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What do you give rewards for?

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by stavanger14, Dec 2, 2016.

  1. stavanger14

    stavanger14 New commenter

    Hi everyone,

    I've been told that i need to give out more rewards in class (behaviour&learning points) but don't really know when it's suitable so am interested to see what other people do.

    Some teachers give them out whenever a pupil does their work - but i feel that they should be doing this anyway so a reward isn't justified.

    Other times, pupils who give a correct answer when asked get a point - what about the others who also knew the correct answer but just weren't asked?

    Maybe i'm too mean! But i don't want to give them out ***** nilly!
    pepper5 likes this.
  2. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Hi stavanger14

    What an interesting question. Students are not impressed when teachers give out unmerited rewards for just doing what they are supposed to do.

    No one is ever going to get it 100 % correct every time, but as a supply teacher these are some of the reasons why I might give out a sticker on a piece of work or a note in a planner, or send a post card home:

    1. Exceptional work. Work that has been completed in the lesson to a high standard regarding content and presentation.

    2. Kindness towards others - a student may help me with a task like getting something I need or helping with a technical issue with the computer.

    3. Teamwork - a student may help another student with some aspect of the questions they are working on.

    4. If I have a particularly boisterous class, any students who are following the instructions and working hard. If they have decided not to participate in the disruption, but decided to stay on task.

    5. Self esteem issues: Any student who may be on report and who is working exceptionally well needs an extra boost, so I may give them some extra praise if they are working well. A word to them telling them I am going to leave a note for their head of year works wonders. To see their face brighten up is worth it all to me.

    6. Effort: A student my not produce the best work, but if they have worked to the best of their ability and have been on task, then they get a reward.

    Giving praise orally or the form of stickers, stamps, or praise cards home definitely work. I was at a school recently with a class that were considered difficult. I used the above method and the entire class earned rewards. The TA commented it had been their best lesson ever and she had seen people put up their hands to contribute who had never said a word in class before.

    However, you are right: you must get the balance right and not give them out just for what is expected, but done with skill rewards and praise can work miracles.

    Be fair if you can and as you say there may be others who know an answer but don't get asked, so if you are as fair as you can be in that respect, the students will accept that.

    Please let me know what you think.
    sabrinakat and dunnocks like this.
  3. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    Rewards have been shown to work best when not predictable, so don't worry about that!

    There is always going to be an element of lottery in it, so a reward for an excellent answer ( or an excellent question) when others might have said the same thing is fine. I like to give out a few for the quiet reliable ones, so if when I'm going round a class, I'm with a student who has done everything right and has good work, then yes, they might get one.

    Sensible behaviour when others are being silly is always to be encouraged.

    overall, I give out probably 0-10 every day, that is quite a range, but of course it depends on other things, time.... the computer system working.... and so on.
    pepper5 likes this.
  4. stavanger14

    stavanger14 New commenter

    Thanks for your replies! this is something i really concentrated on during the last two weeks of my placement - i still don't give out as many as other teachers - but i hope the students feel at least that if they get one they've earned it. I've also found that giving older students a 'ticket' or similar seems to motivate them more as they can actually see and touch the reward!
    pepper5 likes this.

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