I am a HUGE believer in motivating my students through recognizing and celebrating their efforts and accomplishments. When someone struggles with something, it sure helps to have someone acknowledge that you are working hard and you are making progress. Certificates are just one of the ways I enjoy showing my students I notice how great they are. Thankfully, there are already certificates in SAM designed for you to personalize a quick and meaningful validation for your students.
Certificates can be specific for READ 180, System 44, or Reading Counts. You have up to four lines of text space where you can describe the reason for the certificate. Each certificate is already formatted with "Congratulations" and all you have to do is select the student(s) the certificate is for and it is ready to print.
In my class, students earn certificates for their points in Reading Counts and I use them to honor students that graduate READ 180 and System 44. I have seen other teachers use them to recognize high scores and Success Zones in READ 180, as well as System 44. The possibilities are nearly endless as to how you can use the certificates from goals to effort to behavior, if it can motivate a student a with them, they are a valuable tool.
Here is an easy guide to walk you through making a certificate
1: Log into SAM and select the class that the student(s) are in who you want to make a certificate for
2: On the bottom right hand side in the "Programs" box select "Certificates" for either READ 180, System 44, or Reading Counts
3: Use up to 4 line of text
4: Select as few as one student or as many as all of your class by clicking on the box in front of each student's name or checking the very the very top box will select the entire class
5: Select Print Preview "(PDF)"
My first year using certificates I printed them all full page size, however I found that printing them two to a page gave me the ability to display more and I do still use full page ones for big celebrations like graduating out of the program. A fellow elementary teacher shared with me that she prints them 8 to a page and the students decorate their binders with them. What a great idea! Depending on your computer and printer, you will find settings to print more than one per page or to change the size of the print if it's a single certificate.