Here’s something one of my mentor teachers did back when I was a student teacher. I don’t have any experience using it in my own classroom, but it seemed like a good idea…
Many classrooms are grouped into desks, with a points reward system where each group can earn points during class by actively participating (singing, chanting), winning games, and otherwise being helpful towards the learning/co-operative spirit of the classroom. Here’s an idea for rewarding the “winning group.” This strategy can also be used at random times, where a student exhibiting good effort / good attitude / leadership can be given a paper (i.e. “a lottery ticket”).
At the end of class, give each member of the winning team a small piece of paper or stick-it note. They write their name on the paper, and give it back to the teacher, who puts it in a box. At some point, the teacher holds a “lottery,” where a few names are pulled out of the box. Each student whose name gets pulled out can claim a small prize or treat. After the lottery, the remaining papers don’t get thrown out, but rather remain for future lotteries.
I like this idea, because it seems to be a good rewards system that doesn’t break the bank. Also, while students in groups who “win” more often have a better chance at winning the “lottery,” even a student in a group that only “wins” occasionally can still win the lottery.
Setting the period of frequency for the lottery is a little tricky. It can be once a week for classes that meet frequently, once a month, or used in connection with something like “Marbles in a Jar” (search for the recipe here)– when the jar gets full, there’s a lottery!Classroom Rewards Lottery,