Different School Rewards Ideas, From Stickers To Certificates

Handing out rewards at school can be highly motivating for pupils, especially at primary school age. Younger children often need a tangible seal of approval to recognise that they have done good work or behaved well, as at this age they do not fully understand abstract learning. A reward of some kind that the child can take home to their parents and be proud of makes them feel like they have achieved something and, depending on how long it will last, also acts as a reminder to encourage them to repeat their previous good behaviour in future classes.
Many primary school teachers will find that handing out small rewards in class acts as an excellent motivator and helps them to gain a little extra cooperation and concentration from the pupils during lessons. Children want to be rewarded so they will try hard to please, whether this means working hard on a classroom project or helping to tidy up afterwards.
It is important for teachers considering using rewards however to note a couple of points. Firstly, rewards should not be given purely on academic performance because less bright students may feel like a failure and this will have the opposite effect to motivating them. If a pupil who generally gets very low marks on a test for example suddenly gets an average or good mark in one class, a reward will show them that you have noticed the extra effort that they put in and they will be more inclined to work hard next time also. This is not to say however that you should not reward pupils who consistently perform well in class, as they too deserve some recognition. Rewards should also be handed out for good behaviour to show the pupils that other skills, such as being able to listen to the teacher when he or she is speaking, are equally important to learn.
Secondly, a public reward system such as a star chart on the wall can be demoralising for pupils who do not have many rewards. Rather than encouraging them to earn more, seeing their classmates all so far ahead of them can again make them feel like they have failed, rather than making them feel proud for the stars that they have already earned. A personal star chart or an individual reward that can be taken home can therefore be much more effective.
There are various types of school rewards available to teachers, each with their own benefits. Stickers for example are very popular and it is easy to see why when you consider how cheap and yet how effective they are. Very young children in particular will be thrilled to receive a sticker, especially a very colourful or holographic one. They can be worn on clothing as a badge, stuck onto pieces of work that have been marked, added to a progress chart or used to decorate almost anything the child wants to stick them on.
Stickers are very cheap to buy in bulk which means you can hand them out wherever deserved and do not have to worry about good work or effort going unrewarded because you can only afford to give out a certain amount per week. They are also small which means that you can always have them in your bag or desk, which is ideal because young schoolchildren typically need instant recognition and handing them a reward the next day will not have quite the same effect.
Badges are also a great option for school rewards. Although not as cheap as stickers they can still be bought at a relatively low cost and are much longer lasting. Whereas a sticker may be ruined by the end of the day, a badge is something durable that the child can take home to show off to their parents. They will provide a longer term sense of achievement and motivation and will make the child feel like they received an extra special reward.
Certificates of achievement are another great option and are again longer lasting than stickers. They can be pinned onto the classroom wall or taken home to be added to the fridge door, and due to their nature will also explain to the child, and the parents, exactly what the child did to earn the certificate.
Used correctly, all school rewards, big and small, can have excellent results when it comes to motivating young schoolchildren. From stickers for good work in class to end of term certificates of achievement to reward extra special efforts or attendance, children will love to receive a reward. Badges such as prefect badges and congratulations badges provide long term recognition and are an excellent choice.

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