I remember seeing a post, or maybe a website, where someone listed ideas for rewards instead of prizes and such, since it does get costly. Some of the ones I've thought about are computer pass, homework pass....Any ideas?
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
read to their former teacher or visit their former classroom
I do puzzles and games on Fridays for 30 minutes. I used to have a the kids pick from a treasure box daily...for years. It had candy and little items. Well last year we could not have any candy. I began buying little toys but they got expensive so I had to change. I asked the kids would they rather pick from the treasure box weekly or play puzzles and games for 30 on Friday. They overwhelmingly said puzzles and games. This is free play time where they get out games like battle ship and piece together puzzles. I already had the games so it was free to me....and I dont have think of an art activity each week. They play and I grade papers and get organized. Its free time for all of us. (BTW the ones that dont get to play stay at their seat and have to be quiet. They can read or finish work or just sit there and sulk.)
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.
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.
In my class their favorite treat is sock feet. They can wear their socks everywhere that day except P.E. and recess. They love it!!! Also, private lunch with a friend in another class or their own(they sit at a separate table together).
I always offer up a positive note/email/phone call home on my choice menu. It never fails to amaze me how often they choose it!!
My kids also absolutely love free drawing time coupons, sitting in one of the rolling chairs, time to use the overhead, keeping the class mascot on their desk for the day, double time on the laptops, printing something in color that they type up, bring a "special" snack (I don't usually allow junk food), free test re-take coupon for full credit, listen to a book on tape during silent reading time, etc.
I also offer to be their recess buddy for one recess (on a week that I don't have duty). They think it's really fun that I'll run around on the playground with them. It's always a popular choice!
And, the BIGGIE: technology day! Sometimes we earn this as a whole-class reward. But, kids can also earn it individually or in table groups. I allow them (with parental permission) to bring in their iPods, Game Boys, etc. and they can use them when they finish work that day or during a specified block of time that I set aside. Whenever we're not in the room, I lock them all in a drawer so that I don't have to worry about theft from the room. This is a reward that they absolutely beg for!!
Keep a stuffed animal at their desk for the morning/afternoon
use the rolling chair
sit at the round table during a lesson (don't know why but they like this)
sit with a friend at lunch
My students earn "money" for making appropriate choices. They spend the money in various ways. I used to have a "store" every time it was time to reap rewards, but I've been letting the children tell me if they would like a store or something else. They have asked for a movie (I never do movies by my own choice.), additional recess time, board game time, special access to the gym, and other things I can't remember right now. The chore of running the store was becoming a drag!
I use coupons in my class too.
*Fun Pen Pass (I have a box of "fancy" pens, feathers, lite up, sequins, etc... students can use one for the day, except math!)
*Sit with a friend from another class at lunch (it has to be one of the other third grade classes that goes to lunch when we do)
*Candy Jar Pass
*Line Leader Pass (I don't have a daily line leader)
*No Shoes Pass (this was their favorite, there were 2 rules: you must be wearing socks and shoes had to be worn anytime we left the classroom)
*15 minutes free Computer Time
I use to have a pass for sitting at the teacher's desk but it got on my nerves so I had to do away with it!
I use points from book orders to order extra books. I try to stick to the cheapest ones so that I can accumulate a lot of them. I keep them in a bin, and when I child has earned enough points to go to the bin, they get to choose a book to keep.
I also keep a supply of cute book marks, pencils erasers etc, that are used for prizes. Bookmarks frequently come with book orders, and I get the other items in the 99cent store.
I have a classroom store and am also looking for good ideas of inexpensive things or freebies. One of my students favorites is to purchase a "clip board day" with the tokens they have saved. On the day they choose to use their Clip Board Day they get to go to a quiet corner in the room after directions have been given and complete their assignments. I don't quite know why they think it is a big deal, but it is. I also sell a "Gum Day" coupon. They bring their own gum to school on the day they want to use it. I tell them that they can chew gum all day (except for music and gym class) as long as I don't "see it or hear it". It is great.
I took this idea from two of my co-workers. I got lucky and found the little student incentive charts at the dollar store and Target dollar spot. For four weeks each student has an opportunity to fill the incentive chart with stickers. They earn stickers for everyday that they do homework, passing Friday tests, making an "A" on spelling tests, review questions (at my discretion), caught be good, etc. On the last Monday of the month, I pick up the incentive charts. On the computer, I make an invitation for a monthly celebration which will be held on that Friday. Fridays are good days for us because the students get out of school at 12:45. Those students without an invitation must sit and watch the other students celebrate. My theme is All-Stars (I'm a former cheerleader). So we call these All-Star celebrations.
If you lose your chart, you don't get another one, and the stickers don't get replaced. Some students were wise enough to collect the stickers on a sheet of paper.
Best of all, it's free!! The students choose what kind of celebration that they want and provide their own snacks. For example, we had a movie day in which the students brought movie snack packs (their fave movie snack/no soda). We had game day where you brought your favorite board game to share. We set up the games in different parts of the room. They could snack while they played. I splurged once and did hot fudge sundaes. The celebrations are limitless.
I am lucky to be on a staff where there are teachers who don't mind watching my non-invitees on movie days. Most of these students are given that time to complete all missed assignments. Usually after the first celebration (everyone bring their fave snack and enough to share with the group), only maybe 3 to 4 students miss out each month.
If you are invited and don't bring anything, you still get to participate. In the 2 years that I have done this, there hasn't been a problem. I haven't gotten any flack from parents (knock on wood).
full of [older] leveled readers to programs no longer in use. There are numerous copies of every level and subject area. With my principal's permission, I am giving these old books away as a reward. I'll usually write a personal note inside the front cover with a glowing note about why or how they earned it so the kids are so proud of them.
Plus, many of my kids are poverty level or near and these are often the only books they have ever had of their own.
Sit at the teacher's desk
Eat in the classroom with the teacher for lunch
Extra recess...I give them five-ten extra minutes on my lunchtime recess duty day
special pencil and eraser
had an Easter Egg hunt in March
Headphones for computer time
Collect happy meal toys when at fast food places...some may donate a few if you ask. Also check clearance bins and Dollar Tree...items may come 4-5 to a package. My son is 10 and he offered great suggestions....bouncy balls were a big hit.