8 Token Economy Examples for Schools

A token economy is a structured, positive reinforcement system that is used to target behavior change.
As teachers, we work hard every day to ensure our students grow academically, socially, emotionally, and, of course, behaviorally. We use a plethora of strategies and systems to make our classrooms run like well-oiled machines and to create safe and inclusive learning environments for our diverse learners. 
Featuring 
Katie Neumeier

But are our systems highly effective? How do we know that the practices we are using day to day are giving us the best possible outcomes? 

The truth of the matter is, not all strategies and systems are created equal. We are seeking those unique few that serve our needs as educators but also support our students as they grow into mature, self-regulated, successful individuals. 

Good news, such systems do exist. Let’s explore a teacher favorite: the Token Economy. 

What is a Token Economy? 

A token economy is a structured, positive behavior support system that is used to target behavior change. There are three main components to this reward system:

  1. The desired student behavior
  2. A method for reinforcing those behaviors using tokens or points that students earn
  3. A process for students to exchange these tokens for a reward or prize

The simplest way to think of it would be in terms of our own global economy. We go to work, where we are expected to get specific tasks done in a certain way. We are then paid money for our time and the work we produce. 

From there, we go and use our money to buy things we want and need. Similar to money, the tokens are a means to an end. Students use the tokens, or reinforcements, they earn to buy something they want. Incentivizing at its finest! 

Token Economy Cycle

Why Use a Token Economy?

There are many advantages to a token economy for both teachers and students. Teachers will gain stronger classroom management, have a built-in approach for consistent reinforcement of the positive behaviors they expect, and most importantly, be able to spend more time focused on academics. 

This system’s flexibility and structure will also support teachers as they create behavior goals for their classes or specific individuals using PBIS. For students, a token economy allows them to visualize their progress, learn self-regulation skills, and monitor both their positive and disruptive behavior.

Students respond well within structured, routine-based environments. Therefore, the consistency of a token economy helps students to make the connection between their positive behaviors and earning the desired rewards

The best part about this system is it helps to combat the constant need for instant gratification. In a society where everything is at our student’s fingertips, we definitely need strategies to delay gratification in order to teach our students that some things are worth the extra time, effort, and patience. 

Token Economy Examples

1. Token Charts

This is a good place to start if you are new to token economies because they are simple to create and use. The chart can have as many spaces as you would like and also has room to put a picture of the prize or reward that will be earned for completing the chart. The tokens themselves should be something easy to add like stickers or paper tokens. 

Token economy example in the classroom

Teacher hack: laminate the charts and use velcro to attach the pieces so that all the materials can be reused! 

2. Monetary Token System

Modeled off of our own global economy, this example is a little more involved than others. How it works is the teacher determines 2-3 behaviors that the class or an individual is working on. When students exhibit the behavior, they are given a token in the form of a coin, bill, or other collectible items such as a poker chip or marble.

Token economy example in the classroom

 

It is the students' job to keep track of their tokens, so make sure you have a system in mind for how you would like students to keep these tokens until they have a chance to exchange them. 

3. Stamp or Punch Card

Similar to the token chart, a stamp or punch card is also a great place to start if you need something more tactile. Each student gets their own card that you can then stamp or punch with a hole puncher whenever they earn a token. Once the card has been filled with stamps or punches, it can then be exchanged for a reward. 

Token economy example in the classroom

4. Jar system 

For any teacher out there that needs a simple way to keep track of whole-class progress, the jar system might be the best fit for you. The only supplies you need are a jar and some sort of token to fill the jar with like marbles, poker chips, pompoms, or fake coins. 

As students earn, you fill the jar with the token. It is as simple as that! Once the jar is filled, you can give a whole class reward or let students pick an individual prize. 

Token economy example in the classroom

Teacher hack: Label the jar with different rewards or prizes. As the tokens fill the jar and reach each prize, the whole class earns that reward!

5. Point System Like LiveSchool

Using a point system is wonderfully convenient, especially if you have an account with a platform like LiveSchool! All of your students are uploaded to the class and you can then input the behaviors you are looking for as well as assign point values. 

As you observe students meeting the expectations you click their name, the behavior, and voila! Students are earning points in real-time and can see their total displayed throughout the day. From there, paychecks can be printed for their weekly total and their points can be used to buy rewards at a designated time. 

Token economy example in the classroom

6. Sticker Chart 

Who doesn’t love stickers? This method is very commonly used in the younger grades or even by parents wanting to create their own behavior management systems at home. Each student has their own chart with the desired behavior stated at the top. 

As students exhibit the specified behavior, they are given stickers to add to the chart. Once the chart is filled, they can exchange their chart for a reward of their choice. 

Token economy example in the classroom

Teacher Hack: You can get stickers in bulk from the Dollar Store, Dollar Tree, or Amazon. Get the most bang for your buck! 

7. Build a Word

This system is another great choice for whole-class behavior support and reinforcement. Once you name the desired behavior, the class can work for a certain period of time to earn a letter with the goal of spelling the word. 

This word can be spelled on the board in the classroom, with bulletin board letters on the wall, etc. Once the entire word has been built, students can then be rewarded with a class or individual prize. 

Token economy example in the classroom

Token economy example in the classroom

8. Banking Your Points 

The only necessary supplies needed to make this work is a specified area of the room, an envelope for each student, and something to use as tokens such as popsicle sticks or strips of construction paper. 

You could even laminate the envelopes and draw straight on them with a whiteboard marker if you’d like. 

As students earn points, they place their tokens in their pockets until they reach the amount needed to cash in for a reward. 

Token economy example in the classroom

Your Token Economy

As you can see, there are many different ways to run a PBIS Store or to create a token economy, but the key to using PBIS best practices success is making it simple for you and your students to understand and use every day. Our focus needs to remain on its purpose; to positively reinforce student behavior until the behaviors ultimately become automatic. 

Be consistent. Be flexible. Be positive. 

8 Token Economy Examples for Schools

A token economy is a structured, positive reinforcement system that is used to target behavior change.
Chapter 
 | 
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 🥤

But are our systems highly effective? How do we know that the practices we are using day to day are giving us the best possible outcomes? 

The truth of the matter is, not all strategies and systems are created equal. We are seeking those unique few that serve our needs as educators but also support our students as they grow into mature, self-regulated, successful individuals. 

Good news, such systems do exist. Let’s explore a teacher favorite: the Token Economy. 

What is a Token Economy? 

A token economy is a structured, positive behavior support system that is used to target behavior change. There are three main components to this reward system:

  1. The desired student behavior
  2. A method for reinforcing those behaviors using tokens or points that students earn
  3. A process for students to exchange these tokens for a reward or prize

The simplest way to think of it would be in terms of our own global economy. We go to work, where we are expected to get specific tasks done in a certain way. We are then paid money for our time and the work we produce. 

From there, we go and use our money to buy things we want and need. Similar to money, the tokens are a means to an end. Students use the tokens, or reinforcements, they earn to buy something they want. Incentivizing at its finest! 

Token Economy Cycle

Why Use a Token Economy?

There are many advantages to a token economy for both teachers and students. Teachers will gain stronger classroom management, have a built-in approach for consistent reinforcement of the positive behaviors they expect, and most importantly, be able to spend more time focused on academics. 

This system’s flexibility and structure will also support teachers as they create behavior goals for their classes or specific individuals using PBIS. For students, a token economy allows them to visualize their progress, learn self-regulation skills, and monitor both their positive and disruptive behavior.

Students respond well within structured, routine-based environments. Therefore, the consistency of a token economy helps students to make the connection between their positive behaviors and earning the desired rewards

The best part about this system is it helps to combat the constant need for instant gratification. In a society where everything is at our student’s fingertips, we definitely need strategies to delay gratification in order to teach our students that some things are worth the extra time, effort, and patience. 

Token Economy Examples

1. Token Charts

This is a good place to start if you are new to token economies because they are simple to create and use. The chart can have as many spaces as you would like and also has room to put a picture of the prize or reward that will be earned for completing the chart. The tokens themselves should be something easy to add like stickers or paper tokens. 

Token economy example in the classroom

Teacher hack: laminate the charts and use velcro to attach the pieces so that all the materials can be reused! 

2. Monetary Token System

Modeled off of our own global economy, this example is a little more involved than others. How it works is the teacher determines 2-3 behaviors that the class or an individual is working on. When students exhibit the behavior, they are given a token in the form of a coin, bill, or other collectible items such as a poker chip or marble.

Token economy example in the classroom

 

It is the students' job to keep track of their tokens, so make sure you have a system in mind for how you would like students to keep these tokens until they have a chance to exchange them. 

3. Stamp or Punch Card

Similar to the token chart, a stamp or punch card is also a great place to start if you need something more tactile. Each student gets their own card that you can then stamp or punch with a hole puncher whenever they earn a token. Once the card has been filled with stamps or punches, it can then be exchanged for a reward. 

Token economy example in the classroom

4. Jar system 

For any teacher out there that needs a simple way to keep track of whole-class progress, the jar system might be the best fit for you. The only supplies you need are a jar and some sort of token to fill the jar with like marbles, poker chips, pompoms, or fake coins. 

As students earn, you fill the jar with the token. It is as simple as that! Once the jar is filled, you can give a whole class reward or let students pick an individual prize. 

Token economy example in the classroom

Teacher hack: Label the jar with different rewards or prizes. As the tokens fill the jar and reach each prize, the whole class earns that reward!

5. Point System Like LiveSchool

Using a point system is wonderfully convenient, especially if you have an account with a platform like LiveSchool! All of your students are uploaded to the class and you can then input the behaviors you are looking for as well as assign point values. 

As you observe students meeting the expectations you click their name, the behavior, and voila! Students are earning points in real-time and can see their total displayed throughout the day. From there, paychecks can be printed for their weekly total and their points can be used to buy rewards at a designated time. 

Token economy example in the classroom

6. Sticker Chart 

Who doesn’t love stickers? This method is very commonly used in the younger grades or even by parents wanting to create their own behavior management systems at home. Each student has their own chart with the desired behavior stated at the top. 

As students exhibit the specified behavior, they are given stickers to add to the chart. Once the chart is filled, they can exchange their chart for a reward of their choice. 

Token economy example in the classroom

Teacher Hack: You can get stickers in bulk from the Dollar Store, Dollar Tree, or Amazon. Get the most bang for your buck! 

7. Build a Word

This system is another great choice for whole-class behavior support and reinforcement. Once you name the desired behavior, the class can work for a certain period of time to earn a letter with the goal of spelling the word. 

This word can be spelled on the board in the classroom, with bulletin board letters on the wall, etc. Once the entire word has been built, students can then be rewarded with a class or individual prize. 

Token economy example in the classroom

Token economy example in the classroom

8. Banking Your Points 

The only necessary supplies needed to make this work is a specified area of the room, an envelope for each student, and something to use as tokens such as popsicle sticks or strips of construction paper. 

You could even laminate the envelopes and draw straight on them with a whiteboard marker if you’d like. 

As students earn points, they place their tokens in their pockets until they reach the amount needed to cash in for a reward. 

Token economy example in the classroom

Your Token Economy

As you can see, there are many different ways to run a PBIS Store or to create a token economy, but the key to using PBIS best practices success is making it simple for you and your students to understand and use every day. Our focus needs to remain on its purpose; to positively reinforce student behavior until the behaviors ultimately become automatic. 

Be consistent. Be flexible. Be positive. 

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8 Token Economy Examples for Schools

A token economy is a structured, positive reinforcement system that is used to target behavior change.
By 
Katie Neumeier
 | 
May 5, 2022
Register Now

About the Event

But are our systems highly effective? How do we know that the practices we are using day to day are giving us the best possible outcomes? 

The truth of the matter is, not all strategies and systems are created equal. We are seeking those unique few that serve our needs as educators but also support our students as they grow into mature, self-regulated, successful individuals. 

Good news, such systems do exist. Let’s explore a teacher favorite: the Token Economy. 

What is a Token Economy? 

A token economy is a structured, positive behavior support system that is used to target behavior change. There are three main components to this reward system:

  1. The desired student behavior
  2. A method for reinforcing those behaviors using tokens or points that students earn
  3. A process for students to exchange these tokens for a reward or prize

The simplest way to think of it would be in terms of our own global economy. We go to work, where we are expected to get specific tasks done in a certain way. We are then paid money for our time and the work we produce. 

From there, we go and use our money to buy things we want and need. Similar to money, the tokens are a means to an end. Students use the tokens, or reinforcements, they earn to buy something they want. Incentivizing at its finest! 

Token Economy Cycle

Why Use a Token Economy?

There are many advantages to a token economy for both teachers and students. Teachers will gain stronger classroom management, have a built-in approach for consistent reinforcement of the positive behaviors they expect, and most importantly, be able to spend more time focused on academics. 

This system’s flexibility and structure will also support teachers as they create behavior goals for their classes or specific individuals using PBIS. For students, a token economy allows them to visualize their progress, learn self-regulation skills, and monitor both their positive and disruptive behavior.

Students respond well within structured, routine-based environments. Therefore, the consistency of a token economy helps students to make the connection between their positive behaviors and earning the desired rewards

The best part about this system is it helps to combat the constant need for instant gratification. In a society where everything is at our student’s fingertips, we definitely need strategies to delay gratification in order to teach our students that some things are worth the extra time, effort, and patience. 

Token Economy Examples

1. Token Charts

This is a good place to start if you are new to token economies because they are simple to create and use. The chart can have as many spaces as you would like and also has room to put a picture of the prize or reward that will be earned for completing the chart. The tokens themselves should be something easy to add like stickers or paper tokens. 

Token economy example in the classroom

Teacher hack: laminate the charts and use velcro to attach the pieces so that all the materials can be reused! 

2. Monetary Token System

Modeled off of our own global economy, this example is a little more involved than others. How it works is the teacher determines 2-3 behaviors that the class or an individual is working on. When students exhibit the behavior, they are given a token in the form of a coin, bill, or other collectible items such as a poker chip or marble.

Token economy example in the classroom

 

It is the students' job to keep track of their tokens, so make sure you have a system in mind for how you would like students to keep these tokens until they have a chance to exchange them. 

3. Stamp or Punch Card

Similar to the token chart, a stamp or punch card is also a great place to start if you need something more tactile. Each student gets their own card that you can then stamp or punch with a hole puncher whenever they earn a token. Once the card has been filled with stamps or punches, it can then be exchanged for a reward. 

Token economy example in the classroom

4. Jar system 

For any teacher out there that needs a simple way to keep track of whole-class progress, the jar system might be the best fit for you. The only supplies you need are a jar and some sort of token to fill the jar with like marbles, poker chips, pompoms, or fake coins. 

As students earn, you fill the jar with the token. It is as simple as that! Once the jar is filled, you can give a whole class reward or let students pick an individual prize. 

Token economy example in the classroom

Teacher hack: Label the jar with different rewards or prizes. As the tokens fill the jar and reach each prize, the whole class earns that reward!

5. Point System Like LiveSchool

Using a point system is wonderfully convenient, especially if you have an account with a platform like LiveSchool! All of your students are uploaded to the class and you can then input the behaviors you are looking for as well as assign point values. 

As you observe students meeting the expectations you click their name, the behavior, and voila! Students are earning points in real-time and can see their total displayed throughout the day. From there, paychecks can be printed for their weekly total and their points can be used to buy rewards at a designated time. 

Token economy example in the classroom

6. Sticker Chart 

Who doesn’t love stickers? This method is very commonly used in the younger grades or even by parents wanting to create their own behavior management systems at home. Each student has their own chart with the desired behavior stated at the top. 

As students exhibit the specified behavior, they are given stickers to add to the chart. Once the chart is filled, they can exchange their chart for a reward of their choice. 

Token economy example in the classroom

Teacher Hack: You can get stickers in bulk from the Dollar Store, Dollar Tree, or Amazon. Get the most bang for your buck! 

7. Build a Word

This system is another great choice for whole-class behavior support and reinforcement. Once you name the desired behavior, the class can work for a certain period of time to earn a letter with the goal of spelling the word. 

This word can be spelled on the board in the classroom, with bulletin board letters on the wall, etc. Once the entire word has been built, students can then be rewarded with a class or individual prize. 

Token economy example in the classroom

Token economy example in the classroom

8. Banking Your Points 

The only necessary supplies needed to make this work is a specified area of the room, an envelope for each student, and something to use as tokens such as popsicle sticks or strips of construction paper. 

You could even laminate the envelopes and draw straight on them with a whiteboard marker if you’d like. 

As students earn points, they place their tokens in their pockets until they reach the amount needed to cash in for a reward. 

Token economy example in the classroom

Your Token Economy

As you can see, there are many different ways to run a PBIS Store or to create a token economy, but the key to using PBIS best practices success is making it simple for you and your students to understand and use every day. Our focus needs to remain on its purpose; to positively reinforce student behavior until the behaviors ultimately become automatic. 

Be consistent. Be flexible. Be positive. 

Register Now

About the Event

But are our systems highly effective? How do we know that the practices we are using day to day are giving us the best possible outcomes? 

The truth of the matter is, not all strategies and systems are created equal. We are seeking those unique few that serve our needs as educators but also support our students as they grow into mature, self-regulated, successful individuals. 

Good news, such systems do exist. Let’s explore a teacher favorite: the Token Economy. 

What is a Token Economy? 

A token economy is a structured, positive behavior support system that is used to target behavior change. There are three main components to this reward system:

  1. The desired student behavior
  2. A method for reinforcing those behaviors using tokens or points that students earn
  3. A process for students to exchange these tokens for a reward or prize

The simplest way to think of it would be in terms of our own global economy. We go to work, where we are expected to get specific tasks done in a certain way. We are then paid money for our time and the work we produce. 

From there, we go and use our money to buy things we want and need. Similar to money, the tokens are a means to an end. Students use the tokens, or reinforcements, they earn to buy something they want. Incentivizing at its finest! 

Token Economy Cycle

Why Use a Token Economy?

There are many advantages to a token economy for both teachers and students. Teachers will gain stronger classroom management, have a built-in approach for consistent reinforcement of the positive behaviors they expect, and most importantly, be able to spend more time focused on academics. 

This system’s flexibility and structure will also support teachers as they create behavior goals for their classes or specific individuals using PBIS. For students, a token economy allows them to visualize their progress, learn self-regulation skills, and monitor both their positive and disruptive behavior.

Students respond well within structured, routine-based environments. Therefore, the consistency of a token economy helps students to make the connection between their positive behaviors and earning the desired rewards

The best part about this system is it helps to combat the constant need for instant gratification. In a society where everything is at our student’s fingertips, we definitely need strategies to delay gratification in order to teach our students that some things are worth the extra time, effort, and patience. 

Token Economy Examples

1. Token Charts

This is a good place to start if you are new to token economies because they are simple to create and use. The chart can have as many spaces as you would like and also has room to put a picture of the prize or reward that will be earned for completing the chart. The tokens themselves should be something easy to add like stickers or paper tokens. 

Token economy example in the classroom

Teacher hack: laminate the charts and use velcro to attach the pieces so that all the materials can be reused! 

2. Monetary Token System

Modeled off of our own global economy, this example is a little more involved than others. How it works is the teacher determines 2-3 behaviors that the class or an individual is working on. When students exhibit the behavior, they are given a token in the form of a coin, bill, or other collectible items such as a poker chip or marble.

Token economy example in the classroom

 

It is the students' job to keep track of their tokens, so make sure you have a system in mind for how you would like students to keep these tokens until they have a chance to exchange them. 

3. Stamp or Punch Card

Similar to the token chart, a stamp or punch card is also a great place to start if you need something more tactile. Each student gets their own card that you can then stamp or punch with a hole puncher whenever they earn a token. Once the card has been filled with stamps or punches, it can then be exchanged for a reward. 

Token economy example in the classroom

4. Jar system 

For any teacher out there that needs a simple way to keep track of whole-class progress, the jar system might be the best fit for you. The only supplies you need are a jar and some sort of token to fill the jar with like marbles, poker chips, pompoms, or fake coins. 

As students earn, you fill the jar with the token. It is as simple as that! Once the jar is filled, you can give a whole class reward or let students pick an individual prize. 

Token economy example in the classroom

Teacher hack: Label the jar with different rewards or prizes. As the tokens fill the jar and reach each prize, the whole class earns that reward!

5. Point System Like LiveSchool

Using a point system is wonderfully convenient, especially if you have an account with a platform like LiveSchool! All of your students are uploaded to the class and you can then input the behaviors you are looking for as well as assign point values. 

As you observe students meeting the expectations you click their name, the behavior, and voila! Students are earning points in real-time and can see their total displayed throughout the day. From there, paychecks can be printed for their weekly total and their points can be used to buy rewards at a designated time. 

Token economy example in the classroom

6. Sticker Chart 

Who doesn’t love stickers? This method is very commonly used in the younger grades or even by parents wanting to create their own behavior management systems at home. Each student has their own chart with the desired behavior stated at the top. 

As students exhibit the specified behavior, they are given stickers to add to the chart. Once the chart is filled, they can exchange their chart for a reward of their choice. 

Token economy example in the classroom

Teacher Hack: You can get stickers in bulk from the Dollar Store, Dollar Tree, or Amazon. Get the most bang for your buck! 

7. Build a Word

This system is another great choice for whole-class behavior support and reinforcement. Once you name the desired behavior, the class can work for a certain period of time to earn a letter with the goal of spelling the word. 

This word can be spelled on the board in the classroom, with bulletin board letters on the wall, etc. Once the entire word has been built, students can then be rewarded with a class or individual prize. 

Token economy example in the classroom

Token economy example in the classroom

8. Banking Your Points 

The only necessary supplies needed to make this work is a specified area of the room, an envelope for each student, and something to use as tokens such as popsicle sticks or strips of construction paper. 

You could even laminate the envelopes and draw straight on them with a whiteboard marker if you’d like. 

As students earn points, they place their tokens in their pockets until they reach the amount needed to cash in for a reward. 

Token economy example in the classroom

Your Token Economy

As you can see, there are many different ways to run a PBIS Store or to create a token economy, but the key to using PBIS best practices success is making it simple for you and your students to understand and use every day. Our focus needs to remain on its purpose; to positively reinforce student behavior until the behaviors ultimately become automatic. 

Be consistent. Be flexible. Be positive. 

About the Presenter

Katherine Neumeier has spent the last 8 years in education working with Title I schools to build strong classroom practices and close academic gaps with English Language Learners and Special Populations. She has taught across multiple grade levels as well as coached educators, served as a reading specialist, and built an intervention program from the ground up. Integrating EdTech platforms as well as utilizing behavior management tools such as Liveschool have transformed and supported her role as an educator. She earned a bachelor's degree from St. Mary's University and a M.Ed from The University of St. Thomas.

8 Token Economy Examples for Schools

A token economy is a structured, positive reinforcement system that is used to target behavior change.
By 
Katie Neumeier
 | 
May 5, 2022

As teachers, we work hard every day to ensure our students grow academically, socially, emotionally, and, of course, behaviorally. We use a plethora of strategies and systems to make our classrooms run like well-oiled machines and to create safe and inclusive learning environments for our diverse learners. 

But are our systems highly effective? How do we know that the practices we are using day to day are giving us the best possible outcomes? 

The truth of the matter is, not all strategies and systems are created equal. We are seeking those unique few that serve our needs as educators but also support our students as they grow into mature, self-regulated, successful individuals. 

Good news, such systems do exist. Let’s explore a teacher favorite: the Token Economy. 

What is a Token Economy? 

A token economy is a structured, positive behavior support system that is used to target behavior change. There are three main components to this reward system:

  1. The desired student behavior
  2. A method for reinforcing those behaviors using tokens or points that students earn
  3. A process for students to exchange these tokens for a reward or prize

The simplest way to think of it would be in terms of our own global economy. We go to work, where we are expected to get specific tasks done in a certain way. We are then paid money for our time and the work we produce. 

From there, we go and use our money to buy things we want and need. Similar to money, the tokens are a means to an end. Students use the tokens, or reinforcements, they earn to buy something they want. Incentivizing at its finest! 

Token Economy Cycle

Why Use a Token Economy?

There are many advantages to a token economy for both teachers and students. Teachers will gain stronger classroom management, have a built-in approach for consistent reinforcement of the positive behaviors they expect, and most importantly, be able to spend more time focused on academics. 

This system’s flexibility and structure will also support teachers as they create behavior goals for their classes or specific individuals using PBIS. For students, a token economy allows them to visualize their progress, learn self-regulation skills, and monitor both their positive and disruptive behavior.

Students respond well within structured, routine-based environments. Therefore, the consistency of a token economy helps students to make the connection between their positive behaviors and earning the desired rewards

The best part about this system is it helps to combat the constant need for instant gratification. In a society where everything is at our student’s fingertips, we definitely need strategies to delay gratification in order to teach our students that some things are worth the extra time, effort, and patience. 

Token Economy Examples

1. Token Charts

This is a good place to start if you are new to token economies because they are simple to create and use. The chart can have as many spaces as you would like and also has room to put a picture of the prize or reward that will be earned for completing the chart. The tokens themselves should be something easy to add like stickers or paper tokens. 

Token economy example in the classroom

Teacher hack: laminate the charts and use velcro to attach the pieces so that all the materials can be reused! 

2. Monetary Token System

Modeled off of our own global economy, this example is a little more involved than others. How it works is the teacher determines 2-3 behaviors that the class or an individual is working on. When students exhibit the behavior, they are given a token in the form of a coin, bill, or other collectible items such as a poker chip or marble.

Token economy example in the classroom

 

It is the students' job to keep track of their tokens, so make sure you have a system in mind for how you would like students to keep these tokens until they have a chance to exchange them. 

3. Stamp or Punch Card

Similar to the token chart, a stamp or punch card is also a great place to start if you need something more tactile. Each student gets their own card that you can then stamp or punch with a hole puncher whenever they earn a token. Once the card has been filled with stamps or punches, it can then be exchanged for a reward. 

Token economy example in the classroom

4. Jar system 

For any teacher out there that needs a simple way to keep track of whole-class progress, the jar system might be the best fit for you. The only supplies you need are a jar and some sort of token to fill the jar with like marbles, poker chips, pompoms, or fake coins. 

As students earn, you fill the jar with the token. It is as simple as that! Once the jar is filled, you can give a whole class reward or let students pick an individual prize. 

Token economy example in the classroom

Teacher hack: Label the jar with different rewards or prizes. As the tokens fill the jar and reach each prize, the whole class earns that reward!

5. Point System Like LiveSchool

Using a point system is wonderfully convenient, especially if you have an account with a platform like LiveSchool! All of your students are uploaded to the class and you can then input the behaviors you are looking for as well as assign point values. 

As you observe students meeting the expectations you click their name, the behavior, and voila! Students are earning points in real-time and can see their total displayed throughout the day. From there, paychecks can be printed for their weekly total and their points can be used to buy rewards at a designated time. 

Token economy example in the classroom

6. Sticker Chart 

Who doesn’t love stickers? This method is very commonly used in the younger grades or even by parents wanting to create their own behavior management systems at home. Each student has their own chart with the desired behavior stated at the top. 

As students exhibit the specified behavior, they are given stickers to add to the chart. Once the chart is filled, they can exchange their chart for a reward of their choice. 

Token economy example in the classroom

Teacher Hack: You can get stickers in bulk from the Dollar Store, Dollar Tree, or Amazon. Get the most bang for your buck! 

7. Build a Word

This system is another great choice for whole-class behavior support and reinforcement. Once you name the desired behavior, the class can work for a certain period of time to earn a letter with the goal of spelling the word. 

This word can be spelled on the board in the classroom, with bulletin board letters on the wall, etc. Once the entire word has been built, students can then be rewarded with a class or individual prize. 

Token economy example in the classroom

Token economy example in the classroom

8. Banking Your Points 

The only necessary supplies needed to make this work is a specified area of the room, an envelope for each student, and something to use as tokens such as popsicle sticks or strips of construction paper. 

You could even laminate the envelopes and draw straight on them with a whiteboard marker if you’d like. 

As students earn points, they place their tokens in their pockets until they reach the amount needed to cash in for a reward. 

Token economy example in the classroom

Your Token Economy

As you can see, there are many different ways to run a PBIS Store or to create a token economy, but the key to using PBIS best practices success is making it simple for you and your students to understand and use every day. Our focus needs to remain on its purpose; to positively reinforce student behavior until the behaviors ultimately become automatic. 

Be consistent. Be flexible. Be positive. 

All Reward Ideas for Students

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Decades Party
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Learn more about the author, 
Katie Neumeier
 

8 Token Economy Examples for Schools

A token economy is a structured, positive reinforcement system that is used to target behavior change.
By 
Katie Neumeier
 | 
May 5, 2022

As teachers, we work hard every day to ensure our students grow academically, socially, emotionally, and, of course, behaviorally. We use a plethora of strategies and systems to make our classrooms run like well-oiled machines and to create safe and inclusive learning environments for our diverse learners. 

But are our systems highly effective? How do we know that the practices we are using day to day are giving us the best possible outcomes? 

The truth of the matter is, not all strategies and systems are created equal. We are seeking those unique few that serve our needs as educators but also support our students as they grow into mature, self-regulated, successful individuals. 

Good news, such systems do exist. Let’s explore a teacher favorite: the Token Economy. 

What is a Token Economy? 

A token economy is a structured, positive behavior support system that is used to target behavior change. There are three main components to this reward system:

  1. The desired student behavior
  2. A method for reinforcing those behaviors using tokens or points that students earn
  3. A process for students to exchange these tokens for a reward or prize

The simplest way to think of it would be in terms of our own global economy. We go to work, where we are expected to get specific tasks done in a certain way. We are then paid money for our time and the work we produce. 

From there, we go and use our money to buy things we want and need. Similar to money, the tokens are a means to an end. Students use the tokens, or reinforcements, they earn to buy something they want. Incentivizing at its finest! 

Token Economy Cycle

Why Use a Token Economy?

There are many advantages to a token economy for both teachers and students. Teachers will gain stronger classroom management, have a built-in approach for consistent reinforcement of the positive behaviors they expect, and most importantly, be able to spend more time focused on academics. 

This system’s flexibility and structure will also support teachers as they create behavior goals for their classes or specific individuals using PBIS. For students, a token economy allows them to visualize their progress, learn self-regulation skills, and monitor both their positive and disruptive behavior.

Students respond well within structured, routine-based environments. Therefore, the consistency of a token economy helps students to make the connection between their positive behaviors and earning the desired rewards

The best part about this system is it helps to combat the constant need for instant gratification. In a society where everything is at our student’s fingertips, we definitely need strategies to delay gratification in order to teach our students that some things are worth the extra time, effort, and patience. 

Token Economy Examples

1. Token Charts

This is a good place to start if you are new to token economies because they are simple to create and use. The chart can have as many spaces as you would like and also has room to put a picture of the prize or reward that will be earned for completing the chart. The tokens themselves should be something easy to add like stickers or paper tokens. 

Token economy example in the classroom

Teacher hack: laminate the charts and use velcro to attach the pieces so that all the materials can be reused! 

2. Monetary Token System

Modeled off of our own global economy, this example is a little more involved than others. How it works is the teacher determines 2-3 behaviors that the class or an individual is working on. When students exhibit the behavior, they are given a token in the form of a coin, bill, or other collectible items such as a poker chip or marble.

Token economy example in the classroom

 

It is the students' job to keep track of their tokens, so make sure you have a system in mind for how you would like students to keep these tokens until they have a chance to exchange them. 

3. Stamp or Punch Card

Similar to the token chart, a stamp or punch card is also a great place to start if you need something more tactile. Each student gets their own card that you can then stamp or punch with a hole puncher whenever they earn a token. Once the card has been filled with stamps or punches, it can then be exchanged for a reward. 

Token economy example in the classroom

4. Jar system 

For any teacher out there that needs a simple way to keep track of whole-class progress, the jar system might be the best fit for you. The only supplies you need are a jar and some sort of token to fill the jar with like marbles, poker chips, pompoms, or fake coins. 

As students earn, you fill the jar with the token. It is as simple as that! Once the jar is filled, you can give a whole class reward or let students pick an individual prize. 

Token economy example in the classroom

Teacher hack: Label the jar with different rewards or prizes. As the tokens fill the jar and reach each prize, the whole class earns that reward!

5. Point System Like LiveSchool

Using a point system is wonderfully convenient, especially if you have an account with a platform like LiveSchool! All of your students are uploaded to the class and you can then input the behaviors you are looking for as well as assign point values. 

As you observe students meeting the expectations you click their name, the behavior, and voila! Students are earning points in real-time and can see their total displayed throughout the day. From there, paychecks can be printed for their weekly total and their points can be used to buy rewards at a designated time. 

Token economy example in the classroom

6. Sticker Chart 

Who doesn’t love stickers? This method is very commonly used in the younger grades or even by parents wanting to create their own behavior management systems at home. Each student has their own chart with the desired behavior stated at the top. 

As students exhibit the specified behavior, they are given stickers to add to the chart. Once the chart is filled, they can exchange their chart for a reward of their choice. 

Token economy example in the classroom

Teacher Hack: You can get stickers in bulk from the Dollar Store, Dollar Tree, or Amazon. Get the most bang for your buck! 

7. Build a Word

This system is another great choice for whole-class behavior support and reinforcement. Once you name the desired behavior, the class can work for a certain period of time to earn a letter with the goal of spelling the word. 

This word can be spelled on the board in the classroom, with bulletin board letters on the wall, etc. Once the entire word has been built, students can then be rewarded with a class or individual prize. 

Token economy example in the classroom

Token economy example in the classroom

8. Banking Your Points 

The only necessary supplies needed to make this work is a specified area of the room, an envelope for each student, and something to use as tokens such as popsicle sticks or strips of construction paper. 

You could even laminate the envelopes and draw straight on them with a whiteboard marker if you’d like. 

As students earn points, they place their tokens in their pockets until they reach the amount needed to cash in for a reward. 

Token economy example in the classroom

Your Token Economy

As you can see, there are many different ways to run a PBIS Store or to create a token economy, but the key to using PBIS best practices success is making it simple for you and your students to understand and use every day. Our focus needs to remain on its purpose; to positively reinforce student behavior until the behaviors ultimately become automatic. 

Be consistent. Be flexible. Be positive. 

All Reward Ideas for Students

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Grades K-12
Student
Privilege
Deluxe
🎉
👑
🎁
Teacher Q&A
Grades K-12
Class/House
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Holiday Classroom Carousel
Grades 9-12
School
Event
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Video Game Rewards
Grades 3-12
Student
Privilege
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Pie a Teacher
Grades K-12
Student
Privilege
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Podcast
Grades 3-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Host a Virtual Party. 🎶
Grades 6-12
Class/House
Event
Free

All Reward Ideas for Middle School Students

🎉
👑
🎁
Decades Party
Grades 6-12
School
Event
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Sports Tickets
Grades 3-12
Student
Tangible
Deluxe
🎉
👑
🎁
Camp Read Away
Grades K-8
Class/House
Event
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Partner Work
Grades 3-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Video Game Rewards
Grades 3-12
Student
Privilege
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Theme Party
Grades K-8
Class/House
Event
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Family Feast
Grades K-8
Class/House
Event
Deluxe
🎉
👑
🎁
The A-List
Grades 6-12
School
Event
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Final Fridays
Grades K-8
School
Event
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Classroom DJ
Grades K-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Be a Comedian.
Grades 6-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
School Assembly
Grades K-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
STEM Field Day
Grades K-8
School
Event
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Silent Disco
Grades 6-12
Class/House
Event
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Loudspeaker Shoutout
Grades K-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Ice Cream Sundae Party
Grades K-12
Class/House
Event
Deluxe

All Student Reward & Incentive Ideas

💰
🎨
Silly Science Experiments
Grades K-5
Class/House
Privilege
Low Cost/DIY
💰
🎨
School Assembly
Grades K-12
Student
Privilege
Free
💰
🎨
Be a Comedian.
Grades 6-12
Student
Privilege
Free
💰
🎨
Sports Tickets
Grades 3-12
Student
Tangible
Deluxe
💰
🎨
Free Dress
Grades K-12
Student
Privilege
Free
💰
🎨
Movie Posters
Grades 3-12
Student
Tangible
Low Cost/DIY
💰
🎨
Line Leader
Grades K-5
Student
Privilege
Free
💰
🎨
Talk Time
Grades 6-8
Student
Privilege
Free
💰
🎨
Books
Grades K-12
Student
Tangible
Low Cost/DIY
💰
🎨
Silly School Leader
Grades 6-12
Student
Privilege
Free
💰
🎨
Operate Equipment.
Grades 9-12
Student
Privilege
Free
💰
🎨
Tutor
Grades 6-8
Student
Privilege
Free
💰
🎨
Morning Meeting Leader
Grades 3-8
Student
Privilege
Free
💰
🎨
Student Spotlight Board
Grades K-5
Student
Privilege
Low Cost/DIY
💰
🎨
Create the Seating Chart
Grades 6-12
Student
Privilege
Free
💰
🎨
Assist the Custodian.
Grades 6-8
Student
Privilege
Free

All Virtual Reward Ideas for Schools

🎉
👑
🎁
Teacher Q&A
Grades K-12
Class/House
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Virtual Field Trip
Grades K-12
Class/House
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Positive Note or Call Home
Grades K-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Show & Tell
Grades K-8
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Morning Meeting Leader
Grades 3-8
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Extra Computer Games
Grades 3-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Digital Escape Rooms
Grades 6-12
Class/House
Privilege
Deluxe
🎉
👑
🎁
Social Media Reporter
Grades 3-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Host a Virtual Party. 🎶
Grades 6-12
Class/House
Event
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Podcast
Grades 3-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Student Spotlight Board
Grades K-5
Student
Privilege
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Certificate of Achievement
Grades K-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Donate $1
Grades 3-12
Student
Privilege
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Classroom DJ
Grades K-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Stickers
Grades K-5
Student
Tangible
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Virtual Talent Show. 🎤
Grades 3-12
Class/House
Event
Free
See all Rewards

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Rewards that Rock 🎸 has 100+ rewards, incentives, and event ideas to build your school culture.
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Learn more about the author, 
Katie Neumeier
 

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