Reward system for HS kids

Discussion in 'High School' started by Lyquidphyre, Jul 14, 2007.

  1. Lyquidphyre

    Lyquidphyre Comrade

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    Jul 14, 2007

    I really want to have a reward system of sorts that is class wide and individual that isn't much work for me (as in keeping up with coupons or whatever). My idea is similar to the "marbles in a jar" technique but what I was thinking was I could have a jar for every class and when someone does something good (especially during the first few weeks and I'm trying to establish a routine) I would hand them a chip, possibly something like a poker chip so the jars are colorful:
    http://www.orientaltrading.com/appl...allpartial&y=0&N=0&x=0&sd=POKER+CHIPS+(100PC)

    But, before hand I would put masking tape or a white, round sticker on the face so the student can write their name on it before they put it in the jar. I would enlist my sister for help, but I would put the tape on all the chips before I started passing any out. Then, once a class reaches the top, the class would get a reward (on a Friday) and then individuals who contributed would get a different reward. Also, I want to point out that I want to use chips as opposed to tickets because I want that noise they make to be "exciting" and noticeable.

    Questions:
    - What do you think about this?
    - What class wide reward would you use? Maybe cookies? or a $1 coupon to Mcdonalds or aclose fast food place?
    - How would you address the individual tokens? Would you do a drawing for something or would you sort them out and kids with 1-5 gets a piece of candy, 5-10 get a soda, 10-15 a "5 points on homework" coupon... etc etc
    - Do you think something like this would work?

    Thanks for any advice.
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jul 14, 2007

    I'm not a big fan of reward systems for older kids. Maybe it's just that no one I know uses them.

    But I think that, by the time you're a teenager, you should be good because you should be good. The rewards for paying attention in HS are that the class is easier, your teacher is happy, you can actually understand the homework, and so on.

    I don't think they should need that reward system in place. (Of course, if you want to throw them the occasional freebie in appreciation, that's a different matter.)
     
  4. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    My son's grade 9 English teacher printed up phony money with his face in the middle. (_____bucks) He handed them out to students for exceptionally good answers in class discussions, being ready for class when the bell started, good citizenship, etc. and stapled a couple to the front of perfect tests or fabulous essays. A couple of times each term the kids could use their bucks to shop for dollar store toys and treats (one of the most popular treats was a class set of lollipops that one students could buy and share!) The kids really liked it because there were no set criteria and they couldn't predict when they would be handed out.
     
  5. deserttrumpet

    deserttrumpet Comrade

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    Jul 14, 2007

    Having a class reward and an individual reward will be tricky to manage. Personally, I would leave it at a class reward.

    I also find it difficult to keep up with passing out reward chips. Kids can be quick to accuse you of not being fair because you did not notice them doing something that they believe merits a reward. Be careful.

    This year I am going to try a question of the week. I have a book of critical thinking questions. I will put one out a week and kids can answer it. If they get the answer correct I think I'll give them some sort of extra credit on an exam or final. I can keep track of this is a grade book or excel spread sheet and only have to worry about the "reward" (which has been completely earned) taking up a lot of time or hassle to deliver.
     
  6. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    I have never used a reward system but we do play different subject related games for No Homework passes. There is a limit on the No Homework pass--it has to be used that night. The homework that night is similar to what we did in the game so I figure if they won the game played that day, they know enough of the concept that they won't be hurt by not doing the homework. I usually do this on Fridays for their weekend homework and I have some who will actually study like the game is a quiz. They are competitive.
     
  7. Weazy

    Weazy Comrade

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    Jul 14, 2007


    I agree with you! I think that kids should eventually learn that a person has responsibilities in life and they do not have to be rewarded for conducting themselves as responsible students. This includes everything from coming to class on time, to completing assignments, to proper behavior. I believe we are creating a "what's in it for me" generation by rewarding every little thing. I see nothing wrong with encouraging words or and occassional class treat, but we don't have to reward everything. Besides, it is impossible to keep up with everything and eventually somebody is going to cry "unfair." Also, what happens to the moral of the student who never writes that perfect essay or never receives anything higher than a C, yet they are doing their best-- but never receive a reward? I don't mean to sound so harsh--as I said before, I don't have anything against a reward every now and then, but by high school the reward should come from within; satisfaction from a job well done and knowing you did your best.
     
  8. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    Jul 14, 2007

    I both agree and disagree with your point. They need to read just to read; not for a cookie. They need to behave because it's respectful and often the law. ETC.

    However, I do beleive that reward is needed. In our own business, we randomly reward. The other day I told an employee to take the next day off with pay just because she has outstanding work attendence. One day everyone really busted butt for a rude customer. We thanked them with donuts the next morning. My point is, people in the work force need to see and feel that they are appreciated. Why not teach that to our kids? Teach them to show appreciation and feel the appreciation too. They may be bosses someday!

    I love it when schools reward for attendance! If only I could have my employees there 95% of the time...???
     
  9. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jul 14, 2007

    I HATE those perfect attendance awards!!!

    I can't tell you how many kids have dragged their sick tails in for homeroom, just so the award wouldn't be jeopardized. Fine, they get a mention at the academic awards assembly the following year, and a certificate. Twenty classmates come down sick.

    Again, I'm fine with occasional unexpected shows of appreciation. It's when it becomes a "system" that I think it turns a corner.
     
  10. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jul 14, 2007

    Kids already have a "What's in it for me?" attitude. I see no purpose in rewarding them for behavior which is expected.

    If a student goes above and beyond, I'm happy to award extra credit or send a special note home to parents. That should be enough of a reward.
     
  11. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I also think those attendance awards are terrible. Last year I had kids come to school with the flu, bronchitis, severe sinus infections, and general ickiness. How much learning is actually being done when a student is focusing all his efforts on just keeping his head up and remaining awake? I'd much rather that they just stay home, get some rest, and come back to school when they're ready to learn.
     
  12. Lyquidphyre

    Lyquidphyre Comrade

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    Jul 14, 2007

    I see y'alls point. I was reading a book required for one of my classes and it talked about reward systems and such and I guess I jumped on that band wagon.

    I guess I will nix the idea and just go with verbal recognition (which I do anyways) and maybe random treats for over the top acts (for both class and individuals)
     
  13. letsteach

    letsteach Comrade

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    Jul 14, 2007

    I too agree with most of the comments posted. Even with my own children, when I have tried to use an incentive to get them to do something, they then expect an incentive everytime - the what do I get if I do it? syndrome. In the end I stopped, as I didn't like the attitude I appeared to be nurturing in them.

    In the high school they use a credit system - both individual and class. Each class starts with 100 points and points can be added or deducted for appropriate/inappropriate behaviour. The individual points system is school wide and teachers can issue credit notes or demerit notes. These are then posted in the pigeon hole of the form teacher who keeps a record of where children are. They all start off at neutral and have the chance to go up through bronze, silver and gold or down through amber, orange and red (by the time they get to orange, parents have been called in). At the end of term, a letter is sent home informing parents of the level of behaviour their child has achieved. I think for those who get a gold award there is some kind of reward (a voucher I believe).
     
  14. paperheart

    paperheart Groupie

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    I believe older students should do what is expected of them without a reward system in place. It really isn't a reward system but an enticement system---you know, the carrot in front of the nose idea.

    I do reward my students randomly and think that is very important. I think of it more as recognition. I figure my students feel like teachers sometimes do, that we do a thousand amazing things no one notices and then get noticed for coming in 4 minutes late or for forgeting to turn in a paper on time. So, I try to give them recognition when I feel they have earned it.

    I got High Five Cards (Biz cards from Vistaprint that have a hand on them and say Mrs. ____caught you doing something excellent, superb. extraordinary....) I give them out with a little note on the back letting them student know why they got it. Sometimes I give them 5 extra points or something similar, sometimes just the card. I might give one out to a student who was getting in trouble in teh beginning of the year but was now working hard to do well or, perhaps, a student who helped another student pick up his books when they fell in the hall or sometimes for that kid who ALWAYS gives her all. I've seen some students keep them in their wallets for awhile afterwards.

    I also recognize students who have A/B honor roll with a certificate and a magnet (again from Vistaprint). The magnet is pretty cheesy. I (jokingly) tell the students its to have their parents put on the fridge to butter them up with a reminder of their child's hardwork when they are about to get in trouble. It says This Magnet was given to one of Mrs. ______ Successful Scholars of Excellence.

    I try and give students credit for the little things they do just by mentioning it in the lesson too. Simple and effective. A high five or two also gets the job done.

    At the end of the year I also had a party that was only by V.I.P. invitation only. I announced it far in advance as a bit of an incentive during standardized testing review time and to the end of the year. They were all told this was a very exclusive party and not everyone would go. They were given three "Strikes"/chances. Anytime they were late, earned a lunch detention, did not do homework, didn't have a pencil they got a strike. Anyone who did not turn in a major project 5 days past the due date and anyone who got an office referral in my class also did not get to go. 17 out of 80 students got the anticipated VIP invite. Those kids felt honored and I felt good that the kids who really deserved to go to the party got due recognition.

    As for a carrot in front of the nose technique, one you may want to try involves pinning up a picture of a bullseye or any design with about 4-5 spaces. Set the timer for around 10 minutes (or suitable time for your class) If the timer goes off and expectations for behavior have been met, fill in a space on the chart and reset the timer for another go-round. IF all the spaces fill up before class is over, give a reward such as free time or no homework that day. This is a good technique for the harder to control class on those days when they just don't want to do the right thing. Don't overuse it though. I used this 3 times per class all year, tops.


    Hope those ideas helped!! I'm interested in hearing any simple ways to give student recognition to this age group as well. I'm always looking for more ways! :)
     
  15. teacherSMK

    teacherSMK Habitué

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    AMEN!!! I have a very small class size, and I was sick more last year than ever thanks to parents/students desiring that little certificate. I was considering giving awards to the ones who stayed home and didn't share their flu's, cold's, and stmach bugs with me. Arrrgh!
     
  16. sdzbgdr

    sdzbgdr Rookie

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    Jul 15, 2007

    The following students have Perfect Attendance

     
  17. sdzbgdr

    sdzbgdr Rookie

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    The following students have Perfect Attendance

    Close to the last day of school I hold perfect attendance awards in each of my classes. After I take attendance I announce "The following students have perfect attendance:..."
    I call out all of the students that are absent that day.
     
  18. sdzbgdr

    sdzbgdr Rookie

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    Back in the 60’s they liked my idea when as a student I said the grade should be the reward.
     
  19. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    I give them candy (for winning games, good deeds, and for being my student helpers), 4 bonus points for winning a review game before a test, bonus points for extra credit, and a lot of my activites are competive in which the winner gets a prize. The day before vactions we also have a small working party, meaning we all bring in food and eat while we work or watch a movie. (Unless we have a test).
     
  20. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    Educational movies having to do with History I might add, I also give out homework passes.
     
  21. ChangeAgent

    ChangeAgent Comrade

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    I have always hated extrinsic rewards. However, I have come to believe in a "related axis of motivation." We must encourage intrinsic motivation in our students. However, some will require tangibles (we as adults do it as well, even if you consider the paycheck that many adults would not work without).

    Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, I believe (and have done research on it), is not on one continuum with "extrinsic" at one pole and "intrinsic" at the other. Instead, I picture moer of an "x" or "t" or some intersection of two continuums (continua? heh). One continuum is low to high intrinsic, and the other is low to high extrinsic motivation. We require both, to some extent--depending on the task required/engaged.

    I have seen class reward systems do wonders for a 10th grade class. Inappropriate behaviors decreased markedly, and much more material was able to be covered. As a class, each classmate may turn to a neighbor and say "hey, knock it off" (and, some other times, it was more harsh, of course).

    Lyquidphyre, I would say that having both personal and class-wide reward systems would be difficult to implement. However, I do know that class systems can be unfair to students who do what is appropriate and expected. I would choose one or the other--if only for your own sanity.

    Discussions on expectations, motivation, and rewards will be varied no matter who you ask. However, my suggestion would be that if you choose to use tangibles (and don't feel that they may be too childish--some older students are immature and childish, or just need an extra incentive), keep working on intrinsic motivation. Teach metacognitive skills. Ask students their opinions and interests. Demonstrate the importance of working for work's sake.

    Both are necessary. Using extrinsic motivation is not terrible if it's aiding the students' learning--so long as intrinsic motivation is also being addressed.
     
  22. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    I used to give out lots of rewards -- candy in particular (don't shoot me--I've stopped). This generation demands immediate gratification, and the more you give, the more they seem to want. I don't know how we are going to get them past that because their parents reinforce it.
     
  23. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Except that we are entitled to a free education in this country.

    I think paying kids to go to school would just open the door to child labor. Imagine the parents who would send their kids to work in a factory if it paid more than school did.
     
  24. lowiq

    lowiq Rookie

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    All the kids tell me they would love to work for money

    All the kids tell me they would love to work for money. One said they might worry about working with big, bad people. I guess child labor is wrong because.... wait-a-minute....why???

    I used to work on a farm and loved it. During the summer I would go around to other farms, milk the cows, etc. This was during my 7th to 12th years in school. I can not think of anything that was wrong with that. When my grandfather died I worked his farm pretty much by myself. Even my sisters helped. My dad had two other jobs and helped when he could. We never had a single accident. We all cried when we finally had to lose the farm. It was hard work, but we were all motivated to try to keep it.
     
  25. consideritkids

    consideritkids Rookie

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    My son, freshman - smart, tests high, stays out of trouble, athletic, responsible, respectful, procrastinates, unorganized, unmotivated - LOVES homework passes, brags about them because he knows he EARNED it. He's proud of the reward and shows it to me first thing. He doesn't realize he had to study to be able to earn it and that's the point his teacher was trying to get across without saying that. I agree with a post above. Give homework passes but require they are to be used that night to correspond with the studies they earned it on.
     
  26. BusEDTeach

    BusEDTeach Rookie

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    I dont think you should nix the idea totally just because others on here dont belive in reward systems. The majority of the kids dont have that whats in it for me attitude. Alot of them already wanna learn and wanna make good grades. Yeah your grade is your reward (or punishment) but why not reward those that excel or go above and beyond your expectations? I think your reward system is an excellent idea. In this age of competitiveness ..it gets your classes motivated to want to outdo the other classes and at the same time they are getting their learn on :D .
     
  27. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Why not flip something. Then if the object isn't flipped by Thursday (for that class) then it means they can chew gum in class on Friday (or whatever works for your school policy). (You could have 2 flips. A warning flip and a Closed for Business flip). If the reward is something cool but not devastatingly cool, they might be motivated to try but not kick in the bucket and do nothing else right when it is flipped for good.

    Another idea would be any day you don't flip the object, let a student staple something to make the equivelent of a chain (do something cooler..that's a little dorky). Then you could do BusEDTeach's competition idea. They might notice each other's chains. If you do catch something really good, you could add a chain on the spot. I would also be careful about this because this group does get challeging with fairness (in their eyes). If it's for a class reward and not an individual one, they might be more lenient but kids just like attention so maybe not.
     
  28. kidsandpups

    kidsandpups Companion

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    I just got home from an open forum at my school and am completely dumbfounded. We use a demerit system, which is new this year. Students get warnings then demerits for certain offenses and then 5 demerits equals a detention. We did this so that kids had to report their offenses to their parents and so that there was a standardized system. Now the parents want us to start some kind of Merit system, where the kids will take a similar note home to be signed every time they do something good. They do not feel that our current method of praise and encouragement is enough because it is not tangible. They want notes, prizes, stickers, whatever. I'm sorry, but by the time I get my kids (ages 12-14) they don't care about stickers anymore. Being taken aside and being told they are doing well and then being able to brag about it to their friends is what they are after.

    Anyone have any ideas for something tangible that will make the parents happy that doesn't completely turn the kids into people who will do their best only when they think there is something in it for them?
     
  29. Historyteaching

    Historyteaching Cohort

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    ..What person wouldn't want money to do something? its part of the what's in it for me deal. Child labor is wrong because..uh..they are children?? (And yes I realize that they can work at 16..technically they are so "children"ish by that age)

    If a student does well on a test at least 80% to 99% they get an extra 50% on their next test-100% gets them a pass completely from the next test. And I do variations of it if they get 80% twice in a row. I get the "YESSSS!" They get very excited.

    I'm not sure if that intensive of a reward system would be beneficial to you-kids could switch tokens and share them-all kinds of stuff they can come up with. If you are going to do something on that level, do a class wars scenario. Students love to compete against each other and other classes that you have. I've done that a few times and the students rave over it...which reminds me I told them I would this year and I forgot about it..oops.

    on occasion I do give out candy..yep I do it...even giving them a goodie bag at Halloween ..140 of them to 9th/10th graders..they love it.
     
  30. Myfairmidnight

    Myfairmidnight New Member

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    Jan 19, 2012

    Rewarding Students

    I believe in reward systems, if for no other reason, because they get kids on task so that you (the teacher) can begin teaching and they (the student) can begin learning. And that's what really matters isn't it? :| AND THEY DO LEARN.

    If you haven't already, watch the movie Ganster's Paradise! She knew.:cool:

    Most kids like reward systems, and I find the best are those that highlight individual success rather than group success. Everyone is responsible for his or her own behavior. Group prizes are cheaper, but individual charts work better. I have an excellent method that works for primary school students. Now I need to find a good one that works for highschool.

    :thumb:
     
  31. Nathan6329

    Nathan6329 Rookie

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    Jan 19, 2012

    sounds cool
     
  32. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    Wait...what? An extra 50%? So if someone gets an 80 on a test, and gets a 50% on the next one, that'll turn into a 100?
    I also don't think you should give passes from the next tests because, honestly, kids won't study if it's not tested, and thus they won't learn the required standards.
    I think what you are describing is severe grade inflation.
     
  33. Silmarienne

    Silmarienne Cohort

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    Feb 13, 2012

    I had a teacher that let us listen to music during seatwork time if we met his expectations during the class lecture/discussion time. We loved that. He had jazz records (this was a long time ago and we wouldn't have DREAMED of asking him to play "our" music) and I think no one objected to listening to something new and different (to us).

    A Christian school my son attended years ago gave upperclassmen "casual Fridays" for good behavior (they wore uniforms). In a school without a strict dress code, you could have crazy dress-up days, dress-like-a-staff-member parties, feel-goody service projects (like going to an animal shelter).

    I teach Kdg but am thinking of switching to HS next year, so I am reading this kind of shocked that people are using some of the same rewards I use in Kindergarten. :rolleyes:
     
  34. TeachOn

    TeachOn Habitué

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    Feb 13, 2012

    No tangible rewards here. If it works for you, though, why not?

    Years ago I did make a Dunce Cap, with the idea that if one of us said something inspiredly goofy (ideally unintentionally), he or she had to (got to) wear the hat. It became a contest, of course. I got to wear the hat myself a time or two.

    Eventually, the hat wore out - tape malfunction - and we moved on to other things.

    I suppose the minions of Correctness might frown on such a thing nowadays.
     

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