Thursday, February 12, 2015
Student Reward Systems--Yay or Nay?
I attended a workshop a few weeks ago and a fellow World Language teacher presented on student reward systems, which she had researched in graduate school. I went in a little skeptical. I think, at times, we reward our students too much. Shouldn't they be intrinsically motivated? Shouldn't they WANT to do well? (Aren't grades enough?) The presenter showed research and examples of how reward systems don't have to be bad, and reminded us that we are all rewarded for things in life, such as pay for jobs, or bonuses for working extra, and so on.
So, agree or disagree, I decided to try a consistent reward system. Then, because I am a little particular, I decided to try two systems, one in Spanish class and one in Digital Literacy class.
My system in Spanish class is low-tech. I have little "peso" coupons that I pass out for different achievements: perfect quiz, outstanding homework, game winner, group leader, etc. I have a big list of qualifications. Then with their pesos they can buy things: candy, prizes, a homework pass, even an excused low quiz if they really save up. This system is very reminiscent of my 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Olson.
My Digital Literacy class system is of course, more techy. I have been researching Badges lately, and wanted to experiment with them. A few articles that helped me get started are The Teacher's Guide to Badges in Education, and Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Badging in the Classroom. I have also participated in a couple of #BadgeChatK12 Twitter chats.
I started an account at ClassBadges.com and worked from there. How I used this account will be in another blog post. Stay tuned!
Do you use reward systems in your classroom? I'd love to hear what you think!