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Rewards and Incentives

Compiled By: Margaret916

Many of us are finding creative ways to promote positive behavior in our classroom, while also trying to discourage negative behaviors. Rewards and incentives are one way and here's a great list!

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Posted by: maggiehgs

What I did this year was have a Speedway Pass for each student. (My theme is racing.)

They are color coded, so they all start with white.
Positive - star punch
Negative - hole punch, canceling out the star

Positive: when I give compliments, showing kindness, finishing work neatly, bringing in homework, doing favors, going above and beyond... really anything that I felt deserved a positive recognition. Sometimes I'd give them when I saw that some students needed a reminder... "Great job, Johnny! You put your name on your paper without me reminding you." Then perhaps Susie, Jamal, and other will quickly check their papers.

Negative: talking out, breaking a rule, breaking procedure, using hurtful words, not bringing homework, etc. I almost always did with a "because your choice was to ___,..." so they knew it was a choice that they might change next time.

Once they received 25 stars (some took longer than others because they'd get canceled out and then they would have to be re-earned), they received a reward and traded their Pass in for the next color. The students really seemed to like that this year and really work toward the rewards/new color Pass.

Rewards: homework pass, computer free time pass, pencils, treasure box, lunch with another class, recess with another class, dismissal with another teacher (which was always a reward for ME!), stickers, etc. I had it written down so I wouldn't forget what I gave for each color. Heh.

White - positive stamp in their agenda
Yellow - sticker
Orange - homework pass
Green - computer free time pass

and so on....

**In the beginning of the year, I just let them earn the stars and then lose them with the hole punch. I found that some were losing too often because of poor behavior and not bringing in homework, so they weren't getting to feel the positive by trading in their Pass, thereby never getting a reward. (I even tried to seek out ways to compliment them.) Also, I found that some of the kids that were really well behaved and who made good choices ALL the time weren't getting enough stars. So, after the holidays I started giving them all 3 stars to start their day. Either they were well behaved, got compliments and were rewarded with those 3+ ... OR they lost ones that the started the day with. The kids started moving a little more quickly through the Speedway Passes and found a new goal to work toward.

(Part of my management strategy is that they put a stick in their pocket - where their Passes were kept - when rules were broken or when they were reprimanded. Each stick -blue, orange, yellow, red- would mean a hole punch, so it was easy to know how many hole punches to give at the end of the day.)

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Classroom Rewards
Posted by: jourdansmom97

I have quite a few rewards that I use and change throughout the year. I do have a treasure chest that I fill with lots of different items that I purchase from oriental trading and anywhere else that I find inexpensive things. I always put coupons, like work with no shoes, sit by a friend, lunch buddy pass, first in line pass, etc. However, its pretty tough to get into my treasure chest.

I use tickets as often as possible. The more I give out tickets, the better my kiddos perform....kinda sad huh? It works!! I give tickets for answering questions correctly, getting along with others, following directions, being prepared for class, etc. The students have an opportunity to trade in tickets for rewards. I have the rewards posted in the classroom. Or they can save tickets for a big drawing on Fridays.

One of my favorites is the 212 degree movie. I showed it to my students and we discussed the behaviors that we expect in class from each other. At the beginning of each day I randomly chose a student that I would watch to see if they were showing the 212 degree behaviors. At the end of the day I announced if that person was successful. If they were, they got certain special rewards for the next day and to wear a necklace I made that says 212 (its painted red with gold numbers). If not, the name is not given and I start over the next morning watching a new student.

You can find this movie by googling Walk the Talk - its called 212 degrees - the extra degree. It made a tremendous difference in my class.

Good luck to you!!

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No prize box anymore :(
Posted by: NCLily

Our school is trying out the Positive Behavior System, and that means no more "prize boxes." So I've been forced to get creative with my rewards. Some ideas:

*Computer time
*Homework pass
*Lunch with teacher/previous teacher
*Free Choice (blocks, legos, etc.)
*Line leader
*First to line up/pack up/etc)
*Teacher's helper
*LOTS of verbal praise
*Extra recess
*Classroom reward for compliments received (they met my pug puppy, had pajama day, etc)

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Posted by: GraceK

The best thing I can offer my kids is choice time- time to choose an activity (from a select list). My boys would choose drawing on a sheet of paper any day, and my girls would choose a card game or other "team" game. Sometimes I take a few minutes at the end of the day and offer choice time to the students who have completed work appropriately, and I use that choice time to offer assistance to those kids who had trouble with the assignment, or the time to finish work the students who were goofing off during the work time. Usually, if I do choice time, I let them choose between some of the math or reading games we have in class, drawing, or, always and option, reading or writing.

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Posted by: debbie gary

Rewards work with any age group, especially for behavior management. I do rewards two ways and my children know exactly what they are for and exactly what to expect.

The first way is that I give individual rewards. With these, I give students checks. They get checks for "good behavior", for example, being kind to their neighbor, raising hands, not talking out of turn, things like that. When the students get to the end of the check board, I give them a $10 gift certificate. This $10 is well worth its money value in gold because they work hard to achieve these checks.

The second is "group" checks. They receive groups checks for walking in line properly, not misbehaving outside of class, and getting compliments from other teachers or staff count as double points. When they reach the magic number of 50, I do not take points away and they earn a popcorn, or pizza, or sub party with a movie on Fridays.

These usually take about nine weeks to achieve, but the REWARDS for you are well worth the extra time and effort. Besides, the kids love it and so do you. It makes your life much easier.

Good Luck and I hope this helps you out. It really works for me (pss: I teach in a poor socio-economic inner city school so any reward for the student is appreciated. They do not get many pizzas at home.)

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Behavior chart
Posted by: PoohBear

I use a pocket chart with index card size pockets. They are available at most educational supply stores or websites. For the cards I use pastel colored index cards (no cutting, a big benefit!) I write the child's name on the card and place it in the chart. I hang the chart next to the calendar area which is also where the children sit for whole group times. I got the self inking stamp from an office supply store--Office Depot, Staples, Office Max. Just ask and someone will point you to the right aisle. The ink will last a full year or more.

I should also mention that I do something else to help motivate the whole class. Below the pocket chart I put a paper with numbers 1-20 on it. Every time we have a day with all smiley faces, I cross off a number. When all the numbers have been crossed off, we have a special celebration. Last year we had a popcorn party, bubbles party, sippers and slippers (we drank hot chocolate and wore bedroom slippers in the classroom) and a popsicle party. This helps motivate the students to encourage each other in good behavior and not just focus on their own card.

I know that some people do not believe in rewards but I think it's a concrete and fun way to visibly show the children that you are proud of them. And the rewards do not have to be big.....when I say I give a child a smartie, I mean one smartie, not a pack. It's the recognition that's important. I while I agree that we should all do the right thing just because it's the right thing, how many teachers don't enjoy a kind note or small gift from a parent who appreciates how much time and effort you are putting into making learning exciting and enriching?

Unfortunately I don't have a letter explaining this to the parents. I verbally explain it at "Back to School" night because it's just easier to explain when they're looking at the chart.

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Posted by: TeacherMeg

When I taught third grade we had a Friday Reward each week for students who had not gotten into trouble during the week. Some of our activities were:
Extra Recess
Movie and a Snack
Art Day
Game Day ( we let kids bring board games from home)
Book and a Buddy (we let kids bring sleeping bags, stuffed animals, and their favorite book / magazine and read with a friend)

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Posted by: Jlogan

Last year our school did "Hardwork Cafe" At the end of every month we rewarded students who had done an outstanding job that month. We divided our staff into groups and each group was responsible for planning and supervising the activity for that month. some of the months I can remember:

Hawaiian Luau-We had pineapple bowling, taught the kids to hula, hula hoop contests, fruit kabobs as snack, gave away lais, etc.

Baseball-played wiffleball, had hotdogs and popcorn, the mascot from our local team came, we raffled off tickets to our local baseball team (they donated them),

Boardgames-The gym was set up as stations and the kids could pick the games they wanted to wanted

Movies-We had a movie for primary and a movie for intermediate. We showed them using a projection on the gym wall.

Dance party-We taught them the chicken dance, hokey pokey, cha cha slide etc.

Teacher talent-the teachers put on a talent show for the kids

These are all that I can remember.

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Re: Intrinsic (sp?) rewards?
Posted by: suem

I like you don't like to use a "stop light" system for behavior. As you said, you are consentrating and teaching the bad behavior, not the good. I don't usually give rewards for behavior, I like to reward academics, but some of the things I have heard others do are;

Be the line leader for a trip to lunch, music, where ever.
Be the person or the table to pass out papers, supplies for the next lesson or project.
Be room monitor
Sit next to the teacher at lunch (We ate with the kids)
Hold the flag for the pledge or flag song
Sit where ever you like for silent reading time.

Of course class room rewards, extra recess, popcorn party (or other tasty treats) candy when they have behaved for a long period of time or through an assembly that even you thought was boring. Those kinds of treats can be spur of the moment or let the kids know if they behave, they get a treat. I don't like to do that though because they will always expect a treat for good behavior.

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other ideas
Posted by: teachgal

sit with a friend
10 minutes of free time at the end of the day
maybe let them take off their shoes for a little while
teacher assistant
read to their former teacher or visit their former classroom
fun friday

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Posted by: teachjam

Kids also like to sit at the teacher's desk.
Move their desk by a friend.
Sit on the couch or beanbag all day or 1/2 day.
Go to PE with another class.
Have lunch with a friend in another class.
Give their team extra points in class.
Paint time.
Extra computer game time.

All of these are written on slips of paper. They choose one like "pick a card" and get to do what's written. This isn't my idea, I got it from the LEE CANTER ASSERTIVE DIS. planbook I bought 10 years ago. I have my class reach 10 to 12 stickers accumulated in their planner. Then they come and choose out of the GRAB BAG or they could move their desk, OR go to my prize box. 3 choices are given every week on designated days, usually Mon. and Fri. If they don't have 10 stickers they wait until they do. These are individual awards. I also have TEAM pts. When they get 100 pts. they get "Dinner Theater" . That's when we bring our lunch back to our room and watch a movie for 30 min. Usually, I make sure all the teams get their pts.

Boy, this is too long. But I hope I helped give some ideas.

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My kids love
Posted by: Indiana Teacher

* seating priveleges: can sit where they want for the day (unless bothering someone - hasn't happened, knock-on-wood!)

* homework passes

* a free book (I purchase the 100 books for $99 at the beginning of school year. You can use your bonus points for this - I don't think it is that many)

* McDonald's Happy Meal Toys - my girls are no longer interested in them, so I use them in my treasure box.

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Posted by: gator

I have the following in my class

Keep a stuffed animal at their desk for the morning/afternoon
use the rolling chair
"stinky feet"
a pencil
sit at the round table during a lesson (don't know why but they like this)
library pass
sit with a friend at lunch

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lunch with the teacher
Posted by: mrssimon2gr

rent a bean bag for a week....

my kids earned a jungle buck - it was random....sometimes I would say

"wow, susie walked down the hall perfectly after recess, go get a jungle buck out of the treasure chest" This helped them to stay on their best behavior.

i never awarded more than one....
different things were different prices...
eating lunch with me was $40 jungle bucks (for 2nd graders!) for some this was a real priority so they saved and saved and I brought them a soda and a candy to have after their lunch! They thought that was the best!

Just like in real life...the more valuable something is - the more it costs....
think about which would they like the most......

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I never explained my system, did I?
Posted by: triana00

Here is my letter to parents, although I have to change it from Banana to Bee Bucks, but it's the same system.

And I know the Bee Bucks thread is getting down to the bottom of the page. If anyone wants their own money in the same format, let me know what kind of graphic and what saying and I'll create it and post it for you!


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Posted by: flor2398

Here are some of the rewards I use:

Whole class:
Behavior BINGO- I have a laminated 100 chart and the #'s 1-100 cut up in a jar. For good behavior I draw numbers and color them in on the 100 board using a dry erase marker. When they get a "BINGO" (a straight line) we have a small treat. (popsicles, free time, extra 10 min recess, etc.) Some reasons to draw numbers--
whole class following directions/working quietly etc. = 2-3 numbers
compliment in hallways or in special classes=3 numbers
perfect daily attendance (everyone is present and on time)=5 numbers
And the big one? THIRTY numbers for a good report from a sub. I rarely have a bad report from substitutes! :)

I like behavior BINGO because the kids never know how long it will take to get a BINGO. When I used the marble jar, the kids were really motivated when the jar was mostly full, but was not as effective when the jar was emptied after a party. Also, I use it for teachable moments when I have time. "I drew a number between 20 and 30 that has a 4 in the ones place. What number did I draw?" or "My number is greater than 12, less than 15 and it is an even number." It teaches the kids to find patterns on the 100 chart as well.

Team rewards:
I give tallies for teams that are on task/working quietly/polite/etc. The team with the most points at the end of the week gets to draw from the pencil box. Points can be taken away for team misbehaviors.

I use a ticket system. The kids get 1 ticket for being at school on time. They also get tickets for being on task/discussion participation/kindness/following directions etc. On Fridays the kids can trade 20 tix for a trip to the treasure box. (although I think this year I might have different "priced" items that they can use to "spend their tickets.)

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Posted by: Socks

No homework slip
Chair cushion for a day
Write in pen for a day
Use changable markers
Sit in teacher chair for a class
Lunch/Recess with the teacher
Read to a younger grade
Good phone call/note home
Extra computer time
Choose a treasure from the treasure chest

I would write these on paper and put them in a bag or box. When a student earns a reward they can blindly pick out a card and they get that prize.

I usually fill my treasure chest with toys from Kid's Meals, toys from the party section at discount stores (things come in multi-packs), dollar store toys (multi-packs), Wal-Mart has a toy section that sells things for 88 cents. Often times there are multi-packs there as well!

I hope this was helpful. We just adopted the No Candy rule this year as well. I tried not to give out candy before, but now I can't even do educational activities that involve sweets! I used to do two or three a year.

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Posted by: isellabrate

I have some of the rewards that others have listed. I have a little "file box" with tabs, and have tiny files set up for the rewards. The student gets to select their reward.

I also give out:
*pass to sit with a friend for a lesson
*drawing time
*read in the hall (that's a big privilege, given only when the door is open and the child is where I can see her/him
*visit another classroom (with the teacher's permission)
*Halfsies -- The child gets to do only half of the practice problems or other assignment. (I choose which things have to be done.)
*Get out of trouble" card. This is a kind of joke, but the kids love to have it, just in case. The children who select it, never seem to need it.

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Posted by: meghannsf

I do the raffle tickets for cupons for various things
-shoes off for after lunch to end of day
-trade chairs with the teacher

I pull tickets TOTALLY at random. When I have a few minutes to kill, before lunch, before dismissal, etc

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No cost rewards
Posted by: Patty

A couple of ideas:

teacher for day/period/lesson

sitting at the teacher's desk for day/period/lesson

if you play music during class, allow someone to choose (choose the next book/story you read to the class)

I will keep thinking and will repost if I think of any others.

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Posted by: MrsG

Take care of the class pet.
Join another class for indoor recess
Draw on the chalkboard
Play with clay during free time.
Be the first in line.
Do only half the math assignment.
Choose any class job for the week
Listen to a tape or CD during lunch
Do all the class jobs for a day
Invite a lunch visitor from outside the school
Work on a mural
Get a drink whenever you want to.
Use the pencil sharpener at any time
Make a bulletin board
No early morning work
Stay in at recess to play a game with a friend
Use stamps and ink pad
Use the teacher's chair instead of your own for a day.
Take home a class game for the night.
Use the couch or beanbag chair for the day.
Use the tape recorder and tape a story
Have a special sharing time in class to teach something to the other class members
Be the leader of a class game.
Choose a story for the teacher to read
Use a timer while you work at your desk
Have work checked instantly by the teacher
Be a messenger
Have a private talk with the teacher
Read a story to the principal.
Ask your teacher to eliminate one of your grades from the grade book.
Help your teacher teach a lesson.
Work in the Classroom store.
Call out words during a class spelling bee
Take attendance for a day
Be excused from one workbook page
Choose three pieces of art paper to take home

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