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Beginner’s Guide

STEP 4: How to use the Recognition Category


The Recognition category of the scoring App is used to recognize individual students for recent strong effort. You can also use it for whole-class recognition (Part II).

Almost all students enjoy having their name announced as an Effort Award winner. You can announce Effort Award winners at the start of class (from the previous day) or at the end of class. Some teachers find daily announcements too difficult for their routine. An option is to add Effort Awards to Student Portals on a weekly or bi-weekly schedule. If you decide to use a weekly or a bi-weekly frequency, do not announce award winner names. Simply let the entire class know that “I added Effort Awards to Student Portals yesterday afternoon, so check your Student Portal when you have a chance to see if you were one of the award recipients.” Announcing award winners in large numbers by name sometimes has the negative result of flipping attention toward students whose names were not announced.

I. Individual Recognition

How many award winners per day or class period? We recommend that all students have a chance at an Effort Award about once every 10 school days. For a class size of 30, this equates to three Effort Awards per day (or class period – middle and high school teachers), 2 per day for class sizes of 20, and 1 per day for class sizes of 10.

To be eligible for an Effort Award, students must have recent strong effort in both behavior and learning. When announcing a student as an Effort Award winner, do not announce the color of the award (Gold, Silver, or Bronze). Just say, for example, “today’s Effort Award winners are, Yovonne, Julius, and Albert.”

To help you decide if a student is deserving, the App displays the average of the student’s three most recent scores (under the student’s name in both the list-view and card-view images). The 3-score average is just a guide, so when in doubt, go with your own sense of the student’s overall effort. To what extent a student has met your behavior expectations should strongly influence your choice of  Gold, Silver, Bronze, or No Medal.

For Silver and Gold Plans, the App will send a badge to the Student Portal of each Effort Award recipient. The badge includes “Effort Shares” which can be thought of as a currency that students accumulate. Our Gold plan provides a mechanism for students to redeem their Effort Shares from their Student Portal for Buyback offers. Buyback offers are created by the teacher from the Teacher Dashboard. Effort Shares and badges are not included in our free Bronze Plan. To learn more, see our Effort Shares and Buybacks page.

Many schools include certificates as part of their positive school climate system. Here is a template that you may use to print Effort Awards.


  • Effort Awards are reserved for Bronze, Silver, and Gold level recognition. If you choose one of the “No Medal” options, do not announce the student as an Effort Award winner.
  • To keep Recognition fair, students should have the same number of turns. Recognition turns may be viewed from the Teacher Dashboard at Shares on the side-panel. Score all students (even if you record a zero score) before starting Recognition scoring over. Recognition turns can accidently become out of sync if you restart Recognition scoring before every student has had a turn or you connect to the Teacher Scoring App with different devices (e.g. a smartphone and a tablet).
  • When using Recognition, rather than selecting ”No Medal” for a student that did not meet the minimum requirement for a Bronze medal, you could temporarily skip the student to see if they can improve their effort and/or behavior. You may even want to quietly let the student know that they missed their chance at an Effort Award, but you are going to give them another chance tomorrow (middle or high school) or later today (elementary). When you skip a student, you may want to make Silver the highest badge they can earn on a retry.

II Classroom Recognition

You can also challenge and reward your students as a group based on the daily class average of individual student effort scores and overall class behavior. This is often done for nine or more days leading up to a school break. Create a Classroom Challenge by selecting Buybacks on the side-panel of the Teacher Dashboard.  A Classroom Challenge thermometer will appear on the Effort Shares tab of all student portals (Gold accounts – see #1 in image). If you have a Silver account, you can keep track using a table that is posted in the classroom or written on a whiteboard.

The Teacher Scoring App only allows you to enter Effort Shares for the current date. To adjust previously entered Classroom Shares or to enter Classroom Shares for dates that were missed, go to Shares on the side-panel of the Teacher Dashboard and select the tab Classroom Shares (#2 in the image).

Open the App menu by pressing the blue menu bar on the App (#3 in the image). Next, change from student to classroom recognition (#4).  This will open the Classroom Recognition window. Near the end of class (or at any time from the Teacher dashboard), the teacher looks at the average of all student effort scores that were scored during that class (#5), considers how well the class behaved, and decides which level (if any) the class reached during that class period (#6).