Do you have a positive reward system in your classroom?
I am a firm believer in having a positive reward system. Even as an adult, I love to hear positive things from my supervisors and colleagues. Kids are the exact same way. They want to be rewarded. I’m sure you have rules and consequences for your classroom. But do you have a reward system? I personally cannot imagine teaching without one. The whole class can be talking, and I will pick out the ONE student who is quiet and give them a $50 Star buck, and man, the whole class immediately gets quiet. I love it!
I have done many things as a reward system in the classroom. Passing out tickets (carnival tickets) where the students put their name/number on the back, merit money, etc.
A couple of years ago I came up with Star Bucks. Since it’s “Star Bucks” I used a space theme.
Star Bucks made my life easier. I never went back to another system.
To make it even easier on myself (because don’t we ALL want that), I printed them out in colored paper, with each denomination having a different color.
My students LOVED it! I passed out Star Bucks for great behavior, going above and beyond on their homework, coming to Open House or Meet the Teacher (I taught in Title 1 schools where it was tough to get parents to come), doing great on quizzes and tests, being respectful and helpful to one another, etc. Be creative!
Included are denominations from 1 Star Buck to 10,000 Star Bucks. Hey…you know you have those kids who will earn 10,000 Star Bucks by just being them! They are those students who always do the right thing. And why shouldn’t they be rewarded?
I also decided to create some Star Bucks with the coffee theme since all of our kids know about Starbucks and coffee. I found several different clip art themes and couldn’t decide which one I liked better, so I just did all of them! There are just too much good clip art out there! You can choose whichever one you like the best…or the one that will fit your classroom and age group better.
Here is the coffee shop themed one:
And the cafe themed one:
And lastly the adorable coffee buds themed one:
Do you understand what I mean when I say there was too much adorable clip art? I mean look at those coffee buds! And you can choose which ones work best for you and your students!
Now students can owe you bucks as well. Together as a class, come up with a list of “no no’s” and how much each “no no” would cost. I tried to focus on just positive behaviors instead of focusing on negative behaviors.
Every Friday, my students could trade in their bucks at the bank. Star Bucks help reinforce place value too. Hey! You didn’t know these were great for math too, right?
Once we had had Bank a couple of weeks, I chose 2-3 students to be the bankers. They took their job extremely seriously and it only helped to boost their math skills and confidence.
I also worked with my students to create a list of rewards that students could buy with their Star Bucks. I’m all about not spending any more money than I have to (if you’re like any teacher I know, you spend hundreds of dollars already), so the rewards were all free. I also got some McDonald’s toys from a friend of mine…her kids weren’t playing with them anymore. I also let my students bring in things to sell. They loved that! I called it the student market, and they brought in books they had read, toys, things they had made…basically anything they wanted. My students got such a huge kick out of having their “own” market and bargaining with the other students.
When I introduce STAR Bucks, I really like to talk with my students about prizes and let them come up with some of the prizes because it makes them more excited. They come up with some ideas that I would have never thought of.
For more reward ideas, check out my Classroom Prizes, which is editable so you can edit to add some of your own ideas.
Oh, and if I ever forgot Bank time, they would let me know!!!
Hope your students enjoy them as much as my students do!