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Hey, miss, I'm awesome

Incentive Stickers

Pounds 3.50 per pack of 120Class Ideas, 7-9 Bournemouth Road, Chandlers Ford, Eastleigh,Hampshire SO53 3DA

Paperlets

Pounds 13.94 per pack of 1,000 From NES Arnold and other catalogues

The days of the modest gold star are definitely numbered. And the discreet silver disc with its unassuming "well done" is now upstaged by a variety of multi-coloured stickers with buoyant slogans to encourage even the most stolid pupil. Both message and medium have at last entered the age of the cartoon.

The Class Ideas catalogue contains dozens of stamps, certificates and awards to increase motivation and help children build on success. It also offers many gaudy aids to classroom display, with borders, boards and banners matched to maps, mobiles and mini-charts.

The Incentive Stickers give you 24 each of five designs per pack, which means you pay roughly three pence per sticker. Exclamation marks and smiley faces abound, and the commendatory words range from "Good work" through "Nice!" and "Terrific!" to the modish laudatory heights of "Awesome!", "Dynamite!" and "Star!". It can't be long before "Yo, dude!" is available with a special offer of "Sorted!" for little Englanders.

This American-influenced linguistic range will surely be popular in many classrooms. The lettering ranges from hand-written to strident upper-case, and the designs cover the compass between winsome teddy bears, geometric abstractions, shade-wearing suns and psychedelic LP-sleeve-type paint explosions.

For teachers looking for new ways to accentuate the positive, these stickers seem a relatively cheap and cheerful compliment to good work assembly.

Paperlets are pre-cut, press-out pages of letters and numbers. Letter packs come with both upper- and lower-case letters, together with punctuation marks; the more common letters and the lower case occur more frequently. Number packs also provide the more usual mathematical symbols. Each contains about seven items and they press out easily without tearing.

There appear to be 10 colours: white and black as well as a selection of greens, red, pink, blue and yellow. The obvious use is to make bright display captions and labels. As the letters are not adhesive, some minutes will need to be spent finding the glue stick, but the resulting array should be colourful and professional in appearance.

Teachers will need to choose a workable retrieval system for the letter of their choice - paper engineering rather than literal frequency seems to have determined the matching of, for example, k, e, P, w, A, T, a on a single sheet. But if Paperlets are minor luxuries, they are undoubtedly attractive.

EDUCATION SHOW

Class Ideas Ltd stand K7

NES Arnold stands E60, IT62

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