Tricks of the Trade Thursday: Student and Whole-Class Incentives

Happy Thursday, friends!
Time for another...
This week's theme is...
How do you motivate your students both individually and as a whole class?
Behavior Management
The last two years I used this "Trafficking Behavior" clip chart:
However, it wasn't very effective for a couple reasons:
1. I wasn't super consistent with it.
2. Students started the day on green and only moved if they misbehaved. There was no incentive for role model students to go above and beyond, because there was no where for them to move.
3. I made it look like a realistic traffic signal (red-yellow-green), so when kids had to move their clothespin for breaking a classroom rule, they actually moved up. Weird.

So this year I'm trying something new...
I'm going to explain how I made it and how I m going to use it effectively on next week's Monday Made-It :) So stay tuned!
Individual Incentives
At the beginning of the school year, I give my students an envelope and let them decorate it. I tell them that it is their responsibility to keep track of their envelope and the tickets they put inside. When a student answers a difficult question, acts as a role model, helps me or a classmate, or just generally goes above and beyond my expectations, I give them a ticket.
You can get rolls of 2000 very easily - from Wal-Mart, Staples, or the Dollar Store. A roll like this only costs me about $5 and lasts more than half the school year (depending on how generous I am!). Then, whenever students want, they can trade in their tickets for the following prizes:

Group Incentives
I recently blogged about how I manage and reward table groups in my classroom. To read about my system, click HERE.
Whole-Class Incentives
For the last two years, I've had a really motivating whole-class incentive called Class Compliments:
To earn "Class Compliments," students have work together as a class to earn "stars" from me, from specials' teachers, or from other adults in the building. 
They earn them for: 
  • going ABOVE AND BEYOND in their participation, their diligence, their kindness to one another, their self-control (that's a big one!)
  • walking absolutely silently in the hallway (especially if we have a traffic jam at lunch causing the kids to have to wait for a long time)
  • showing role-model-worthy behavior to younger students
The kids LOVE earning stars...and they hate losing them. 
If the entire class is not demonstrating exemplary behavior (i.e. excessive chatting, noisiness in the hallway, horsing around in the classroom, etc.) then a star "falls" from the board.

Once they earn 10 stars, they've earned a PARTY!
Each time they reach 10, the students vote on one of three different options and vote on the way they wish to celebrate their success:

1. An "In-Tents Reading Party:" the students bring books, blankets, and flashlights, and build tents to read in for the morning. A big hit - anything to get kids excited about reading :) (get it? TENTS) 

2. Movie & Popcorn Party: 
The most recent movie we watched was The Incredibles - the students LOVED it!

3. Game-board Party: The students are all allowed to bring in a game - non-electronic! That's a tough concept for them :). We empty out my game drawer and they go to town playing and chatting with their friends. It's an awesome time to sneak in some educational learning (Apples to Apples, Jr. anyone?!) and to give them valuable, hands-on practice in compromising, negotiating, and pleasing others. Plus, it's FUN!

This year I am keeping the same system, but jazzing it up and giving it a new name...
Students will earn an airplane instead of a star - and they will be collecting "Frequent Flyer Miles" towards a party :)
Here are some fun Pinterest ideas...
Colorful Compliment Jar: Turn an ordinary jar into a great incentive for students to be good classroom citizens. From Scholastic Instructor Magazine.
This file contains NINE different student incentive punch card templates that cover the four major subjects and a variety of other rewards.
DIY scratch off "lottery tickets" as student incentives inspired by another blogger.  So cute!
Now it's YOUR turn!

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