We understand the challenges that modern educators face, trying to keep your students motivated and engaged. Sometimes it feels challenging since you frequently have to compete with their personal tablets, video games and vivid imaginations for their attention.
Your idea of rewards and your students’ ideas about rewards will likely differ greatly, but you know what is important and what they need, which definitely trumps their flights of fancy. Most of these ideas are simple to implement and require little, if any additional cost.
You might consider trying some of the items on the list we compiled that features 5 effective ways to reward students to see what you think will work to rev up your students to do great work in your classroom:
1. Praise Judiciously, But Praise
Some students love open and boisterous praise while others recoil from it. Extroverts will crave and cherish open and warm praise in front of the class while your introverted students, as well as your shy pupils, often appreciate a subtler and a gentler form of praise, such as a brief mention or simply a “smiley” face along with their “A+” grade. As you get to know your students, you will learn how each student responds to displays of praise, but each one will appreciate that you notice their hard work, according to TeachHub.com.
2. Use Music as Accompaniment to Lessons and as a Way to Inspire Self-Expression
If you remember “Schoolhouse Rock,” you understand music’s value in education. Use songs that you feel will enhance a lesson, whether grammar, science or math. Consider featuring a lesson that helps your students find ways to express themselves by listening to songs that feature personal narratives. You might need to occasionally download a song from an online marketplace to use in your lesson.
3. Create Class Jobs For Each Student and Offer Weekly Rewards
With this reward, you teach your students about work and responsibility in a safe setting. Younger students often love such a reward since they long to experiment with the idea of what life is like as an adult. Since not all students view work as idealistically, offer special rewards for a job well done at the end of the week, such as wearing their favorite hat during class for the day.
4. Offer Your Students the Chance to Try Out Your Job
Each week, create a lottery drawing for eligible students who have made great achievements, and offer them 30 minutes as class teacher for the following week, coming up with their own lesson. Create clear boundaries to make sure they stay on point, but with this reward, you allow them to offer something special to their fellow students while gaining a new appreciation for your work.
5. Ask Students to Wear a Costume to Class
When you have an upcoming lesson that lends itself to costume opportunities, don’t let it pass by. Whether your lesson involves art, literature, science, math or theater, everyone will benefit from this lighthearted reward.
At School Specialty, we continually try to think of new ways to help teachers reach students, and we hope these ideas will help you get started on finding exciting rewards to keep your students motivated.