March 13, 2013

Free and Easy Rewards for Students

Coming up with positive ways of motivating our students is half the battle of creating a classroom discipline strategy. Here is a list of rewards that are both easy and free (or super-duper cheap!):

  • Get to choose if we have lights on or off for the afternoon.
  • Bring a non-water drink to class (or allow a water bottle at their desk if drinks are usually prohibited).
  • Sit wherever you want during read aloud time. This could be in the teacher's chair, on the floor, under their desk, etc.
  • Get a free star on their job chart or some other chart where they are trying to earn points / stickers.
  • No Homework Day or a "Homework Pass"
  • Lunch in the classroom (watch a movie during lunch or listen to a book on tape)
  • Lunch outside on the sidewalk, grass, or playground. 
  • Teacher brings in baked goodies (brownies, cookies, etc)
  • Popcorn party
  • Walk to the front door a few minutes early so that they can be the first to get on the bus (in other words, the first to pick their seat out on the bus!)
  • "Early Bus Loaders Pass" for the next field trip. This allows them to get on the bus first and choose their seats and seat mate before the rest of the class.
  • "Lunch Line Pass." One person a day may turn this into you to be allowed to 'budge' in the lunch  or water fountain line. 
  • 1 Minute Simon Says: If they work quietly as a class for _____ minutes, they can earn a one minute speed round of Simon Says. To make this fun, you have to talk as quickly as you can during the game. P.S.- I was always amazed at how effective this was for even the 5th graders! When I needed to get their attention right away, I would start a speed round of Simon Says. Within 2 seconds, the entire class would have stopped what they were doing and be totally focused on what I was saying.
  • Bubbles Day: allow students to take bubbles out to recess with them.
  • 5 minutes of extra recess

So what works for you? What rewards do you offer your students?


  1. Great list- here's some rewards I've used....Class President for a Day... Gets to choose the game at the next indoor recess... Gets to bring in one (instrumental) cd for the class to listen to during their morning work...

    1. Great ideas! What does the Class President do?

  2. As a specialist, "free" prizes can be tricky to come up with. I let the kids sit where they want for a class, or a favorite is having class with no shoes on!

    1. I love the no shoes idea- very creative! Isn't it great how the little things can be so exciting to the kids?! I just love that!


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