Why reward students for what they are supposed to do already? WHY NOT?! Now that we have all of the pedagogical rationale that we need, let’s get on with it.

When is a good time for teachers to give rewards?

  • After a good deed
  • After an amazing contribution to a classroom discussion or question
  • To celebrate a birthday or accomplishment
  • After a team or individual win (like after the Word Chunk Game)
  • For completing a classroom job
  • For no good reason

Do you want a revolutionary list of student rewards? I don’t have one, but there might be something you haven’t thought of below.

  • In the video above, a student won some space on our classroom wall to post a selfie. I usually just print the selfie using the school printer, but this particular student went to the next level, and it’s been hanging next to the clock all semester. Please excuse my bronchitis voice!  
  • Do you do OWIs, TPRS, La Personal Especial, and other kinds of skits? Give an actor card to a student who always wants to be in front of the class.
  • Do you implement classroom jobs? Give a position to a student who loves to play a role. Here is a huge list from Bryce Hedstrom, but my favorites are: Story Writer, Story Artist, Profe Dos, Door Monitor, Actors, Paper Returners, and Rejoinders Counters (Grant Boulanger).
  • Student receives a cultural snack. For example, Chupa Chups, Vero Mango, Tamarindo, or Marzipan.
  • Student leads a vocabulary review, a brain break, or some other activity  
  • Student wears Sr. Wooly’s Billy la Bufanda or Gorro
  • Student selects their favorite brain break
  • Student has lunch with the teacher
  • Teacher gives a free homework pass (if you give homework)
  • Student shows 10 minutes of a favorite YouTube video to the class
  • Student selects the class music
  • Student receives a positive email, note, or call home
  • Student sits in a special chair
  • Teacher attends student’s game or concert
  • Teacher vs. student arm wrestle
  • Teacher pie in the face
  • Student displays personal artwork in the classroom
  • Selfie with the teacher
  • $1
  • Student sits at the teacher’s desk
  • Student performs a talent for the class
  • Student selects his or her seat for a week
  • Student brings a show-&-tell item
  • Student selects the teacher’s outfit  
  • Teacher has a shirt made or wears a sign stating that the student is a favorite
  • My colleague, Jackie Johnson, asked a local restaurant for a donation. They created the amazing ice cream coupons pictured below. Sometimes you just have to ask!

These henna-tattooed student names lasted a month! Showers are for losers.

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