoroughly. Then the teacher could award a bonus point or some other reward. It could be turned into a kind of scavenger hunt.

    So, what do you think? Plausible? Crazy?
     
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  3. TamaraF

    TamaraF Companion

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    Jun 11, 2014

    I love it!
     
  4. live

    live Companion

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    Jun 11, 2014

    Interesting! I might try this next year to see if/how it works. I wonder if kids would catch on & just look for "easter eggs" rather than fully reading the directions.
     
  5. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I do this from time to time. The ability to follow directions precisely is very important in science.
     
  6. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I really like the idea!
     
  7. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    What if you periodically included in the directions something like "Skip #14" or "Only answer the odd problems in Section Three"? Then the reward is immediate--you didn't have to spend extra time doing the other problems.
     
  8. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Jun 11, 2014

    This is what I have generally done over the years.
     
  9. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    I love it!
     
  10. Splasher

    Splasher Rookie

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    I put this in my course syllabus/policies that they are supposed to read and sign on the first day: "If you read this, please email me with the phrase "pizzaisgreat" in the subject line to earn a bonus point on the first quiz."

    I usually only receive emails from 5 or so out of 25 students per class, even though they all sign the paper to acknowledge they read the document....I use that as a discussion about integrity. Don't sign that you did something that you didn't really do because I could have put something in there quite outrageous that you would be agreeing to.
     
  11. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Enthusiast

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    I know this is the high school thread but I might try doing this with kinders in some sort of fashion. I know they don't read but I could come up,with something.
     
  12. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    I love rewarding good, hardworking, careful, quirky, honest students as often as possible. The other kind, not so much.
     
  13. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Our teacher-librarian does this in communications she sends out to the staff--she'll "hide" a contest for a free book certificate. I got "caught" for not reading closely earlier this year, even though I'm usually the first to reply.
     
  14. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    I do this all the time with my weekly emails to my students. It's usually in the last paragraph of a message and asks them to email back and tell me something fun (what they're doing over the weekend, etc) for an extra credit point. It's sad how few students caught all of them.
     
  15. Myrisophilist

    Myrisophilist Habitué

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    Wow, I had no idea this was so widely in practice! Thanks for the feedback.
     
  16. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    LOL - it has been done for a very long time too! In the 80s my science teacher did this right before Christmas. When I talked about her test at dinner that night, my father told me his math teacher in high school did it too!
     

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