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Donnevin Bunker, a first grade student at Second Street School, poses with his teacher, Liz Chappel, and a yard sign awarded to students each week for working hard in class. (Photo submitted)

Yard signs have been popping up around town, letting people know a hard-working Second Street School student lives at that location.

The signs have been used as an incentive for students during virtual instruction.

“It all started when my teammates and I were discussing how little work we were seeing come in from our kids on the various websites and assignments we assign daily,” Second Street first-grade teacher Liz Chappel said. “Ms. (Shannon) Duncan suggested an incentive for the week with some sort of a prize on Friday that we would drop off to the student. 

“This all came about when we were 100% virtual. In talking to Mrs. (Dana) Dickerson, a friend and second-grade teacher at Second Street, she had the idea to make yard signs for the kids. From there we made the sign, found someone local to print them for us, and we asked if anyone else in the school wanted to buy a sign to use for the students that were working hard for them.”

The yard sign says "Honk! A hardworking student lives here. My teacher is proud of me!" and it's worked well as an incentive.

“It has been different things for different grade levels and teachers,” Chappel said. “I had the incentives change, but at the end of the week, one girl and one boy were pulled as the winner of the yard sign for a week and a certificate.

“It really worked to get the kids excited about working hard and completing their work for us during this trying time with change as the only constant.”

One of the resources Chappel is using to encourage her students is Guided Readers.

“I believe that one of the single most important things in first grade is the daily reading a student does,” she said. “The problem became, how do we get books into the hands of students? The solution was Guided Readers. They have a virtual bookshelf where we can assign them books on their level. 

“The fantastic part of it is that there are comprehension questions as well as a recording feature to it, so the kids can record themselves reading and I can go in and listen to it.”

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