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Rewards and Consequences


New Member
Currently, I am a second grade teacher and I will be moving to first grade. I do not like the whole "change your color" or "change your clothespin" idea because some students make it to red before the morning is over so of course they don't care the rest of the day. What are some other suggestions/ideas for consquences and rewards for first grade?


Senior Member
Changing cards

If some kids tend to get to red before the morning ends, why not turn all cards to green and start fresh after lunch? That way the child would still get consequences. On whatever form you may use to keep parents updated, you can put "turned to red twice". Hope that helps!


This worked for me

I made a colored chart while student teaching where all the students started on green which was hello and then throughout the day, the students either moved their clip up or down. If they were following directions, they moved their clip up to good, excellent, and then outstanding. If they weren't following directions or staying on task, then they moved down to warning, think about it, 10 minutes of recess lost, and go to principal. The beauty of the chart was the kids didn't just move strictly up or down. If they were not following directions in the morning but did in the afternoon then I would have them move their clip back up the chart. If at the end of the day, they were on green or above the students would get a raffle ticket. Hope this helps.


Senior Member
I agree

But my school uses the color thing and I hate it. I have several that make it to red within a short time and then they just look at me and say so what, I'm already on red. I tried letting them earn back one color at a time (we have 4) but that wasn't working either.
Good luck hope your administrator is more flexible.


punished by rewards

I think that whole system of discipline is ineffective. try reading punished by rewards by alfie kohn. makes you think of discipline a lot differently.


New Member

I would suggest getting rid of teh green, yellow and red system. I would try a ticket or a token system. The child earns a ticket or token when they have done something correctly. Once a token is earned, it cannot be taken away for a later negative behavior. At the end of the week (or however long the children can wait for reinforcement) they can trade in their tickets for small prizes such as pencils, erasers, free time or any other motivating reward. I have seen this used in numerous classrooms with great results. One 1st grade teacher even had the tokens worth 5 points each and this taught the children how to count by 5s. I hope this helps.


Senior Member
Candy Land

I just read an idea in the new Instructor magazine where a teacher used the Candy Land gameboard with one of the game pieces to track her class' good behavior. You might want to look that up. It sounded very cute!

pre-k teache

I give my pre-ker's the opportunity to "earn back" their bear if it has been pulled. The only time you cannot get you bear back is if you are violent. Then you must call your parent and explain what you have done. It's amazing how my children take responsiblility for their actions.


New Member
Positive Reward System

I am a resource teacher who works with ED and SED students. You know your management plan is sunk in the water when the student fails immediately. In order for the student to "buy" into the plan, he/she has to know he can be successful.
I have a football field set up in my room (since I have all but one boy in my program). He student gets a football and they earn yards by the teacher and other students catching them doing something good. At first, particularly with the most difficult students, I give yards for almost anything good...once they buy into the system you don't have to give as frequently. Once they get a touchdown then they earn their reward. Some rewards have been time on the computer, helping out another teacher, going to the library, free homework pass, trip to the treasure chest, teaching the class/leading the class on discussion or lesson.
Good luck! I hope it helps.


devil's advocate?

I just wonder/need to know what teachers do that only have a chart of positive behaviors. I agree that my clothespin tracker isn't that great of a method, but what do you do about students who break rules such as putting others down, talking back, throwing property, hurting others? These things demand immediate attention not just ignoring them. Any advice would be appreciated.


Special Education Teacher grade 1/2

If your students are changing colors that rapidly, there is clearly a problem with management. As a Special Education teacher I give the student three chances before I change colors. This helps give the boys to correct their behaviors. If they do get to red I stop and call their parent, this behavior corrects it self quickly.


special Education Teacher grade 1/2

Just to let you know that the University of Buffalo (UB) has created a program called the ABC program here is their web page:jad.sagepub.com/cgi/content/refs/9/1/333


Senior Member
First graders love stickers. The tiny ones work with a few large ones mixed in. They love eating lunch in the room with the teacher and watching a video. Sometimes they earn a piece of red licorice when their chart is full. Or a packet of juice. It is fun to use this when studing about how butterflies get necture from the flowers and they earn a packet of juice and are like pretty butterflies drinking.

Missing a couple minutes of recess is a long time with their head on their desk.

One, Two, Three look at me.

Whispering --to get the room quiet.

Hold up your hand and students follow hand up, no talking and eyes on you. Sometimes you might motion for them to come get a sticker.

If some will not obey, have some M&Ms in your pocket and give two to the students following directions.

Can't walk down the hall quiet. Go back and try again. Go out to the playground during recess and practice walking in a straight line with no talking.

Get bubble gum ball from the bubble gum machine. Get cheap at the Dollar Store at Halloween time.

Variety. Good Luck and Best Wishes. First graders are delightful.

Send me your e mail and I will share ideas for the first days of school. Read Kissing Hand and do activities. I have Chester the paper sack puppet pattern. Tell me first grade.


New Member

Message for hescollin: Thanks so much! I tried to send a private message to you to give you my email but it wouldn't allow me to. Please reply and let me know how I can send it to you. Thanks again!


New Member
hescollin, Please contact me!!

HESCOLLIN, PLEASE CONTACT ME: I have been trying to reach you for ideas for the first days of school. You posted some great ideas and would like to know more!! I've tried to send you a private message through this website but it wouldn't allow me to. Please email me at darrianwms@sbcglobal.net


Senior Member
more ideas

I use the color system in my classroom and it works really well. I use green, yellow, orange, and red. I don't change colors for little reasons. I almost never have a student get to red. I think maybe 5-6 times this school year. I was teach at a Title 1 school so it's not like I don't have the problems. I also use positive rewards like tickets. I think kids need to have positives and negatives to show them where they are for the day.


My Postive/Negative System

Im a 1st grade Teacher also! I love teaching....
But i do admit my classroom becomes cauotic at times!
The system I use is tickets, If students show responsibility and follow directions
they earn a ticket. If students do a negative gesture they have to give me the amount
of tickets the consenquence is worth (you can make a chart or just use common sense).
If your student does not have enough tickets then make a note and when they earn a ticket take out the amount they owe. Then every 2 weeks set up a little shop of prizes (I usally do mine at the end of the day on fridays.) Make the students do the math to so they can learn. You can also do 60 TICKET PRIZE FOR A PIZZA PARTY!! This technique is great because students truly think about their actions. I hope this works as good as it does to me!! :)



I always explain to the students that if there is someone causing harm, that behavior goes to the principal (depending on the severity of the harm). That breaks a school rule, not just a classroom rule.
Class meetings help most behaviors if they are used as a means to teach problem solving skills. When kids are putting others down, getting the class involved in a class meeting helps the student to learn that others don't like the behavior either. Students can help each other to fix behavior if they are taught about appropriate consequences. It can also teach the student multiple ways to handle a situation instead of being mean.
Talking back is all about control. Not getting into a power struggle is the best way to handle it. Remaining calm and stating the rule that the student is breaking brings it back to the classroom expectation. Usually, if a student is arguing about doing an assignment, I will say something like, "That's okay. You can do it anyway." I say it with a smile on my face and it usually works.
I love the Whole Brain Teaching Rules because Rule 5 is "Keep Your Dear Teacher Happy." Only I know what makes me happy and if they aren't making me happy, they're breaking the rule.
Hope that helps.