“Building” Character and “Making” Good Choices

Integrating management and motivation is a way to support the whole school culture.  After reading, Monkey with a Tool Belt by Chris Monroe, we implemented a positive reinforcement opportunity for students.  Using the idea of tools as a lead in from the text, we developed “tool badges” that can be earned based on behavior expectations school wide. These tools help us “build” character and “make’ good choices. Tools include, Routines, Responsibility, Respect, Safe (from our S3R’S district initiative) along with collaboration, listening, critical thinking and innovator. 

Students have several ways to earn the badges. In the Maker Studio they have grade level toolbelts to collect their badges in based on behavior during that special time. Students can also earn badges to place in their classroom toolbelt. At the end of the nine weeks the tool belt will be evaluated, “What is the value of your toolbelt?”. Each badge is a different shape and carries a different numerical value. The grade level with the highest toolbelt value will get to choose from a set of predetermined incentives.

Incentives for Maker Badges include “self-select” building/making or free build in MinecraftEDU.

What is the value of your toolbelt?

What is the value of your tool belt?









**Grade level teachers can use the incentives however it works best in their classroom.  Next semester we will explore digital tool badges.


The gamification of learning is an educational approach to motivate students to learn by using video game design and game elements in learning environments. The goal is to maximize enjoyment and engagement through capturing the interest of learners and inspiring them to continue learning.

~ Wikipedia

How to gamify your classroom:

1.  Create a mission

2.  Use Badges

3.  Create a place to create

4.  Use video games

5.  Create video games


Created by Knewton and Column Five Media