March 1, 2016

Rewards Ideas for Elementary, Middle, and High School

Use these free and affordable reward ideas to motivate any age student to work hard for behavior points.
LiveSchool 101: Happy Teachers, Engaged Students, and Better Data

Behavior rewards help improve classroom behavior. But picking the right ones is hard. Here are ideas for every age level to get you started!

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Incentives for Elementary School Students

  1. Write with a Special Pen for the Day — create a special pen or marker, only for a student who has earned enough points
  2. Care for the Class Pet — fish, guinea pig, bunny rabbit… who doesn’t love caring for an animal?
  3. Eat Lunch with Teacher or Administrator — let the student choose who they’d like to spend time with for an extra special meal.
  4. Extra Recess — 15 minutes more outside on a pretty day with a friend is a big incentive, especially during the spring!
  5. Trip to the Treasure Box — just like at the Doctor’s office, it’s nice to get a little trinket every now and then.
  6. Extra Reading Time — make this extra special by allowing students to read anywhere in the room, or with a magic reading hat, or in a designated special beanbag chair or nook.
  7. Choose a book for the entire class — for students with enough points, let them choose which book the teacher reads to the entire class.
  8. Student Spotlight Board — a photo of the student, along with all of that student’s favorite food, color, activity and more! Take time to let the student share about their own life.

Incentives for Middle School Students

  1. School Spirit Day — spirit fingers, glitter, the whole nine yards. Choose a day every month that students with enough points can participate in a theme dress day (i.e., pajama day, crazy hat day, super hero day, whacky tacky day… the possibilities are endless!) Then, have an assembly where you honor students for their academic success.
  2. Lunch Concert — students get to eat lunch in a private room (with an adult chaperone) with friends and play their personal, school-appropriate playlist.
  3. First in Line to Lunch — middle school students will beg for this anyway. Why not make it something they can earn?
  4. Class Jobs — application, interview and all. If you want to be the IT specialist in the room, you’ve got to earn your spot!
  5. Talk Time — give students a chance to earn a little extra time to chat with friends at the end of the week or month.
  6. Read to a younger class — helping out other teachers is no small feat.
  7. Teacher for the Day — whether they want to teach a game, a song, or a math lesson, let teaching be the ultimate reward (and practice).
  8. Emcee the Announcements — everyone likes to hear their own voice, especially middle school students.

Incentives for High School Students

  1. Design the Bulletin Board — whether it’s for an upcoming event, holiday, or just for someone’s birthday, give students the supplies and the time to show off their skill.
  2. Positive Phone Call Home — you never know what a difference it could make to give a little positive feedback to a parent of a high schooler.
  3. Create the Seating Chart — within reason, this incentive could actually help you out. Sometimes, students know better than teachers who can get along with whom.
  4. Parking Spots — let students earn the spots that they want.
  5. Locker Choice — whether it’s the locker nearest the entrance or the lunchroom, chances are there is prime real estate in the school. It could be a lesson in supply and demand.
  6. Movie Night — projectors and iTunes make this easier than ever.
  7. School Dance — it’s an incentive because it’s also a privilege.
  8. Class Outdoors — the student that redeems this incentive just might be the most popular kid for the day.


Do you have a great reward idea? We'd love to add it here! Email us to share your idea!

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