Classroom Awards To Reward and Motivate. They're A MUST!!
Classroom awards, i.e. recognition awards, are absolutely fabulous for building student motivation in the classroom and definitely essential for creating strong teacher student relationships.
Whether you are 5, 10, 22, 37 or 50 years old, you appreciate praise and acknowledgment for who you are and what you achieve!
I always gave out student awards - even my Grade 6 students loved receiving them. The one that was favored the most was
"Student of the Week".
I always used a variety of stickers on my student awards. For example:
* Sports Achievement Award - stickers with soccer, football or basketballs on them.
* Halloween stickers throughout the month of October on certificates, awards or school passes you give out.
* Christmas stickers throughout the month of December.
All elementary school kids - no matter how old, LOVE stickers! Often I had them choose their own sticker(s) that they wanted on their individual award or certificate. After all, it was their proud moment!
I started giving out certificates the very first week - welcoming my students to my class/grade and letting them know that I was looking forward to working with them throughout the year.
Believe me when I say that classroom awards/certificates are a necessity in your classroom and will be a huge hit.
Decide what you want students to achieve in present terms, then reward their present performance. People/students react adversely to criticism, especially if repeated. These criticisms lower productivity and satisfaction in the classroom - that's the opposite of what you're trying to achieve.
In my last school, I started a "Kindness Tree". A beautifully designed tree with many branches was put up on a bulletin board in the main hall of the school. Once a month , one or two students from each class was chosen by their teacher, secretly, and was presented with an award or gift at our monthly assembly.
Students were chosen by their teacher for various reasons; e.g. continually using manners, being polite, always sharing, being conscientious, displaying care and concern for others, etc., etc., etc.
After the assembly, their name was printed on aleaf and placed on one branch of the tree and remained there the whole year. The gifts would range from dollar store items, gift certificates from a local fast food restaurant, free library book or whatever your school could afford.
The "Kindness Tree" was a huge hit. It was a bit of work on my part - getting the names from all the teachers, doing the presentations at the assembly, buying the gifts and maintaining the look of the tree. For me, it was well worth it. It was great motivation for the students, staff and it spoke volumes for what our school stood for.
There were a variety of things for which I created and gave out classroom awards throughout the year. To name just a few: monthly speller, students who always returned their library books on time, most improved in Math, great effort, terrific helper (without being asked), cleanest desk (inside of course), someone who always shared - I could go on and on.
Knowing the students in you class, you can create any award you want to give them. Use your imagination.
When I gave a classroom award out of the blue, seeing a big smile appear on their face, gave me the greatest high and made me smile as well(it's contagious). What fabulous motivation and inspiration for your other students!
Please keep in mind that by the end of the school year, every student in your class should receive an award. Don't leave anyone out! You don't want to crush any student's self esteem. Every student deserves recognition and class awards are a great way to go!!
You may have to dig deep or be quite creative to think of an award for certain students, but it was a rewarding experience for them - it's a win-win situation!
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