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April 13, 2013

Motivating Students

Good Morning!

What a beautiful Saturday it is.  I'm linking up today with Head over Heels For Teaching and her Spark Student Motivation Saturday Linky.  :)

I do a lot in my classroom regarding motivation.  I figure today I will share my lists of rewards, and then in the future weeks I can talk more about it all.  Most of these things I have mentioned in the past as well.    

At the beginning of the year the students and I talk about all the rewards in our classroom.  I break them down into Whole Class, Team, and Individual Rewards.  

Whole Class = entire class is working toward a goal.
Team = Group points
Individual = each student 

Warm Fuzzies are given when students are doing a great job walking in line, we get a compliment from other teachers, etc.  Sometimes it's in class, sometimes it's not...  Mystery Hero is when I choose a random child and keep who I picked a secret.  The point is that since the kids don't know who I chose, they are all doing their best thinking it's them - to win a treat at the end of the day for the entire class.  All day long I make remarks about the "Our Mystery Hero is doing a great job" or "Our Mystery Hero needs to step it up a notch."  It works, though there are times that the mystery hero didn't do a great job and the class doesn't earn a treat.  Incentive Banners are phrases that as a class we are trying to spell.  I go back and forth between the 3 of these programs to keep the kids on their toes - especially this year.  
 Even though we don't always sit in tables, we do have team points.  No matter the seating arrangement, there are certain areas of the room that need to work together to stay on task, keep their area clean, etc.  I give marbles in cups, and the plink makes the kids take notice.  I have loved this system better than my past tally marks since the teams don't give up.  It's not really noticeable to them who is in the lead until it's counting day.  The team with the highest number of points at the end of the month gets a prize.  (We switch seats at the end of every month, so it corresponds with that.)

 Individual rewards are for each student.  For 13 years I have given out tickets and had a ticket store.  Kids would gain tickets for great behavior and those tickets they could cash in for small prizes or bathroom passes.  That all changed about a month ago when I found out that this class was holding ticket wars.  I know, I know... ugh!  They missed the point of the tickets, so I took them all back and we didn't do anything for about 3 weeks regarding tickets... This past week I started giving them back out for hard workers.  Instead of hoarding them they are writing their names on them and are placing them in a raffle, to which I draw 3 names at the end of the day.  

Desk Fairy only visits nice, clean desks.  I have little paper awards that the room monitors award to the kids, but these bigger awards are ones that I give out.  They get to keep them on their desks for the day. Homeworkopoly helps motivate them to make sure everything is turned in on time every week.  Beads are for staying on green throughout the week.  They add a bead to their lanyard if they stayed on green for the entire week. :)  

I hope you have a great day!


  1. The desk fairy visits my classroom too! (Unfortunately, she doesn't stay very long because many desks hurt her eyes. :) Great ideas! Thank you for sharing!

    Mrs. Laffin's Laughings

  2. I love the "marbles in a cup" idea and the sound it must make when one goes in:) I also like that the students can't see what everyone has so they don't give up!
    Fourth Grade Flipper

  3. Hi Emily - Your new blog design looks AWESOME! I love love love it! :)

    Thanks for sharing the great motivators - I do different types of rewards too and like how you have clearly organized them.

    My kiddos LOVE when the Desk Fairy visits - it's definitely a motivator and most-needed accountability for messy students :)

    Joy in the Journey

  4. I love that you have something for everyone! I do the same thing because it's not fair for everyone in a group to get punished when it's one person-I like to recognize all students. Isn't the desk fair great??!! Thanks so much for your detailed post and linking up-hope to see you again next week!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching


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