It’s important during the learning process to recognize student achievement. Every student deserves to feel special when they make a leap in their progress.
Just like in anything, there are various ways and various degrees in which to accomplish this. What is worth an actual reward and what can just be recognized with praise? Here are some guidelines.
Should they be doing it anyway?
There are some things that are just accepted tasks that need to occur in the typical classroom. These depend on the classroom and the kids, but students simply doing what they should be doing does not warrant a reward. Perhaps praise if a student particularly struggles in a certain behavior.
For example, talking out of turn. Maybe Johnny is very talkative, but today made a concerted effort to control himself. Acknowledge that, but if you let him pick a prize out of the treasure chest (or whatever your strategy is), the students who have always been quiet will wonder why they haven’t been treated the same.
How many students have done what this student has?
You will quickly blow through your budget if you give out rewards for every student who raises their hand to use the pencil sharpener. There has to be a threshold to the number of students who have accomplished a particular task.
The goal in figuring out this number is to make sure that no one feels slighted. The number can’t be too high, otherwise some kids just won’t have an opportunity. It can’t be too low or it won’t feel special. I would shoot for something where each student receives a reward once during a grading period.
What is the reward?
There can also be varying degrees of reward. Some things are readily available. Privileges like leading the class to lunch or sitting with their friends would fall into this category. Other tangible rewards are a little more exclusive.
For many more materials that can be used to reward student success, check out Classroom Direct’s online store.