Rewards work with any age group, especially for behavior management. I do rewards two ways and my children know exactly what they are for and exactly what to expect.
The first way is that I give individual rewards. With these, I give students checks. They get checks for "good behavior", for example, being kind to their neighbor, raising hands, not talking out of turn, things like that. When the students get to the end of the check board, I give them a $10 gift certificate. This $10 is well worth its money value in gold because they work hard to achieve these checks.
The second is "group" checks. They receive groups checks for walking in line properly, not misbehaving outside of class, and getting compliments from other teachers or staff count as double points. When they reach the magic number of 50, I do not take points away and they earn a popcorn, or pizza, or sub party with a movie on Fridays.
These usually take about nine weeks to achieve, but the REWARDS for you are well worth the extra time and effort. Besides, the kids love it and so do you. It makes your life much easier.
Good Luck and I hope this helps you out. It really works for me (pss: I teach in a poor socio-economic inner city school so any reward for the student is appreciated. They do not get many pizzas at home.)
i reward my students with classroom money. they actually have a classroom checkbook (a creation of my own) and each week they earn a deposit based on their behavior, homework, etc. every three weeks i open up a classroom store where they can then spend their money they have had deposited into their checkbooks. they shop and then write me a check (another creation of mine) for the items they purchase. i have things in my store such books, folders, pens, pencils, candy, and other bargains i have found at local stores. some of the students also have a classroom job in which they earn a salary for the week. overall, it has been a great way to not only help the students with their math/economy learning, but my class is very well behaved.
I think rewarding kids for expected behavior is unnecessary and actually counter-productive in the long run. My belief is that classroom management is all about building positive relationships with your students. Bribing them to "behave" is all about controlling them rather than engaging them.
The only exception to this, in my opinion, should be with a student with some kind of social/emotional disability in which he/she needs concrete gratifiers in order to learn appropriate social behavior. I don't believe your typical student should be rewarded in the classroom, other than with positive verbal feedback such as, "I can tell you put in a lot of effort on this. It seems to have paid off!"
Just my opinion.
I appreciate your feedback! Please keep it coming. I like the idea of classroom money and having the kids earn it to get something tangible instead of simply handing the rewards out. I like the responsibility.
Well, I can only say that I believe in rewarding children, adults, and anyone who works hard, even pets!! Of course, my students respond to rewards and work very hard either way. I give loads of praise (that's a reward) and I give tangible things as well. We do Gold Star treats every Friday afternoon for those who miss no homework and have no behavior challenges. We do a monthly homework celebration for those who have less than 3 missed assignments for the month. They get to bring food and we all eat together for lunch in the classroom. I also do sporadic rewards like edible math lessons, food that relates to a poetry lesson, or anything that veers away from the normal routine because to the kids it feels like a reward!
Yes, reward your children, they are no different from us!!
of any kind. Too contrived and manipulative. I instead believe in investing time and energy into creating a classroom culture where excellence is the expectation.
That being said, some "surprises" to reward the class as a whole definitely are appreciated by the students. Simply providing popcorn and drinks when the students watch a video is unexpected, and therefore more greatly appreciated.
I have also picked up a used book here and there (25 cents) and handed it to a student, saying, "I know you really dig horses. I thought you'd like this book. It's yours to keep." Parents have told me that simple act made a more profound impact on their child than anything any teacher had ever done before. (And this is an affluent district where families can certainly afford their own books). It showed their child that I recognized them as an individual, and that I gave without expectation, and without the child having earned is through some system.
FYI, I am a teacher of 18 years, and I went down the rewards road as well. NOT ONE of the former students who came back (eight-ten years later) and visited ever talked about the gimmicky rewards. They talked about the class party, the unexpected book on their desk, the fact that I attended their basketball game, the fact that I remembered their birthday the year after they were out of my class.
I am in complete agreement with jorgefuriouso's post.
In my fifth grade class, we celebrate our collective accomplishments in the classroom all the time. When we complete a unit, we have refreshments and share our projects with each other. Before vacations, sometimes we will see a video and have a snack because as a group, we deserve some down-time together.
I do the same kinds of things he does. I will pick up books for an individual kid at a yard sale if I think he/she might be interested in the topic. I try to give as much individualized instruction and feedback as I can. It's the recognition of talents, interests, and struggles that means something to kids. Not the little doo-dads from a prize box. Where is your time better spent- on managing tickets, vouchers, rewards or planning engaging lessons and writing meaningful comments on student work?
I have tried the reward systems where you are constantly giving out "prizes" for doing what is simply expected. It got to the point where a student asked me "What do I get?" when I told him to make sure he was taking notes along with me. I stopped shortly after that and picked up more whole class, or long term rewards, with little things like stickers and big smiles etc. for the little things. It's expensive and hard to manage, in my opinion. Good luck!
I came upon this board when struggling for answers (and so, conducting searches online) as to why my fourth grader is so stressed this year. Her class is using this reward system -- and it is dominating their lives in the class! There is much vying for favor and keeping track of fairness and what others are getting. It's sick. I have watched my daughter become a highly motivated natural lover of learning to one who has awoken to pettiness and pure EXTRINSIC motivation. It is so sad --and I feel like she is in the middle of a terrible expeirement for which I provided no informed consent. She has been very stressed, unlike in previous years, and complains often at home.
Okay, this is a different perspective. As a sub, I will often bring rewards, especially if I know in advance that it will be a difficult/challenging class...Last week I was in a 6th grade class, and I handed out a trinket the kids really liked (funky pencils/pens I had gotten at a book fair) I give the kids points, scale of 1-5, for transitions/walking quietly, etc. The have to earn a predetermined amount, and it is really effective. I had some kids that had been wonderful helpers throughout the day, so I gave them an additional reward. I also very clearly explained the reasons for the extra rewards, so.... a girl burst into tears and shouted "but I was NICE ALL DAY!!!" Do you think these kids were reward or learning driven
(BTW, I do try to use a teacher's mngmt system, when one is in place. They are frequently not readily available/clear/usuable by a sub.)