Alternative Rewards

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by linswin23, Jul 8, 2015.

  1. linswin23

    linswin23 Cohort

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    Jul 8, 2015

    Hi guys,

    My co-teacher and I want to steer away from a treasure chest/prize box reward system this year. We teach at a private school and our kids don't lack for much. I used a prize box/sticker chart behavior reward system this year and I don't think it went so well. Also, the kids didn't really seem to excited when I showed them what was in the box. We want the kids to be less motivated by extrinsic rewards and more motivated by intrinsic ones.

    Anyways....

    Do you use alternative rewards? If you do, what do you use? We are going to have a sticker/stamp chart students will house inside their planners. We want to create a poster that displays how much certain amount of stamps are worth.

    I've got a few ideas such as going to recess one minute early, being the "little teacher" for the day, eating lunch with the teachers.

    I'd love to hear what you do! Thanks!
     
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  3. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Jul 8, 2015

    Shoes off for an hour
    Sit with a friend
    Sit at the teacher desk
    Sit in a special place (fuzzy chair/bean bag)
    Eat lunch with a friend
    Good note home from teacher
    Good note home from class

    I think I did more but that's all I can think of off the top of my head.
     
  4. linswin23

    linswin23 Cohort

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    Jul 9, 2015

    Love THIS!!!!
     
  5. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Jul 9, 2015

    I am a fan of lunch dates with the teacher. The kids think they've died and gone to heaven:

    I used to have a "lunch bunch" for students who turned in their homework for the entire month. On the last day of the month, kiddos would bring their lunch to the classroom and hang out with me while we watched a video (usually Bill Nye the Science Guy or something else relatively educational). I know you're moving away from treats/prizes, but I'd also provide a popsicle or ice cream sandwich/cone. It was a huuuuuuge deal because I'd talk about it all month long and emphasize how much I wanted the entire class to attend.

    Additionally, if they were having a particularly good week (they'd have to earn x amount of marbles in the jar), I'd take them out for 5 minutes of extra recess on Friday. They thought it was so cool because they got first dibs on the tetherballs and soccer field!
     
  6. BreezyGirl

    BreezyGirl Companion

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    Jul 9, 2015

    I'm interested in this too as I am feeling the same way. I find rewards lose their value.

    I am thinking of doing more random "rewards." For example, if they are working hard, following instructions, or have been really helpful to one another, I will surprise them with outside time, free time, etc... But, before they get to the activity we discuss why they are getting the activity. It's more like recognizing the wonderful behaviour.

    I will do small token prizes for birthdays. And, I am definitely writing notes home. I'm still in the process of deciding what to do!!!
     
  7. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    Jul 9, 2015

    I do a lot of the same rewards as teacherintexas. My kids love them! A few other ideas:
    (Many of my coworkers make students line up in a certain order, so their classes loved this one). Choose your spot in line
    Pick your partner for an activity
    Gum pass (students had to supply gum)
    Lead a class activity (I had several who wanted to be teachers last year, so they loved getting to lead the vocabulary word of the day or the math warm up.)
     
  8. Curiouscat

    Curiouscat Comrade

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    Jul 9, 2015

    Our students can earn a cookie and hot chocolate with the principal if they stay on green the whole month of November. They absolutely love this! Maybe this could be an option?
     
  9. Preschool0929

    Preschool0929 Cohort

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    Jul 9, 2015

    Everyone else has already given good ideas. My school psych always says that the highest form of reinforcer is the "mystery motivator", something that the students are working for, but they don't know what it is so they can't NOT like it. Last year we moved more away from a treasure box and instead I created a large poster of a gumball machine that we kept on the board. The machine will filled with "gumballs" that were circles I cut out of glitter cardstock. They were kept turned over until students filled up their sticker charts and then they picked a gumball. The prizes were things like: wear a hat to school, eat lunch with the teacher, be the star helper for the day, be the line leader, sit on the bean bag, etc... I added/switched out the gumballs every few weeks so that students couldn't predict which prize they would choose.
     
  10. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Jul 10, 2015

    Homework passes
    Write with a fun colored pen for a day
    Extra computer time
    Sit in the teacher's chair at your desk (my chair had wheels)
    Choose a class game
    I also bought a pack of that colored loose leaf paper and would let the kids choose 4 sheets of paper they could use for homework. They loved this.
    Smelly stickers were always a favorite too.
     
  11. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    I love both of these. They sound easy and highly motivating!
     
  12. linswin23

    linswin23 Cohort

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    Jul 11, 2015

    All of these ideas are so great! I am so excited! My co-teachers is going to love these, too!
     
  13. Stlteach89

    Stlteach89 Rookie

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    Jul 12, 2015

    During student teaching, 3rd grade students were grouped by tables. There were 4 groups. I would add a tally mark to a group anytime I saw them doing the right thing (ready to learn during transitions, working quietly on independent work, etc.). At the end of the week, that group ate lunch with me in the classroom. This was in addition to earning hole punches in their card each day to eventually earn a treasure box reward. It was a sacrifice on my part, but during those group lunches I also learned so much more about students. One was from Vietnam and told me how her family uses her dishwasher as a cabinet basically. One was from Africa and told me about how she was only able to shower at certain times while she lived there to conserve water. The positives definitely outweigh the negatives if you are looking to build relationships.
     
  14. Stlteach89

    Stlteach89 Rookie

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    Thanks by the way! I'm a new teacher and was just going to use a treasure box system because that's what my cooperating teacher did. Now, I think I'm going to give students a choice on what their reward is once they fully hole punch their card. The more choices, the better!
     
  15. Jen84

    Jen84 Companion

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    Jul 12, 2015

    Here are the rewards I offer:
    A positive note is sent home.
    Students can bring in an item from home to share with the class.
    Students can choose a stuffed animal to use as a reading buddy for the day.
    Students can bring in their favorite book to share with the class.
    Students can be the line leader for the day.

    I recently saw a teacher who would call her students "King (first name)" or "Queen (first name)" for the day as a reward. I'll be trying that one out this year.
     

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