Rewards for Individual Students
- A call or email home about the great things the student did in class: This means a lot to many students and is a wonderful way for a teacher to build a connection with the families. I try to use this reward for my most difficult students who don't often hear about the good things they do.
- Extra credit: I use this sparingly so the grades are still a true reflection of the concepts students have mastered during the year.
- Candy: This is always a winner.
- Homework passes: Students value the time they spend outside of school and are grateful to get an occasional break from homework. Here are some free homework passes I created.
- Stickers: I'm always surprised by how much middle school students love stickers. I don't know if it is because I get super excited about stickers myself and that influences them or if they just plain love stickers. Also, middle school students like to wear their stickers on their faces (FYI).
- Books: Even though I teach science, I still like to give books to my students. During the summer I try to stock up on the very inexpensive books that can be found at garage sales.
- Choosing the music played during class: When students work on projects or assignments in class I like to play music in the background. Students love choosing the music themselves. Just make sure the student understands that the chosen music must be school appropriate.
- Allowing food during class: In my classroom, snacking during class is generally a no go, so when students can have food they get pretty excited about it. Students can bring in their own snacks, but I don't allow them to share the food unless they make arrangements with me beforehand and bring enough for everyone.
When to Use These Rewards
- As a prize for the winners of review games
- When a student gives a particularly thoughtful response to a question
- When a student is spotted doing something especially kind for others
- Attending tutoring outside of class time
- Consistent effort during class
- When a student goes above and beyond on an assignment
- When a student is particularly helpful to a substitute teacher
I hope these ideas work for your classroom and your students! Remember to check out the free homework passes on my Teachers pay Teachers store.