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Showing posts with label rewards. Show all posts
Showing posts with label rewards. Show all posts

5 Rewards that don't lead to Entitlement

I'm not a big fan of rewards. 

5 Rewards that don't lead to Entitlement - here are 5 ideas that can be used to encourage children to take pride in their work, but not feel entitled to rewards.

I feel rewards teach children to expect a payoff every time they put effort into something. Rewards often lead to a sense of entitlement, which isn't what the real world is about. 

HERE is a blog post I wrote a while ago that goes into details about WHY I don't like rewards.
5 Rewards that don't lead to Entitlement - here are 5 ideas that can be used to encourage children to take pride in their work, but not feel entitled to rewards.

I know what you're thinking... 
but how do we motivate children to complete work?
 

How do we motivate children to learn?


Well, I have a few tricks up my sleeve. 
The idea is to get children to take pride in their accomplishments.
5 Rewards that don't lead to Entitlement - here are 5 ideas that can be used to encourage children to take pride in their work, but not feel entitled to rewards.
It just so happens I've had a gazillion beanies in my basement from when my daughter was younger. She was just at the right age when they became popular, and people kept giving them to her! (If you ask around, I'm sure you could find someone who has a ton of these that they'd love to get rid of!)

No, they don't get to keep the beanies, but they get to keep them on their desk for the day! I'll bet you're thinking...don't the kiddos play with them all day?

Well, no, because I'm pretty strict about that. 
If they play with the beanies, they lose the beanies. 

Every morning the children are invited to put a beanie on their desk to keep them company for the day. They can earn more throughout the day by asking thoughtful questions, showing perseverance, helping classmates, and a variety of "above and beyond" behaviors that I want to emphasize.

Since it's not a thing they get to keep, it's not about greed. 
 

It's about pride. 


5 Rewards that don't lead to Entitlement - here are 5 ideas that can be used to encourage children to take pride in their work, but not feel entitled to rewards.

I also have a collection of flags, including many from different countries. I admit, the American flags are the most popular, but once they figure out the other countries, those become popular, too! The flags are rewards, similar to the beanies, but on a higher level. I'll give flags for effort, success on math facts, handwriting awards, or remembering to show their work in math.  Again, they don't get to keep the flags, but it is a source of pride.
5 Rewards that don't lead to Entitlement - here are 5 ideas that can be used to encourage children to take pride in their work, but not feel entitled to rewards.

Kids do need to play. Personally, I'd love to see them get a whole lot more recess, but that's not something I can control. But if the group gets their work done in a reasonable amount of time, and they put effort into that work, they can earn some play time. One of their favorites is time to play with the math manipulatives! They also enjoy time with clay, painting, and we even spent some time making paper airplanes! These group rewards serve several purposes: they encourage the children to work as a team, and they get along amazingly well at these times! When it's time to pick up, they're good sports because they know they want to earn this "play time" again! Another thing... giving them specific play time with manipulatives helps them NOT play with them when using them as math tools. 
5 Rewards that don't lead to Entitlement - here are 5 ideas that can be used to encourage children to take pride in their work, but not feel entitled to rewards.

Yes, you read that right! When my class brainstormed ideas for things they could earn with good behavior and hard work, science experiments was one of the first things on the list! (Don't tell the kids, most of these science experiments are things I'd do with the children anyway, but when it's used "as  a reward", it's very motivational!)
5 Rewards that don't lead to Entitlement - here are 5 ideas that can be used to encourage children to take pride in their work, but not feel entitled to rewards.
Lego Abe has been an important part of my classroom for several years now. I think he was part of a "Happy Meal" toy or something like that, but he's been a big hit!

Every day, Lego Abe gets to sit on the desk of one of my cherubs. It's announced in my daily morning letter, and he always goes to someone who has been a good role model or showed exceptional effort or perseverance. This is clearly stated in the "morning letter announcement." At the end of the day, Lego Abe takes his "Gettysburg Address" back to his "log cabin" to sleep for the night.

You may not have your own Lego Abe, but I'm sure you've got something the children might cherish as much as mine cherish Lego Abe.

Have you noticed a theme? NONE of these rewards are given for being "smart" or "talented." They are given for effort and hard work! Plus, NONE of these rewards are things the children get to keep. They are simply a recognition for a job well done, and encourage children to take pride in what they do.

These rewards don't encourage entitlement, they encourage children to work. Isn't that what we want?

5 Rewards that don't lead to Entitlement - here are 5 ideas that can be used to encourage children to take pride in their work, but not feel entitled to rewards.

Five Reasons NOT to Reward Students

Many teachers love to reward their students for doing a good job on their classwork. 
 
Five Reasons NOT to Reward Students - Rewarding students MAY do more harm than good. Here are some reasons.
 


I have mixed feelings about this, and here are some reason why.



Rewards can make behavior and work habits worse in the long run. Simple rewards can certainly motivate children to work harder, but once the reward is gone, the motivation stops. Behaviors and work habits go downhill fast once the children have been rewarded. "Why should I read if I'm not earning a prize?"



Rewards cost money. Teachers don't have a lot of money. 



Rewards give the wrong impression. Good behavior is what's expected. Giving rewards makes good behavior an extra effort worth of a prize. It's almost like turning good behavior into a job, with a paycheck as the prize. 



Rewards lead to entitlement. Children develop a sense of entitlement for simply doing what is expected. Unfortunately, this leads to adults who feel entitled simply for showing up at work. 


Learning is its own reward. Students need to be developing a sense of pride in what they do. That is the true reward! Feeling good about working hard for something is a wonderful feeling! Taking pride in a project done well, or a successful test is a prize within itself. 

Despite all these reasons, I won't say that rewards should never be used. There are some children that need that extra motivation in order to be successful. Some children have behavioral challenges or educational challenges that make school very hard. In these cases, rewards should be used carefully.

Five Reasons NOT to Reward Students - Rewarding students MAY do more harm than good. Here are some reasons.

The Scoreboard!


Where would I be without my scoreboard?  

 

If you're familiar with Whole Brain Teaching, you know exactly what the scoreboard is, and why it is so important!  Although I certainly have a lot to learn about Whole Brain Teaching, I've been using the scoreboard for a few years now, and know I couldn't survive without it!

Lately, my students have been rather rambunctious.  Between snow days and early dismissals, and Invention Convention, and just being totally due for vacation (starts this Friday), these little guys are really struggling to stay focused and get anything done at all. 

How do I keep them going?  The scoreboard!
 
The Scoreboard! Thanks to Whole Brain Teaching, I have found the perfect tool for classroom management. It's a win-win!

Here's how it works. If the children do something that makes the teacher happy, the teacher puts a tally on the happy side. If the children do something that make the teacher sad, a tally goes on the sad side. This is all "whole group" behavior. (Individual issues are on the classroom clip chart.) If the children are engaged during a lesson, they get a happy tally. If the noise level is too much, a sad tally. If I see cooperation, a happy tally. If I see fooling around during work time, a sad tally.

Interesting, when the kids are as antsy as they've been this week, that's when the scoreboard is busiest! As I write each tally, I tell what they did to earn it, and the children do a celebratory "one second party" or a disappointed "mighty groan".

Of course, all those tallies need to add up to something! Well, each day that "happy" beats "sad", I add 5 minutes. After they've earned enough time, they can spend those minutes on an activity of their choice. They might work for painting time:

The Scoreboard! Thanks to Whole Brain Teaching, I have found the perfect tool for classroom management. It's a win-win!
 
Block time:

The Scoreboard! Thanks to Whole Brain Teaching, I have found the perfect tool for classroom management. It's a win-win!

or perhaps a seasonal craft!

The Scoreboard! Thanks to Whole Brain Teaching, I have found the perfect tool for classroom management. It's a win-win!

To learn more about the scoreboard and Whole Brain Learning, click HERE. You can also click the image below to find out more about their book! 



For the upcoming Invention Convention, one of my students is creating a scoreboard that teachers won't keep leaving on the opposite side of the classroom, that we'll be able to attach to our waists!

Don't you love kids?
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