In my classroom, I like to motivate my students in three different ways: individually, in groups, and as a class. I like students to personally be noticed and recognized as well teaching them how to work together as a team.
For behavior management, I love to celebrate all the positives! For the past two years, I have used Brag Tags in my classroom and I will never turn back. It is such a great way to celebrate student successes. I have a range from academic tags to classroom rule tags to personal goal tags. The kids are so motivated to earn a new tag for their book. Each student gets to bring this book home to their family after earning a new tag. This is a great way to get to communicate with my students' families. I also find that this management strategy helps with teaching my students goal setting. Students' love to pick a new tag to work for!
Individual Reward System
For individual student management, I like to use the clip chart in my classroom. What I find most beneficial to this strategy is how students have the opportunity to fix a mistake they might have made earlier in the day. I feel this reward system gives students the opportunity to see how behaviors can positively or negatively impact them, with the chance to make better choices as the day continues.
When a student reaches the top of the chart, I send a special note home and students get a 'prize'. (Prizes vary depending on age group). If a student happens to clip to the bottom of the chart, we have a conversation on how to make better choices in the future. Depending on the severity of the incident, there can be several different consequences for the student. Parents are also notified so they can follow through at home.
I think communication between home and school is very important for student growth. Whether is contacting parents about situations that need to be discussed or a positive phone call home, it is important for teachers and parents to work together for student success. I am a firm believer that teachers and parents are a team to help kids grow not only academically, but socially and emotionally as well.
Group Reward System
For students to begin to understand the importance of teamwork, I like to use Mr. Potato Heads for incentive. Whenever a group is 'caught;' making good choices, following school rules, or demonstrating kindness, they can add a piece to their potato head. Once a group has a completed potato head, they will get rewarded. Their prize can be a homework pass, extra iPad time, or a trip to the prize box. I find that students really enjoy seeing their potato head grow and they feel so proud when their group effort gets noticed.
Whole Class Reward System
As a class, we have a marble jar. Every time the class receives a compliment from another teacher, has a great day, or anything that is exemplary behavior, we add a marble to the jar. Once the jar is complete, we decide on a way to 'celebrate' our accomplishment. What I love about the whole group system is that it shows the students the importance of working together and being part of a team. Once they get the first few marbles, it is so motivating for them to continue to watch their pile to grow.