For fun

25 Class Rewards (That Are Not Full of Sugar)

It’s 4th term which means everyone is tired – teachers included. Sometimes a little extra encouragement is needed in the last few weeks of the year but filling students full of sugar can create more problems than it fixes. Here are some great sugar-free incentives for the whole class.

Whole-of-class rewards are a great way to get your students working together. Whether you need them to clean out their trays, give you half an hour of silence while you finish reports or just stand quietly in line while they wait for the bus to take them home from swimming lessons, there’s nothing wrong with incentivising kids for good behaviour.

  1. Do a maths lesson with giant chalk in the quad/footpath/undercover area.
  2. Let the kids plan the class timetable for a week or day.
  3. Lunchtime series – kids can watch one episode of a show each lunchtime over a week (great for when the weather turns hot).
  4. Get-out-of-homework free passes.
  5. ‘Virtual’ class trip using Google Earth.
  6. Cover an entire wall of the classroom with butcher’s paper and let the kids draw and graffiti on it.
  7. Extended lunch or recess.
  8. Talent Show – an afternoon where everyone shares their special talent.
  9. Having classes outside in the shade for a day.
  10. Teacher ‘dare’ – perhaps you will play the ukulele for the class, wear your wedding dress to assembly, be dunked at the local fete or wear your PJs to school.
  11. Board game day – introduce students to games they might not have played before (the op-shop is your friend with this one).
  12. Free-dress day or pyjama day, crazy sock or hair day.
  13. Whole-of-class games during lunch – everyone has to play including the teacher.
  14. Invite someone for an incursion – a local author or artist for a workshop or invite a parent to host a ‘masterclass’ of some sort.
  15. Lunchtime disco party – darken the windows and don’t forget the glow sticks.
  16. Bring a class pet in for the day.
  17. Free Choice afternoon – kids can draw, play games, read or do any other activity in the classroom.
  18. Turn the classroom into a giant fort by hanging rugs and sheets over the desks. Everyone works in their own fort for the day.
  19. Let the kids decorate the quad/footpaths with giant chalk.
  20. Movie and popcorn day – let the kids vote for a movie they watch after lunch one day.
  21. 2Let the kids choose a playlist of music to have on quietly when they are doing certain subjects or activities.
  22. Day of Kahoot – each lesson starts with a Kahoot quiz.
  23. Make Slime.
  24. Buy bags of cheap slinkies and let the kids race them down the stairs.
  25. At assembly, your students get to sit in the chairs while their parents take their spot on the ground (this will require buy-in from the parents, obviously).

Shannon Meyerkort

Shannon Meyerkort is a freelance writer and the author of "Brilliant Minds: 30 Dyslexic Heroes Who Changed our World", now available in all good bookstores.

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