Find a Star Secondary Rewards are the reward system of choice for many online ESL teachers. Teachers from platforms such as VIPKID, DadaABC, Palfish, Say ABC and Whales English love Find a Star (FAS). Here are a few of the reasons why it's such a popular reward:
- FAS is incredibly easy to use and even easier to prepare
- they take up hardly any space when being stored
- you can easily tailor the reward to suit the lesson or your student by switching out the board
- students LOVE them! Honestly, FAS never gets old with my students. They love the challenge of "earning" their stars and the surprise of uncovering the pictures keeps them interested and engaged throughout the lesson.
Ready to include FAS in your virtual classes? Good! Let's get started by choosing the right board for your lesson.
Choosing the Right FAS RewardThere are a number of ways to select a FAS reward for your student:
- Choose a board with a theme that is relevant to the topic you will be teaching in that lesson. For example, if your lesson features a story about a boy who lives on a farm, you might select a board that has farm animals on it.
- Choose a board that features vocabulary your student has learned in previous lessons. For example, if your student has recently learned the names of shapes in English, you can select a board with shapes on it. By doing so, you are giving your student extra vocabulary practice and rewarding them at the same time.
- Choose a board that features a topic that is of personal interest to your student. Do you have a student that loves aliens and all things outer space? You might select a FAS board that features aliens, spaceships and planets. Selecting a board to match your students' personal interests is a great way to bond with them and create a lesson that they will find engaging and entertaining.
It is quite simple to create your own FAS boards in programs such as PowerPoint, Adobe Illustrator or Canva. Of course, not everyone has the time (or the inclination) to create their own rewards! There are many FAS sets available on websites such as Teachers Pay Teachers and Etsy.
Preparing Your FAS Reward
Preparing a FAS reward is really simple. It only takes a few minutes and once completed it can be used over and over again.
Step 1. The first step is to print the FAS boards (sometimes called sheets) and the “number covers”. The number covers are usually a sheet of squares or circles that have a number in them. These will be used to cover the stars and other pictures on the board. I recommend printing both the FAS boards and number covers on cardstock, not regular paper. This will create a sturdier reward system and ensure that it lasts longer.
Step 2. Cut out the number covers.
Step 3. For extra durability, laminate the reward board and the number covers. If you choose to laminate these reward systems, I recommend that you use a laminate with a matt finish, instead of a high gloss finish. This will minimize glare and make the boards easier for your students to see.
Step 4. Place a piece of Blu Tack or sticky tape on the back of each number.
Your reward system is ready to go!
HINT: Instead of placing the reward board on a clipboard, consider placing it on a hand-held magnetic whiteboard. You can tape magnets to the back of each number cover instead of using Blu Tack or sticky tape.
Using Your FAS Rewards
Place the reward board on a clipboard and stick the number covers over each space. You can place them in order (this is recommended for younger students who are just becoming familiar with the numbers in English) or scramble the numbers. When your student performs well, say “Great Work!” and ask them to choose a number. Reveal what is underneath the number and say “Good job! You got a star!” or “Oh wow, you got a _________!” Remember to reward your student with a star in your teaching platform when they uncover a star.
HINT: With older and more advanced students, use your reward system as an opportunity for extension and free talk activities. For example, each time your student uncovers a picture, ask questions that are relevant to the picture, ie. “What is it?” “What color is it?” “Do you like to eat _____?” “Do you have a _______?” “How many legs / arms / eyes / etc does it have?” The opportunities for extension are endless and these rewards often lead to some pretty entertaining conversations!
As with all reward systems, the most important thing to remember is that it should be rewarding for your student! Use FAS as a chance to connect with your student, take a short break from the lesson and provide them with a little light-hearted fun.
Get started with 20 FAS boards covering a wide variety of topics. Two sets available from Spark ESL:
- Find a Star Secondary Reward Set One- includes the following themed boards: happy shapes (x2), little monsters (x2), out in space, dinosaurs, colors (x2), ocean animals (x2), insects & bugs (x2), sporty boy, sporty girl, yummy fruits (x2), eat your vegetables (x2) and on the farm (x2)
- Find a Star Secondary Reward Set Two- includes the following themed boards: summer, fall / autumn, winter, spring, fruits (x2), vegetables, pets (x2), on the farm (x2), sea creatures, out in space (x2), sweet treats, fast food, at the beach, insects and bugs, toys and shapes
Want to try out FAS in your virtual classroom for free? Download these free FAS sets from Spark ESL.
- Winter Find a Star Freebie
- Valentine's Day Find a Star Freebie
- Thanksgiving Find a Star Freebie
- Christmas Find a Star Freebie
- Halloween Find a Star Freebie
Are you already using FAS rewards in your online classroom?? I'd love to hear your experiences and suggestions for making the most of this reward system! Share in the comments below and we can all learn from each other!