A rewarding experience

Rewarding positive learning in my classroom is one of my core values and I hope that my students feel that their efforts are rewarded fully. I have, over my limited teaching years, developed different ways of giving out rewards.

My favourite of all the techniques is the tick system – every positive contribution is rewarded with a tick and three ticks earns some form of reward (credit/merit etc.). This system allows a student to make small contributions to earn a larger reward and it’s also a useful way for me to learn names! The challenge I have found with it is it limits my movement within the room – I need to be near to the whiteboard to write on it and it also limits the flow of my lessons if I have to keep stopping to write on the board.

I am, therefore, on the hunt for a system which enables me to quickly and efficiently reward students for their contributions in lessons. I have started considering a number of options; for example I have thought about using raffle tickets or another token-style reward which students could trade in for a reward at the end of the lesson. My concern with this method is that tokens may be lost during the lesson (there is a lot of movement in my lessons, especially between rooms) and I like rewards to be visible (I find that this encourages the attention-seeker-type to feel rewarded for positive behaviour and not being silly).

The option that I like the most at the moment is using a student to scribe the ticks for me – this option has many merits and would allow flow in my lessons without much interruption. I have not, yet, been able to test it – the white board in my class is quite high and many of my year 7s do not posses the stature to allow full use of the tick section!

How do you reward your students in lessons and do you feel as though you give out enough rewards? I would be interested to know your thoughts!

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