August 12, 2020

17 COVID-Safe Rewards for your PBIS Store

These incentive ideas will keep students motivated while respecting social distance guidelines.
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When students work hard, it's time to celebrate. The rewards below will help you create an environment in your classroom, grade, or school store while respecting public health guidance and keeping your school safe.

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Line leader

Your school may be adopting protocols for students moving around the building as little as possible, and in an orderly manner. Line Leader, a reward favorite, will be even more special because trips will be less common! Jazz it up with a baton or other line leader prop.

Socially distant dance party

Who doesn’t love a dance party? If you have clear markers in your classroom that help students maintain social distance, it should be easy to allow students to move and groove while staying in their own space. Have your students help you develop a dance party playlist of songs that you can easily hit shuffle on when they earn a reward for good behavior.

Loudspeaker shoutout

One of the best ways to to help students engage in good behavior is to call it out when we see it. One reward students love is the opportunity to get some recognition on the loudspeaker. Create a special segment on morning or afternoon announcements where students are recognized for making good choices.

Student spotlight

Another way to recognize students for good behavior is to create a student spotlight in your classroom, in the hallway, or in a class newsletter that is shared with parents. Make sure you include their picture and celebrate them for the good choices they’re making.

Positive phone call home

As teachers, we all know students love when we deliver good news to their parents. When students do a great job managing their own behavior, let them cash in those PBIS tickets for a positive phone call home. This is easy to do and helps build positive relationships with our students’ families.

Drop lowest quiz

For older students, give them the option of dropping their lowest grade on a quiz or homework assignment from their overall grade. If you don’t want to give students the option of dropping an assignment, you can also give them the option of re-doing an assignment or re-taking a quiz.

Extra credit

Students also love to find ways to bump up their grades, especially at the end of a quarter or semester. When students engage in appropriate behavior, give them an opportunity to complete an extra credit assignment that will improve their grade in your class.

Movie “night”

If your whole class has a great week or month, give them a chance to earn a movie “night.” Make some individual bags of popcorn, let them put their feet up on their desks, and hit play. You can always choose a movie that’s connected to what students are learning in your class.

Treats

Let's face it, kids love snacks and treats. To adapt this reward for health, only use treats that are individually wrapped and ask students to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer before and after enjoying their treats – or simply store to take home and enjoy.

Student messenger

Special jobs and privileges are always a popular reward for students. You can still have student messengers – just be sure to establish new procedures. Students should always wash their hands before and after delivering any physical objects, wear a mask when traveling in the hallway, and maintain six feet of distance with anyone they run into.

Free dress pass

If your school has a dress code or uniforms, invite students to purchase a pass to wear more casual dress for a day. Set the right guidelines for what's allowed – for instance, sports jerseys but not pajamas. You can even try an add-on: students can invite a teacher to match dress!

Spirit Day

Throw a class, grade, or school-wide spirit day! The possibilities are endless: 

  • Tie-dye
  • Jeans day
  • Funny hat
  • House colors
  • Superhero day
  • Pajama day
  • …or anything your team comes up with!

Play class-wide games

There are lots of class-wide games you can play that are fun for students and that make it easy for them to maintain social distance. Games like Simon Says, Jeopardy, charades, and BINGO are both fun and can be played while students sit or stand at their desks.

Homework pass

You can keep using some of your tried and true rewards like homework passes and extensions on class assignments. These are cost-effective, easy to give out, and align with public health recommendations.

Health Helper for the day

Students love earning special privileges. As we fight the spread of COVID-19, enlist a student in your mission to keep your classroom safe and germ-free! Your daily Health Helper can help wipe down commonly used surfaces, remind classmates to keep desks (and themselves) 6 feet apart, and provide friendly reminders for hand-washing!

Donate $1 to the local food bank

We all know that many families in our communities need some extra help right now due to the economic impact of COVID-19. Food banks are working to provide more resources to a growing number of families that are food insecure. Another new reward idea for students is to provide a $1 donation to a local food bank. You might be surprised how many of your students get excited about making a donation to help another family in need. 

Make a card for a healthcare worker

A great reward for younger students is an opportunity to get creative with supplies. Give this time a bigger purpose for students by inviting them to create a thank you card for a healthcare worker in your city. For success, stock your classroom with crayons, markers, stamps, and other supplies for students to get creative!

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