Rewards for middle school kids

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Jerseygirlteach, Nov 7, 2010.

  1. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    Nov 7, 2010

    I like to play games with my students. For example, tomorrow I'm going to put them in teams. One team member will take a slip of paper out of a hat and try to give his teammates hints as to which Revolutionary War battle is on the paper by naming elements of the battle. If they get it right, they get a point. The team with the most points wins. Okay, so what should they win? I often give the winning team extra credit for an upcoming quiz (while giving the losing team an opportunity to do extra work to earn extra credit as well!)

    But is that a good approach? I was thinking, instead, of giving no homework passes but I know some people have very strong opinions against homework passes.

    So, what's the best way to reward the winners? Please note, if there's no reward, they simply will not engage themselves in the game. My biggest issue with my students is apathy. They are very easily bored which is why I feel a strong need to design games like this. But I have found that without an extrinsic reward, they will not try at all to succeed.

    What would you offer as a reward?
     
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  3. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Nov 7, 2010

    Jelly beans or gummy bears!:lol:
     
  4. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    I have little business cards printed at Vista Print that are worth 5 points extra credit on the assignment of the student's choice. My 7th graders LOVE to get these, and really, 5 points here and there isn't enough to make a huge impact on their grades but gets them excited about playing.
     
  5. Elocin

    Elocin Comrade

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    Nov 7, 2010

    Personally, I like giving homework passes as prizes and I am not completely against food either (just not all the time and just not always candy).

    I don't think I would give half the class extra credit though even if everyone has a chance to earn it eventually. What about a pass for a prize that motivates them personally? We have a behavior system and once the students have so many "green" days in a row they can choose between lunch with teacher, homework pass, bringign their personal game system to school to play during indoor recess, a pass to draw or play a computer game for the first 10 minutes of independent reading etc......you could set up a few for them to choose from and then it will really be something they want.
     
  6. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Nov 7, 2010

    When I was in middle school our teachers used to give out stuff like -

    1) Pencils
    2) Coupons worth points that we could use at the school store
    3) Coupons that we could use for the classroom store
    4) NO HOMEWORK PASSES!!! (that was my absolute favorite)
    5) Candy
    6) Cool erasers
     
  7. Dynamite Boys

    Dynamite Boys Companion

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    I like the above ideas and use them frequently with my students. Other things I give out are coupons for passes back to their locker or to get a drink. (Our students can have water bottles in class, so unless they have a cough or hiccups, they can't leave the room for a drink.) I also let them save up their coupons and they can earn lunch in the classroom with a friend (a popular item they save up for in the winter months) or they can redeem coupons to sit at my desk in my comfy chair for the period. Middle school kids - even the best ones are at an age where they LOVE to be rewarded! I'm not against it at all!
     
  8. nklauste

    nklauste Comrade

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    Nov 7, 2010

    Whenever I sub in middle school I have found the students LOVE jolly ranchers (just the little ones). I could even get them to pick up all the scraps from the floor for a jolly rancher.
     
  9. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    Thanks for the ideas. Unfortunately, school policy prohits me from giving any kind of candy. I'm not sure about other snacks but candy is a definite no go.
     
  10. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Nov 7, 2010

    You'd be surprised how much middle school kids love stickers...especially the scratch and sniff ones...
     
  11. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    :lol: Lauren (in grade 11) was sitting at the table doing homework the other day, scratching and sniffing the sticker on her Geography test! She agrees that you are never too old for stickers! :lol:
     
  12. Sshintaku

    Sshintaku Comrade

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    Nov 8, 2010

    As a sort of change to the "no homework pass," I've given "half homework passes," where the winners only have to do half the assignment. Just make sure you keep track of who actually won :)
     
  13. PowerTeacher

    PowerTeacher Comrade

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    Nov 8, 2010

    A coupon for an instant game- at some time in the future they can cash it in for the class to stop what you are doing and play an instant game.

    Another biggie for my kids is a free seating for the next day, and only the next day.

    They also love sit with a friend passes for lunch.
     

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