October 15, 2011

No Cost Rewards

Call them prizes, rewards, positive incentives, bribes, I don't care! I love 'em. I love to give rewards and I love to get them. But, as the song goes, "the best things in life are free." I love no cost rewards even better.

Here you can see the beginning of A-R-T-I-S-T on the white board.
When the class earns all the letters we listen to a MIX CD in grades 4 and 5.
Grades 1-3 get to go to the prize box (that's not a no cost reward though.) 

This year I created a MIX CD with songs that the fourth and fifth graders are loving. The younger kids haven't developed any strong music tastes so I usually play classical, jazz or some sort of world music. The fifth grade mix is a reward though. When they earn all the letters that spell A-R-T-I-S-T on the board I turn on the CD during work time. I put letters up their in the beginning of class, when they walk in quietly, after attendance is quiet, or when someone does something nice. They save the letters from the last class so they won't have to start from scratch. I will have to add to the Mix soon to keep them interested. This has been the best free reward yet.
Here are some of the songs: Chasing Pavements ADELE, Three Little Birds BOB MARLEY, Dynamite ROCSTARR, Firework KATY PERRY, Pokerface LADY GAGA
GRADE: A+ It's easy, fun, and everyone gets to enjoy it including me.

LUNCH IN THE ART ROOM is a special reward I reserve for students who go above and beyond to help me. Students can bring their lunch and eat in the art room away from the noisy lunchroom. I love to find ways to appreciate students who always do good work.
GRADE: B It's a fun way to get to know students and show them they are appreciated. On the negative side you can't involve the whole class.

Another free reward is extra art time for the ART CLASS OF THE MONTH. I select one class out of 20+ (one that has been working cooperatively and that I want to spend extra time with) and they get to free create in the art room. I am also working on a letter to send home to the parents to announce that their child is part of the ART CLASS OF THE MONTH.
GRADE: C because it is time consuming, only effects one class, and doesn't really provide any motivation to behave for other classes (I'm required to do this though from the district.)

CHEERS are a great quick way to let the students know they are doing a great job. Our favorite is OOOOOHHH Yeah. . . and we do this silly hand movement like a rollercoaster. I even had a little kid do this in the grocery store when she saw me. I hate cheesy but the kids like it. Thank goodness I like kids.
B+ Kids LOVE cheers. . . I pretend to love em;)


I really want to make some sort of free way to recognize the art class of the month like a trophy or artist palette to display in their room. . . do you have any ideas?


Phyl said...

I admit to spending a little money a couple of times a year, for the classes who come in first (and maybe 2nd or 3rd) on our reward chart. They get a "pop-pop party", which is popcorn and popsicles (I suppose I could add lollipops and pop tarts for a change).

I also find that kids are always excited to get stickers, even the biggest kids. They are so tickled to get "stickered". I buy them in the dollar store so it's not a big expense.

I also scarf up as many freebies as I can at the state conference, and put them in a prize box for kids who do special stuff. Last year there were less good prize items though - the kids love the samples of that soft Crayola clay (can't think of the name of it, but everyone seems to like it but me).

For kids who do nice things, I can put their name in the bucket for a weekly elementary school "bucket-fillers" drawing - last year the prizes were T-shirts but I don't know this year. I can also put their name on the "good citizen" tree in the hallway. Both of these things are elementary school programs in our district.

Natalie said...

great ideas! I love the Oh Yeah thing and that the kid did it in the grocery store! That would have made my day for sure! I love when you see them outside school!

Paintedpaper said...

Yep, I am like Phyl, I do the pop-pop party. popsicles and tootsie pops! I also send names down to the bucket filler drawing too! Stickers really are something, I have had fights over who can put up stickers! lol :)

Jen said...

I have pre-made awards called Smart Art Awards. I give these awards to students that show kind acts and help others out. I do not give the students the award right away. I place the award out in the hallway next to the entrance of my door. They like the fact that their name is on display.

kszwahl said...

I have been doing "behavior bingo" (3rd & 4th gr)this year and when the kids get their name four in a row they get a reward. Some of my rewards are the same as yours. Other rewards are free draw or computer time during a day in art.
But the one they pick the most is to come and help in a younger art class like kinder or first grade. As it happens lots of the kids have younger brothers or sisters in those grades. Lots of times these younger classes come at the 3rd & 4th grade recess time. Or the students are good workers and can leave class for 30 min and the classroom teacher is proud to let them come.
I just love the idea that the kids rewards are no $$ cost. It also gives me some one on one time if they come in for lunch with me. I get that connection I can't when there are 24 other kids in the room!

Lori Decoite said...

great ideas everyone...i think i need to start a no cost reward system!!

Unknown said...

love these too!

I think it might be cool to play POP music during a POP POP Party. . .

Cathy said...

Love your ideas. I just have one class. I am a volunteer for my son's grade class in a small school without an art teacher. My kids get (paper) paint spots on a paint palette for a reward system. 0=needs improvement 1=good 2=great When they fill their palette they have earned a special day. We have done play dough, mini-marshmallow & tooth pick creations and side walk chalk. They loved each of these!

Barbara's Thought of the Day said...

Erica, I just started using some of the WBT strategies in my room and am loving it. I laugh, too when I hear those little "oh, yeah's" everywhere in the school now.
I keep a soft foam nerf-ball in my bag because my older kid's favorite reward is a few minutes of Mum-Ball.
My 5,6,7,8's need 4 points to earn 5 minutes of MUM-Ball. They can earn one point for each class and we use the WBT scoreboard to keep track of points.
I love that they work so hard for an entire MONTH for those five minutes and are thanking me afterwards!
I love that I have a system to acknowledge the little niceties that make our art time so wonderful.

Unknown said...

What is MUM Ball??? I want to try it!

Barbara's Thought of the Day said...

mum-ball is a silent circle game. If you talk, you're out. If you laugh, you're out. If you miss the ball, you're out. If you make a bad through, you're out.
There are a bunch of variations, but that's it in a nutshell.

I'm going to try WBT Brain Soccer as a reward for my little ones (check the site for the rules). I'll let you know how it goes.

Danielle said...

I love your Mix CD idea and will be using this reward very soon with my Grades 5-7 kids. Thank you!!

Unknown said...

You all have great ideas. One thing I do is give out "tickets" during class (and keep track of who receives one). These tickets can be traded for special privileges like sitting by a friend during class, sitting on a pink stool (little stools I bought at the flea market), sitting with Art Cat (a stuffed animal), or visiting the art room in the morning to have free time or help me. I was blown away the first time a 5th grader wanted to sit with Art Cat! Art Cat is well loved and the #1 choice for students who want to trade in their ticket. It's free too!!
Sometimes I think we can over do the rewards when really it can be simple things. My little guys like to play Go Fish with cards since many have never played cards before so I often give that as an extra treat for kinders.
It's endless. Thanks for your great ideas too!!

Anonymous said...

I do "Artist of the Week". Right now it is just one student but I would like to pick one from every grade level I teach. at the end of the week I go through all the finished art work as I'm grading and then decide who was displaying good character behavior and if their project has the objectives of the lesson. Once I pick one I put it up on the display easel just for this award all week and send a note home. I have added taking their picture with their displayed art work and put it on the art webpage. They love it and it is not an additional expense out of my pocket.

Unknown said...

Love all these ideas! Will definitely be featuring my artist of the month's art work soon with picture great idea!