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Giving Recognition and Effort Awards


The Recognition category of the Effort Scoring App is used to recognize individual students for recent strong effort in both learning and behavior. You can also use it for whole-class recognition (Part II).

Here are two options for when to use the Recognition category

  1. Include Recognition as part of your class routine by announcing Effort Award winners at the start of class (from the previous day) or at the end of class. If you miss a day, announce twice the usual amount on the following day.
  2. If daily announcement of Effort Award winners does not fit with your routine, plan to go through at least half of your class at the end of each week and award Gold, Silver, and Bronze awards to deserving students (give students who do not earn an award either 4, 2, or 0 Effort Shares.)

If you decide to use option #2, do not announce award winner names. Announcing award winners by name, in large numbers, on a regular basis, may flip attention toward students whose names were not announced. Instead of announcing  award recipients, just make a general announcement that, based on last week’s effort scoring, Effort Awards were added to some Student Portals and students should check their Achievements’ page and Effort Share total next time they sign into their E4Effort Student Portal.

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 Effort Scoring 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 Account Plans, E4Effort sends a badge to the Student Portal of each Effort Award recipient. The badge includes “Effort Shares” which can be thought of as bonus points or 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 resetting Recognition scoring. Recognition turns can accidently become out of sync if you reset Recognition scoring before every student has had a turn or you connect to the Effort 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 page 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 Effort 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).