I have been informed that I will be teaching a self-contained 6th grade class next year. I have been teaching for 11 years (5 years in 1st and 6 years in Kinder). I am very excited about the move...but I am at a loss as to how to reward my 6th grade students. In 1st & Kinder I of used a behavior chart/homework chart with stickers and little dollar store rewards. But what do 6th graders like/want? I do not believe in giving out soda so that is not an option for me. Any other ideas would be greatly appreciated! Thank you so much for the help!!
Consider using classroom money as a reward system. You could probably use similar ideas as your sticker chart, but just give the kids fake $ instead. I don't have a set system- if I feel like giving money, I do. Most of the time I don't think about it until a kid is acting up and then I remember to reward the good kids.
To spend the money, I have an auction every few weeks. My rewards are all free. You can search PT and the 'net for ideas for free classroom rewards. Popular items include sitting in the teacher chair, and changing seats to sit by a friend. I don't think they'd like cheap trinkets, but they do like scented erasers/markers, backpack keychain danglies, sudoku books, silly sunglasses. I only auction a handful of items at a time, so it doesn't take a long time.
You can make the system more elaborate by giving the kids jobs and paying them for doing their jobs, but that is way too much work for me.
I teach grade 6. A book called The Cornerstone by Angela Powell is excellent. It lines out setting up class routines and gives directions for a token reward system. It is just an all around great resource. I have taught for 20 plus years and this is one resource I use over and over for ideas and tips.
Last edited by jady_marie; 04-04-2012 at 11:04 AM..
is to have them manage it! Every kid in my 6th grade class has at least one job. The jobs are very diverse from taking out the recycling bin to helping in the primary SH class to taking care of the class computers to shelving library books.
I have two "Teacher's Assistants" who are responsible for keeping track of who has what job and taking care of "Pay Day" on Friday afternoon. The kids are paid in cheap raffle tix from Staples that they can buy privileges (sitting in teacher's chair, extra recess, moving seats, etc) with.
Teacher's Assistants also check off as work is handed in (make sure it is completed before I grade) with is another time saver for me.
It does take some work at the beginning but pays off...
If you have set procedures that the kids are aware of, and you are consistent, behavior is close to nonexistent. I have set procedures for everything, so the kids know what is expected. They also know the consequence for not following the procedures. At my school, we use 1-2-3-Magic which is great. Everytime a student doesn't follow a procedure, or is distracting others, they received a count. It's quick, easy and students don't argue.
I have class jobs students get paid for, they also get paid for being at school and staying on green all day. I also use class money and table points (but I am horrible at remembering to use them, mostly because I don't have to).
Just remember, the 6th graders really are just like big kinders. They love the same types of rewards like stickers.
I use classroom economy with my 6th graders this year. Money talks to this age group. I have a classroom store every six weeks. The students brainstorm at the beginning of the year a list of items they would like to buy at the store and I ask the parents to make donations (monetary or items from the list).
I teach 6th grade self contained and I found that a marble jar that works toward a party is very affective. Put a marble in when they are on track and participating and take one out if they are not. I also made individual velcro trackers for each student and every day they are well behaved they move up a spot, after 15 spots they get to choose a reward from a menu. The choices include sit in a comphy chair for a week, eat lunch with me and a friend, five points on a test. They almost always choose lunch!
It's a behavior management system that helps to eliminate or at least cut back all those small annoying disruptions or behaviors that the kids do. Basically, the first time a student does something, such as talking at the wrong time, not following directions, needing directions repeated, pretty much whatever you want, you give the student a count. The next time he does something, either the same thing, or something different, you give him another count. On the third count, he goes on a time out and you can have him write down why his is on time out. When he returns he starts over. We also use a card system, so he would not only go on time out, but flip his card.
It really works. The first year we used it, I had an extremely difficult group. This helped a lot. For one, it took the emotion out of it. Secondly, it helped me not give too many warnings (the first two counts are the warnings). I use to send the students on a time out in another room. They hated going to a lower grade for time outs. I save the straight card flips for bigger offensives. It has also helped to eliminate irritating behaviors and help the students become more responsible because I give counts for repeat questions, needed directions repeated, not getting materials out quickly, etc..
It's a classroom economy that really works. I don't do all the elements that she talks about on her website with my 3rd graders, but with 6th graders I'm going to have the classroom economist and a store managers, etc. I' also going to have jobs that stay with the kiddo all year, and they will have to apply for them.
One of my friends teaches 5th and he has the kids run for class president and vice, and they have special responsibilities and privileges as president and vice president. I think I'll do that, too.
I use several techniques in my class for management. As many others have stated, money is a great reward system. I have about 13-14 classroom jobs and the students actually keep their jobs for 4-6 weeks (it's easier than changing jobs every week). I pay the students daily as they are packing up to leave. I also pay for perfect weekly attendance, grades on tests (A,B,and Cs), attempting to answer questions, staying on task, etc. You get the idea. Not only do the students receive money, they have to pay for things also. I charge them for a variety of things: not being prepared for class, borrowing a pencil, taking an extra restroom break, replacing the money bag (if lost), etc.
Another wonderful thing I use is just part of a teaching strategy I learned about last summer. It's just a great/fun way to get the students' attention without wasting class time. I say, "Class." The students say, "Yes." I change how I say it every time, and the kids repeat using the same tone or pattern. You can find examples of this on you tube (whole brain teaching). There are so many aspects to this teaching strategy, but this is pretty much the only part I use and it is very effective. I never have to raise my voice to get their attention. Sometimes, I even whisper the signal. The students nearby hear me and reply, the remainder of the class picks up on the cue.
Lastly, I have a class incentive for appropriate hallway (or classroom) behavior. For every compliment they receive as a class when we are traveling the halls together, I color in a marble in a paper jar. Once the jar is full, the entire class receives a reward. I have to hear the compliment. Amazingly, my sixth graders would get quite excited when they received a compliment.
I like having rewards that don't really cost me much money. Some of the most popular rewards are passes.
* Homework pass (one assignment)
* Seat switch pass (for the day)
* Fridge Pass (they can keep a drink or snack cold til lunch)
* Microwave pass (if they bring their own hot pocket or cup of noodles thy can heat it up just before lunch)
* Skip a Night Pass (skip the whole nights homework)
* Lunch early pass ( they get to go to lunch about 5 min early and avoid the long lines)
* High 5 (5% extra credit on a test or quiz)
I also do table points for otter pops, or hot chocolate depending on the weather. Its monthly so it doesn't cost too much overall.
They also really seem to like mechanical pencils, lead refills, highlighters, small notepads, etc.
I just wanted to say thank you for all the great ideas! I am a new teacher in middle school, teaching 6th grade lang arts/literature/study skills to students with disabilities, kind of a resource room type model I think! They haven't given me much to work with this summer so I am just doing what I can and developing my classroom management system. These are wonderful ideas!!
I am doing a board game theme in the classroom and I am incorporating the rewards system into something called Homeworkopoly, check it out, it is a really fun idea. Hope it works!