A blog post by Isabelle Baril

About the author: 
My name is Isabelle Baril and I am the founder of Mind Growth Education. I have taught for over ten years at the French Immersion primary level. I graduated from the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, BC, with a Teaching Degree in Social Studies and Special Education, and also have an undergraduate degree in Geography and French from Laurentian University, in Sudbury, Ontario. I’ve always had a strong passion for helping others, that is why I became a teacher and an entrepreneur in the education world.

Student rewards… other than junk food!

Good day!

Are you TEAM “CANDY”  or TEAM “TOY” when it comes to rewarding your students/children? I am 100% on TEAM “TOY”. Once, I had a teaching partner who was on TEAM “CANDY”. How did we make it work? The kids got the toys, and we ate the candy! Great compromise!

I recently had a lengthy conversation with a teacher about this topic: “Student rewards… other than junk food!”. She was inquiring on ways to reward her students when they finish their first round of our reading log program “Read across Canada” without the reward being a candy of some sorts; therefore, I’ve decided to compile a long list of student rewards that aren’t candy! This list also works as reward options at anytime throughout the year.

1. Group or Class rewards:
a) Customized scratch tickets or coupons with the following reward suggestions:
• Be the line leader
• Pick a game at recess
• Sit with a friend
• Sit with the teacher at lunch
• Sit next to the teacher during story time
• Teach the class a favorite game
• Take a homework pass
• Have lunch with the teacher
• Sit at the teacher’s desk for the day or a set amount of time
• Have the teacher make a positive phone call home
• Eat with a friend in the classroom (with the teacher)
• Choose the game during gym
• Be the teacher’s helper for the day
• Choose a book for read aloud
• Read a book to the class
• Draw on the chalkboard
• Choose any class job for the week
• Choose music for the class to hear
• Use coloured chalk
• Make a bulletin board with your class and/or teacher
• Help in a classroom of younger children
• Bring coloured chalk outside at recess
• Take extra computer time
• Assist the custodian
• Use the teacher’s chair
• Keep a stuffed animal at desk
• Be the leader of a class game
• Do half of an assignment

Reward suggestions retrieved from the website Education World: https://www.educationworld.com/a_curr/curr301.shtml

b) WOW! Board

I recreated this board to use in my classroom, after seeing it on an education blog post online. Print the first page on plain white paper, laminate and display somewhere students can reach and see in the room! Print the second page on plain white paper and laminate also. Then cut up all the squares and put in a small box or bag.

When students are doing the right thing, great work or just being awesome; reward them by choosing a square to write their name/initials in. Once the whole board is filled up draw the cut up pieces out of the bag/box just like you would with names out of a hat. You can choose how many you want to pull out. Winners will receive a prize/reward. Students will soon realise the more times their name is on the board, the better their chances are at getting a prize/reward. I usually put all of my prizes/rewards in a treasure chest.

2. Individual rewards:

Soft Flexible Bendy Pencils (set of 25)
Animal Erasers (set of 36)
Assorted Stamps (set of 100)
Assorted Glow Sticks Bracelets (set of 100)
Slap Bracelets (set of 25)
Emoji Key Chain/Bag Tag (set of 36)
3D Stickers (set of 500+)

I’ve also included a list of ideas for school fundraisers and how to do non-junk food birthday celebrations in your classroom.

3. School fundraisers:
• Bottle and Can Drive
• Partner with a website that specializes in fundraising through gift cards, such as Fundscrip or FlipGive.
• Pyjama Day
• Jeans Day
• Money Rolls (Give an empty coin roll to each student and ask everyone to fill them up then return them. The change can then be donated.)
• Set up a gift-wrapping table in your office or in a mall and ask for a donation per package wrapped. Team members can donate extra wrapping paper they have at home to save on expenses.
• Basketball Free-Throw Challenge
• Pumpkin Carving Contest
• School Carnival
• Dance-a-thon
• Bake sale
• Silent Auction
• Art Show made by students
• Love-O-Grams

4. Birthday celebrations:
Birthday cake erasers
• Birthday card with a birthday themed pencil or toy signed by the whole class
Birthday socks
• A picture of the teacher and the student in a special frame
• Special book read-aloud chosen by the birthday student

I hope these help! Enjoy!
Founder of Mind Growth Education

N.B. I am an affiliate associate with Amazon. If you click on the book title, it will send you to Amazon’s website where you can purchase the book, which means I’ll make a small commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase through one of my links. Thank you for your support! Happy shopping!