Thursday, February 12, 2015

Student Reward Systems--Yay or Nay?

Bonus points, candy, prizes, stickers, badges, gold stars...what do you use to motivate and reward your students? For me, until recently, I didn't do much of anything. I put stickers on perfect quizzes and occasionally threw out a small candy to a student who won an activity or game, but I had no formal system in place. There was no consistency.

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!


  1. I'm still working on figuring out what is best! Right now I do "Awesome Points". Students earn class points for good behavior (bonus points possible with subs), 5 minute drills, great participation, etc. They earn HW passes, pizza party, skip a quiz. Their big goal is no more HW for the year. I will change it up next year again but probably keep something. I think letting them work towards a goal is good, but also worry about if they are being rewarded too much. I like your point about being 'rewarded' with pay, etc.

  2. 52 Minutes, thanks for your comment!

  3. Thank you for this marvelous blog . Usually I share such great ideas with the help of secure data room . Maybe it is interesting for you as well.

  4. Maintenance activities that have been executed in a large number of the schools I've worked with included changing criticism necessities essay assistance evaluating prerequisites, and the educational modules itself to make it simpler for understudies to pass their classes.

  5. The impediment: You may need to finish the whole affirmation process before getting the outcomes and might be http://masterharkess.com/can-a-pen-as-well-as-paper-help-you-slim-down/ rejected if your undergrad transcripts demonstrate your degree isn't U.S. identical.

  6. When I entered the field of advanced education more than ten years back, the expression "non-conventional student" was getting to be plainly well knownessay writing service

  7. Presently, with this little data, you are most likely now prepared to know the sort of understudy education advance arrangement that best suits you.TECHNOLOGY UNIVERSITY All that is left is to complete an appropriate research and concoct one to make due with.

  8. I will talk about how accidentally clicking on the link good play slot machines online I got rich winning a good amount