Classroom Rewards are a simple and effective way to motivate your students! Are you looking for a quick, easy student reward system to engage your students and won’t break the bank? That was me! Keeping the prize box filled was both costly and exhausting.
I started using easy student reward cards, and my life became much easier. Even better, the students LOVED them, and they weren’t a distraction to our reading groups. Here are 9 easy student rewards for your reading group.
Free Student Reward #1: Teacher Helper
This one is always a hit; something about wearing a badge is very empowering to students! The level of “teacher help” can vary by group. For some, being a teacher helper means handing out folders or deciding if we will whisper read individually or with a partner.
Free Student Reward #2: Flashlight Friday
I have a few Walmart $1 flashlights we use on this occasion. This is definitely a reward that works best for the whole group. We turn off the lights and do every part of our reading group by flashlight!
Free Student Reward #3: Think Ink
This one is as free as it sounds – we use pens instead of pencils! I even have a stash of the old-school double-sided teacher’s pens that are a big hit! Think Ink can be used as an individual reward, or if someone picks it, the whole group can use it.
Free Student Reward #4: You Choose (GoNoodle)
Who doesn’t love a brain break?! Especially when it is GoNoodle. Whoever chooses this card has the coveted job of picking our GoNoodle!
Free Student Reward #5: Teacher Chair
Another one that is as free as it sounds, I let them sit in a teacher’s chair! When I get out of my chair and wheel them over to their spot, the look of joy is priceless.
Free Student Reward #6: Stinky Feet
When someone picks Stinky Feet, he can take off his shoes for our reading group time! This is a reward that I often let the whole group use (if they want), and it is a big hit. Who am I kidding? All of these rewards are a big hit!
Accessible Student Reward #7: Musical Monday
This reward lets us listen to music while we work. One of my favorites is the Piano Guys, who play the instrumental version of popular songs. I came across this excellent blog post at We Are Teachers, “19 Classroom Spotify Playlists and Artist Recommendations,” with many great suggestions.
Free Student Reward #8: Furry Friend
I have a bucket full of furry friends just for this occasion. This is another reward where an individual student can have a furry friend, or the whole group can have one for the day. The student(s) bring the animal to the table, and they read to them, “teach” them how to do things, or just hold them to provide a little moral support.
Free Student Reward #9: Game Day
I’ll be honest; I often turn this one over because we can’t play a game every week! But when it is a choice, it is a huge hit! We only play educational games; our favorites are Chunk Stacker and Go to Press.
Free Reward Organization
I keep all my rewards in this pocket chart behind the punch cards. The students know where and what they are and can pick them out once their punch card is full. We first had to go over these routines very explicitly, but it was well worth the time!
Multiple students often finish their punch cards on the same day, and with 12 groups a day, that is a lot of rewards to track! So once a student has picked their reward card, they put it next to their punch card as a reminder to both of us to use the reward the next day!
When do you give out a reward card?
When a student has finished their punch card, they pick one of these rewards. Punch cards are an easy way for students to independently track their progress toward a reward.
If you are interested in learning more about punch cards, you can check out this blog post I wrote about them called “The Power of a Punch Card.“
Grab Your Own Classroom Rewards
You can use these rewards in many ways in small groups or even with your whole class! These free student reward cards are incredibly motivating; you don’t have to worry about filling up a costly prize box.
No time to make your own cards? No problem – got you covered, and you can find mine here. I hope you’ll give these student rewards a try in your own classroom. They’re a great way to motivate your students and help them reach their full potential.