Friday, December 30, 2016

Rewards for Middle School Students

Although I have extremely high expectations for my students, I do not expect them to come into my class with pocket fulls of intrinsic motivation.  Through my yearly mission of increasing and building their self purpose and motivation, I sprinkle in some fun tangible rewards to get them going.  These rewards range from dust bunnies I have found in popular teachers classrooms (yes, I really gave away dust in a bag. Funny thing is the students LOVED it.) to cans of Spam, to movie theater boxes of candy.  The trick is to intermix stuff they really want (candy) with random and off the wall things (mini bottles of mustard).

How to Start a Ticket System
    1. As students are doing what’s expected, or going beyond, give them a ticket. Tell them they are to write their name on the back, and save their tickets until the end of the week, month, quarter, etc.
    2. When you decide it’s time to draw for prizes, have the students turn all of their tickets in.
    3.  Have a grab bag of prizes ready. Pull out the prize first (this is key to get students excited about your random off the wall prizes!) Then pull out a ticket of the person who wins the prize. Watch the excitement unfold!

Tickets give students a tangible item to strive for. It’s instant gratification for good behavior.  The key is to scaffold the tickets.  I give out a ton of tickets the first couple of weeks of school, and then slowly decrease the amount of tickets and number of drawings I do.  By the end of the year, we are not even doing ticket drawings.  And shockingly, most students don't even notice!

Tomorrow I'm going to post the 48 rewards and incentives I use in my classroom!  If you would like a sneak peak, click here!

Happy Teaching,

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