Giving students incentives and rewards can be an effective way to both motivate them at school and also let them know that we notice their efforts and achievement. Sometimes though, it can be a challenge to figure out how to give them a boost of encouragement without spending extra time and money.
Well, when it comes to student rewards I believe that simple is best, and I have 5 ideas to share with you for student rewards that don’t cost money (other than the cost of printing, that is). I hope that these ideas save you some time and effort when it comes to organising student rewards for your class.
Give Them the Night Off
Children have a lot happening each day, and sometimes giving them permission to have the night off, by having a ‘no homework’ night, is just the treat they need. This doesn’t require any extra organisation on your part, and they feel privileged to be given extra ‘free time’ for the evening. It’s a win-win.
These ready-to-go sweet treat homework passes make using this reward strategy super easy!
Send a Positive Note Home
A simple class reward ticket can make all the difference when it comes to acknowledging positive student behaviour and effort. Sending a note or ticket home is also a great way to communicate with parents about something positive you’ve noticed their child doing at school (instead of waiting until something negative happens to contact them).
I have an ‘under the sea’ themed set of these tickets in my store if you’re looking for something that’s ready-to-use.
Treat Them Like Royalty
Have you tried using your ‘student of the week’ system as a way to reward students? Instead of just randomly selecting students to have a turn of being the student of the week, why not encourage those students who have reached a new goal or have been a positive role model in the classroom by giving them the ‘royal treatment’? Speaking of royal treatment, I have a royal student of the week pack that will shake up the old ‘star student’ system you’ve been using.
Give Them a Simple Gift That Also Encourages Them to Read
Want to spread some love while encouraging reading at the same time? Then these heart bookmarks might be more your style. Bookmarks are such a simple gift to organise, yet they are often seen as something special to students, especially if they are just starting to read chapter books.
Give Them A Special Role in the Classroom
Here’s an idea that makes students feel very appreciated and also provides you with practical help in the classroom. Give students a special privilege for the day when they’ve shown responsibility or independence with their learning and behaviour.
Some privilege options that I’ve found to be effective with my students are:
- Letting someone be the ‘class photographer’ for the day, using the school camera to take photos of learning in action that then get uploaded to the class blog
- Having students run a PE or fitness activity
- Having a student be your special assistant for the day, helping you plan some creative ideas for what you can teach during their favourite subject
All of these ideas help take something off your plate while also giving students more input into their learning space.
So, that’s 5 low cost student reward ideas for you. Whichever strategy you go with, I hope you feel motivated to find new ways to encourage the students you work with.
Feel free to leave a comment letting me know which student reward idea you’re planning on trying with your students!
You can use the links in this post to buy your own copies of any resources I’ve referenced.
Do you want to read more about using intentional questioning in the classroom while you’re here? You can find my post on questions that encourage deeper thinking here.
Have a question or a request? You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.