Yep, it’s the end of the year, and I’m exhausted! I just recently told you how I changed my classroom discipline at the end of the year and it’s working great for most classes. One class in particular needs a bit more help to make it to the end of the year… So, unfortunately, I’m reverting to rewards.
Use rewards to motivate students
In the past I’ve dug down deep (you had to do this before Pinterest became huge) to come up with an idea that would help me keep my sanity after ONLY three months of school! So, I printed fake money. I decided that in the beginning of this attempt I would hand out money like nobody’s business. The kids would be so thrilled to receive so much money, which they could use to buy actual things – see below.
I could not believe how well this worked for my kids in Texas! I introduced this fake money rewards practice to only one class but soon the others found out and NEEDED to participate, too. (By the way, this totally goes against Alfie Kohn’s book Punished by Rewards: The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A’s, Praise, and Other Bribes, but I just can’t help it!)
I couldn’t believe how fast this program was changing my classroom dynamic and the students’ motivation to work. Shortly before the end of the year a colleague told me that the students were trading, what they had coined “Brittany Bucks” for REAL MONEY in her class! WHAT?! Yup, true story.
Using rewards to motivate students, Version 2.0
Thus, here I am, doing it again, but this time I’m using it in Africa. Right now I’m piloting the program with one tough student! And, just like before, students are talking and EVERYONE WANTS TO DO IT!
The only thing to do now is: let everyone join in and hope I don’t go broke getting my students motivated!
Your Challenge: Find out the biggest motivators for your students and exploit it! Okay, that sounded wrong, but for real, find out what motivates your students and use it to your advantage.
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