Now instead of constantly going "Miss Trunchbull" on your class, picture this. You're up there in your element teaching a class of happy kids. Students feel confident being themselves with you. They're keen to be their best in your class because you're one of those teachers who acknowledges their good qualities. You make it fun for them without really trying. You make an effort to "speak their language" and incorporate modern technology that they are so comfortable with, and they rate you for that. You also find it especially heart-warming that you are able to reward your lovelies without spending a penny as they are so genuinely pleased with little privileges you are offering them. They leave your room beaming from ear to ear having felt valued and without them even knowing it, you have planted an important seed in influencing them to be better people.
This is what I aim to create in my classroom every single day and with that in mind, I reversed engineered a digital rewards system that works a dream in making this environment a reality! Read on to learn how to implement something like this in your own classroom...
An automatically scrolling Google Drive document that whizzes through 26 different rewards at speed. You can have this document up on the board for the whole class to watch (this makes the person being rewarded feel that extra bit special and makes the rest of your class strive to win a reward themselves!) or it can be on a stand alone computer or device so as not to disrupt the flow of the lesson - it's your call!
All the student needs to do is hit the space bar and the document will freeze on a reward and hey presto, they win a prize at random! The lottery aspect is really exciting for students as they never know what they're going to get, and it makes offering numerous rewards in one lesson a lot more exciting!
This works in exactly the same way as option 1, but this time the slides don't reveal the prize - they have a unique QR code on them so your students will need to scan to see what they have won adding further suspense and excitement! Also, these QR codes are linked to an attractive coupon, not just plain text on the app which adds that extra sparkle!
This is for those of you who may not have computers or internet (unthinkable that happens in this day and age, but I know it does). These are printable QR codes that come in both colour and black line! They work in the same way, but this time you have a pack of cards that you can shuffle and your winning student selects one at random, then they scan the code using their device to reveal a reward!
1) Set clear goals.
What are the parameters for success and what are students working towards in order to be successful? Are you looking for acts of kindness towards others in your room or demonstrations of resilience and grit? Let them know what kind of things you value in your classroom.
2) Be specific.
Let them know how you dish out rewards. Will you reward them every time they display desired behaviour or is it for repeated acts? Is there a limit to how many one student can earn in a lesson? Do they have a time limit to cash in their reward? Will your expectations grow over time? Do they get 3 chances to select their reward? It's your system, you can make up the rules, or even better, you can get your students involved in the process!
3) Explain the reward.
Make it clear what that student did to earn a reward so that they can repeat the desired behaviour and demonstrate to others your expectations.
4) Reward fast.
In order for the reward to be effective, the student should be "caught in the act". If you offer them a coupon style of reward they can cash it in when appropriate, but do acknowledge their good behaviour quickly.
5) Be consistent.
However you decide to run your system, be consistent and always follow through with your promises.
So get your students excited about being in your classroom, help influence them to be quality people, and of course, get them engaged so they are able to learn best! What are some of your favourite rewards for teens?