SWPB and Yu-Gi-Oh Cards

Schools are generally much more positive environments than they used to be. Our school community (including students, teachers, parents, principal class, cleaners and visitors) has many opportunities for positive, constructive interaction.


will-press-lever-for-food1Our aim is a ratio of six positives to every one negative. Of course the verbal comment giving recognition to effort, work process and product, and good work habits are still our mainstay. But we now add to this postcards sent home and raffle tickets.

This token economy system uses operant conditioning to reward positive behaviour on the spot with a special stamped raffle ticket. Students may redeem these at the end of the week at a shop stocked with various goods.


I wondered whether students would see “Dungeons and Dragons” type trading cards as positive rewards. Z became very excited telling about a card game called Yu-Gi-Oh. He said he would bring his cards in next lesson. I talked to a younger Maths teacher who knew all about the game and told me you could make your own Yu-Gi-Oh cards online. Here are some of the cards I made:

01 Accuracy Des Koala

Student T. had just finished five scale drawings and had measured lengths and angles accurately. I announced to the whole class that T. had been awarded the “Accuracy Des Koala” Yu-Gi-Oh card. T. put Des Koala proudly on her work desk with a big smile.

07 Goblin Worker

Student S. always works hard in class, asks questions, uses good manners and has excellent work habits. I announced to the class that S. had earned “Goblin Worker” I again got a positive reaction from the class and the Year 10 student concerned.

04 Hippopotenuse

Student J. had finally mastered identifying the sides of a right triangle. He was pleased to get the “Hippopotenuse” card.

Some brainstorming in the Maths staffroom resulted in the following card which we hope a lot of students will want because of its design, power, and the difficult? challenge to get it!

02 Mathematician

It is early days in trialling this reward system, but feedback from students has been great so far. Some of the students want to design their own cards. Other students have stories they want to tell about trades, games, best cards, etc.

I enjoy creating the cards. I hope they encourage students to improve their Maths skills and work habits. The cards I have designed so far are:

01  Accuracy Des Koala                   08 Homework Hedgehog

02  Mathematician                           09  LOL Cat

03  SohCahToa                                   10  OnDemand Test Magician

04  Hippopotenuse                          11  OnDemand Penguin Soldier

05  Fraction Learner                        12  Correction Des Kangaroo

06  Power Spell Maker                   13  Grapha, Dragon Lord of Dark World

07  Goblin Worker                            14  Punctual Possum

What do you think of this idea? What methods of positive reinforcement do you use?



About webmaths

I have been teaching Mathematics in Victorian secondary schools for 30 years. I use the www to make my maths lessons better. I hope this blog will give other teachers some ideas to try in their own classes.
This entry was posted in Games, Teaching Ideas and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s