Five Ideas for Whole Class Reward Systems
Classroom management is one of my favourite aspects of being a teacher. I love taking the time to build relationships with a new class each year and finding out their specific interests. Therefore, just because one strategy worked well with one class doesn’t mean it will work well with another so it’s important to have a variety. Here are five of my favourites:
1. Link Chain:
This is one of my favourite strategies. Decide as a whole class what the end reward will be. Cut numerous strips of coloured paper. Fold one strip over to make a link and staple. Pin this to the roof or from a high point of your classroom. Each time the class tidy up quickly, line up quietly, work together as a class, etc - add a link. To make it more exciting, change the colour of the links after a certain number and tell the class they have moved onto the next level. This will keep the motivation going as it’s a more long term reward system. When the links hit the ground, reward the class. This is super simple but extremely effective if enforced correctly.
2. Magnetic Letters:
This is an tremendously visual whole class reward system and also more of a weekly/fortnightly strategy. Decide as a whole class what the end reward will be. Magnetic letters are available to purchase on Amazon or can be found in Mr Price. Source the letters ‘G O L D E N T I M E’. Each time the class tidy up quickly, line up quietly, work together as a class, etc - add a letter. Once all letters have been earned, reward the class. You know your class best so you could easily adjust this reward system to your own preference. Instead of using the letters ‘G O L D E N T I M E’, use the letters ‘O U T S I D E’ if that's what they'd prefer as a reward. It’s up to you what you choose.
3. VIP Table:
This is a group reward system which has proved to be very popular in my classroom over the past two years. Split the class into their table groups and assign a specific name to each table. To encourage teamwork, each time a group tidies their books away quickly or works quietly, they are awarded a point. The points are added up on a Friday after lunch and the group with the most points win. The winning group are named the VIP table for the remainder of the day and the following Monday. They receive a caddy full of special markers, colouring pencils, rubbers, stamps, crayons, gel pens, etc and special VIP lanyards with cartoon characters that resemble them. The winning table are also allowed to do Show & Tell of their pet/favourite toy or book the following Friday. This reward system has been a huge hit in my classroom and I would highly recommend it.
4. Secret Star:
It can be hard to achieve a quiet line when walking out to yard or to the hall. This reward system comes in very handy for this purpose. Basically, the quietest person in the line is awarded ‘Secret Star’ at the end of the day. Lining up includes anytime your class needs to line up throughout the day. The Secret Star is announced when lining up to go home and receives a special sticker. He/she also wears a crown in class the following day with the title King or Queen for the entire day. I also assign two quiet monitors(classroom job) each week to help keep the line in order and to help pick my Secret Star. Of course we have a chat on the importance of fairness and they know not to pick their best friend. Here's the link to the resource if you're interested: https://www.teacherelaine.com/product-page/secret-star.
5. Jar of Kindness:
Kindness is very important in my classroom. At the start of each school year, I read the book ‘Have You Filled A Bucket Today?’ with my new class. We have a whole class discussion on the meaning of kindness and create a list of kindness acts. I then introduce the ‘Jar of Kindness’. If the kindness monitor(classroom job) catches a classmate being kind to another, they share it with the class and place a cube inside the jar. Once the jar is full, the class receive a reward. Please note that this is not my whole class reward as the time it takes to fill the jar is unknown. The Jar of Kindness is used as more of an incentive to be kind than a reward for the class.
Remember, these strategies can be implemented at any stage of the year. It’s always nice to change things up now and again to keep the children motivated. If you found this blogpost helpful, please leave a comment below. If it helps at least one person, I’ll be delighted 🥰