I have no idea where this idea came from... It just popped in my head. I ran out of candy and had to come up with a reward replacement quick because my students expect a piece of candy as a prize for answering a problem or question correctly. I find they are more engaged if I offer some kind of incentive for participating. The idea of giving them an "IOU" coupon popped in my head. I was pleasantly surprised how hard my students were working to earn an "IOU" coupon. I informed them that in lieu of candy I would give them the "IOU" coupon which they could redeem for a piece of candy the following Monday. That would give me enough time to go out http://www.mathconcentration.com/profiles/blog/newand buy the candy.

Here are some other ways you can use the "IOU" coupons to motivate your students:

IOU redeemable for credit on one wrong item on a future in-class quiz or homework assignment

IOU when you catch a student doing something good like peer assisting 

IOU when you see a student exhibiting positive character traits and making good choices

Character Traits we value:

Being accountable in word and deed; having a sense of duty to fulfill tasks with reliability, dependability, and commitment.

Pursuing worthy objectives with determination and patience while exhibiting fortitude when confronted with failure.

Showing understanding of others by treating them with kindness, compassion, generosity, and a forgiving spirit.

Demonstrating hard work in controlling emotions, words, actions, impulses, and desires; putting forth one’s best effort in all situations.

Being law abiding and involved in service to school, community, and country.

Telling the truth and admitting wrongdoing; being trustworthy and acting with integrity.

Doing the right thing in the face of difficulty and following one’s conscience instead of the crowd.

Practicing justice, equity, and equality; cooperating with one another; recognizing the uniqueness and value of each individual within our diverse society.

Showing high regard for an authority, other people, self, and country; treating others as one would want to be treated and understanding that all people have value as human beings.

A firm adherence to a code of moral and ethical values; being honest, trustworthy, and incorruptible.

A love for and loyalty to one's country.



The socially correct way of behaving that includes standards for conduct such as politeness and etiquette.



Working or acting together for a common purpose or benefit.


Creativity and Imagination

Originality and inventiveness.

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Figure This Challenge #56

  • Complete Solution will be given on May 17, 2015

Complete Solution:



Created by Wanda Collins May 10, 2015 at 1:56pm. Last updated by Wanda Collins May 10, 2015.

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Fun Math Facts:

Math Limerick

Question: Why is this a mathematical limerick?

( (12 + 144 + 20 + 3 Sqrt[4]) / 7 ) + 5*11 = 92 + 0 .


A dozen, a gross, and a score,
plus three times the square root of four, divided by seven, plus five times eleven, is nine squared and not a bit more.

---Jon Saxton (math textbook author)

Presentation Suggestions:
Challenge students to invent their own math limerick!

The Math Behind the Fact:
It is fun to mix mathematics with poetry.


Su, Francis E., et al. "Math Limerick." Math Fun Facts.


Pre-K, Kindergarten, First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, Twelfth, Higher Education, Adult Education, Homeschooler - TeachersPayTeachers.com


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