You are curious about how to reward a student in the classroom? You are not alone; even veteran teachers seek new ways to reward their students. A reward is a motivator! A reward is a stimulus that drives an appetite to alter behaviour. Rewards typically serve as reinforcers. Rewards can help get your child to do more of the things you want her to do. Rewards that happen right after a behaviour are best.

Most schools view rewards for students as a means of motivating certain behaviours in students. Specifically, rewards are intended to motivate students to perform effectively and efficiently towards achieving school/class/subject goals. Irrespective of the school level, rewards for students play an important role in building and maintaining commitment, which in turn ensures a high standard of school performance.

The rationale for the use of rewards for students is to motivate or induce certain behaviours among them which are viewed as beneficial for enhanced performance while inhibiting other behaviours which they perceive as detrimental to student academic growth and performance.

Rewards For Students: Elementary Level

  1. Assist the custodian
  2. Assist with morning announcements over the PA system
  3. Be a helper in another classroom
  4. Be featured on a photo recognition board
  5. Be recognized during announcements
  6. Be the first one in the lunch line
  7. Be the leader of a class game
  8. Be the line leader or the caboose
  9. Be the scout (Person who goes ahead of class to tell the special teacher they are on the way)
  10. Be the teacher’s helper for the day
  11. Borrow the principal’s chair for the day
  12. Buzzcut a design in an agreeable male’s head
  13. Choose a book for the teacher to read aloud to the class
  14. Choose any class job for the week
  15. Choose music for the class to hear
  16. Choose the game during physical education
  17. Choose which homework problem the teacher will give the answer to for a freebie
  18. Cut the principal’s tie off and have your picture featured on a bulletin board with the neck part of the tie as the frame.  Keep the tip for a souvenir.
  19. Dance to favourite music in the classroom
  20. Design a class/school bulletin board
  21. Design and make a bulletin board
  22. Do half of an assignment
  23. Draw on the chalkboard
  24. Draw on a small whiteboard at the desk
  25. Draw pictures on the chalkboard while the teacher reads to the class (illustrating the story being read)
  26. Duct tape the principal to the wall during lunch or an assembly
  27. Earn a free pass to a school event or game
  28. Earn a gift certificate to the school store or book fair
  29. Earn a pass to the zoo, aquarium, or museum
  30. Earn a trophy, plaque, ribbon or certificate
  31. Earn an item such as a Frisbee, hula hoop, jump rope, paddleball or sidewalk chalk, which promote physical activity
  32. Earn extra computer time
  33. Earn extra credit
  34. Earn free tutoring time from the teacher (spelling secrets, math secrets, writing secrets)
  35. Earn play money to be used for privileges
  36. Earn points for good behaviour to “buy” unique rewards (e.g. Autographed items with special meaning or lunch with the teacher)
  37. Earn the privilege of emailing a parent at work telling of accomplishments
  38. Eat lunch outdoors with the class
  39. Eat lunch with a teacher or principal
  40. Eat lunch with an invited adult (grandparent, aunt, uncle)
  41. Eat with a friend in the classroom (with the teacher)
  42. Enjoy a positive visit with the principal
  43. Enjoy class outdoors for the whole class
  44. Enter a drawing for donated prizes among students who meet certain grade standards
  45. Get “free choice” time at the end of the day
  46. Get a “no homework” pass
  47. Get a drink from the cold water fountain (There is always one fountain that is better)
  48. Get a flashcard set printed from a computer
  49. Get a video store or movie theatre coupon
  50. Get extra art time
  51. Go on a walking field trip (earn privilege for the whole class)
  52. Go to the library to select a book to read
  53. Have a drawing lesson
  54. Have a free serving of milk
  55. Have a teacher read a special book to the entire class
  56. Have an extra recess
  57. Have teacher share a special skill (e.g. Sing)
  58. Have the teacher make a positive phone call home
  59. Help in a lower level class
  60. Keep a stuffed animal at the desk
  61. Learn how to do something special on the computer- like graphics or adding sound
  62. Learn how to draw something that looks hard, but with help is easy
  63. Listen to music while working
  64. Listen with a headset to a book on audiotape
  65. Make deliveries to the office
  66. Name put on scrolling marquee with a specific message “Emily Jones says smile and eat your veggies.”
  67. Operate the remote for a PowerPoint lesson
  68. Pick a game at recess that everyone plays including the teacher
  69. Play a computer game
  70. Play a favourite game or puzzle
  71. Read a book to the class
  72. Read morning announcements
  73. Read outdoors
  74. Read to a younger class
  75. Receive a “mystery pack” (gift-wrapped items such as a notepad, folder, puzzle, sports cards, etc.)
  76. Receive a 5-minute chat break at the end of the class or at the end of the day
  77. Receive a note of recognition from the teacher or principal
  78. Receive a plant, seeds and a pot for growing
  79. Receive art supplies, colouring books, glitter, bookmarks, rulers, stencils, stamps, pens, pencils, erasers and other school supplies
  80. Receive verbal praise
  81. Select a paperback book to take home to read from the teacher’s personal library
  82. Sit at the teacher’s desk for the day or a set amount of time
  83. Sit next to the teacher during storytime
  84. Sit with a friend at lunch, assembly, etc.
  85. Take a free homework pass
  86. Take a trip to the treasure box (non-food items such as water bottles, stickers, key chains, temporary tattoos, yo-yo’s, bubbles, spider rings, charms and pencil toppers)
  87. Take care of the class animal
  88. Take class animal home for school vacation time
  89. Take home a class game for a night
  90. Teach the class a favourite game
  91. Teach the class a math lesson
  92. Use coloured chalk
  93. Use the teacher’s chair
  94. Walk with a teacher during lunch
  95. Watch a video instead of recess
  96. Work as the Principal apprentice for 20 minutes
  97. Work in the lunchroom
  98. Write with a marker for the day
  99. Write with a special pen for the day
  100. Write with a special pencil for the day


Rewards For Students: Secondary Level

  1. Adult volunteers to write a job recommendation for the student
  2. All school parties on the weekend with different venues for all interests: (students with zero ODR’s get to come)  Have parents sponsor and chaperone:
    • Dance area
    • Basketball area
    • Game board area
    • Conversation pit
    • Graffiti wall (a piece of sheetrock painted white with sharpies of various colours)
    • Karaoke area
    • Computer animation area
  3. Assisting Coach for any sport
  4. Assisting PTO to develop ways to reward teachers who go out of their way to help students
  5. Chance to go to grade school and teach students about a topic of interest
  6. Choosing to do a PowerPoint for the class on a particular subject of interest
  7. Choosing what assignment the class does for homework
  8. Designing theme for the school dance, ice cream social, game night
  9. Dress as the school mascot during a game
  10. Earning the chance to be the water/towel person at a sporting event
  11. Earning the chance to do stagecraft for any school performance (lights, stage design, props)
  12. Earning the chance to scoreboard assist at a game
  13. Eating lunch with a preferred adult
  14. Free entrance to a dance
  15. Free entrance to a football, basketball, etc. game
  16. Free library pass to research a topic of interest
  17. Getting a postcard in the mail telling parents what teachers admire most about their child
  18. Getting to apprentice at one of the business partners with the school (grocery store, bank, etc.) on the weekend.
  19. Getting to buzz cut a design in the principal’s hair (custodian’s hair)
  20. Getting to cut the principal’s tie off (use loop to frame student’s face on a bulletin board of fame)
  21. Getting to duct tape the principal to the wall
  22. Getting to scoop food at the cafeteria for a lunch period (social opportunity)
  23. Getting to shoot a video about the school’s expectations to show on CC TV
  24. Hall pass to leave class 5 minutes early and go by the coldest water fountain
  25. Help from an adult of choice on a class they are struggling with (Free tutoring)
  26. Homework free night
  27. Learning how to do something of interest on the computer (animation, graphics, CAD)
  28. Learning how to play chess
  29. Learning how to play sports even if they didn’t make the team
  30. Learning how to run the light board or sound booth for a school performance
  31. Let students make a bulletin board in the front hall highlighting an event of choice
  32. Make the morning announcements
  33. Office aid for a period
  34. Opportunity to be part of a brainstorming adult team at the school
  35. Opportunity to eat lunch outdoors at a special table
  36. Opportunity to eat lunch with a parent or grandparent at a special table
  37. Opportunity to introduce the players over the PA during a home game
  38. Opportunity to shadow business owner for a day- credit for writing about the experience
  39. Opportunity to shadow the principal for an hour or the day
  40. Opportunity to take care of lab animals in Science class
  41. Opportunity to wear jeans instead of school uniform for a day
  42. Principal grills hotdogs for students who have 0 tardies in the month & this student helps
  43. The privilege of leaving a book in class overnight instead of having to lug it to the locker
  44. The privilege of seeing embarrassing photos of adults that no one else sees (Senior Portrait)
  45. Reserved seating at a school play for students and five friends
  46. Send home a postcard about positive things the student has done this week
  47. Serve as a student ambassador if visitors come to the school
  48. Serving as a “page” for a local politician for the day
  49. Serving as a door greeter for a parent night at school with a badge of honour to wear
  50. Singing karaoke during lunch (approved songs)
  51. Sit at the score table in a basketball game
  52. Sit in score box at a football game
  53. Sitting in the teacher’s chair for the period
  54. Special parking preference for a day
  55. Special recognition at any school event- Guest DJ one song at dance etc.
  56. Special seating at the lunch table with friends
  57. Student gets to pick which problem the teacher will make a freebie answer on homework
  58. Student plans spirit week activity for one of the days (hat day, sunglasses etc.)
  59. Teacher aid for special needs classroom
  60. Teaching special needs students how to play a game

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