Thoughtful Student Recognition Ideas
Regardless of what grade students are in, they all want some type of positive reinforcement when they do something well or improve on something they have been struggling with in the past. Whether it’s good behavior, improved behavior or good grades, teachers must show each and every student that they are valued and appreciated. Even the students who seem to do very little good in the classroom can be recognized for something positive during the school year. It never ceased to amaze me (as a former school teacher) how far a little positive reinforcement went, especially with kids who were used to only getting negative feedback.
There are hundreds of creative, inexpensive student recognition ideas you can use in the classroom, and all you have to do is tweak the recognition to fit the age of your students. You don’t want to embarrass a student by offering a reward that is too childish for his/her age.
Most children, regardless of age, love having special privileges. Asking a student to be the office delivery person, to take messages to other classrooms, or to leave a few minutes early for lunch or afternoon dismissal are student recognition ideas that kids in any grade will love. This works especially well when the student is one that many teachers would not trust with these privileges. When you offer a student with a reputation for being “trouble” the privilege of delivering a message to the office or having your copies picked up from the copy room, he/she will feel that you trust and respect him and that will go a long way in how he behaves in the future. When the “perfect” students are given privileges like that, it just doesn’t mean the same because it’s usually the well-behaved students and students with high grades that get privileges like this. So, this is one student recognition idea that really, really works.
One of the great things about this student recognition idea is that it cost you absolutely nothing. The best student recognition ideas are usually the ones that are monetarily inexpensive but are priceless when it comes to intrinsic value. If you have not tried giving privileges to poorly behaved students who show improvement in their behavior, give this one a try.
Writing a short note to parents or making a phone call home to report good behavior or an improvement in classroom performance is also a great student recognition idea that really does wonders to keep the student motivated to do well. Phone calls home are so often associated with bad news that a good phone call home will probably surprise the student (and parents) so much, he will want to continue to do even better to get future positive reinforcement. This takes very little time, and you can even schedule one afternoon a month to make these positive phone calls home to students who are doing well.
PaperDirect is your online shopping source for other types of student recognition such as trophies, plaques and certificates to keep students motivated and provide incentive for continued good work and behavior. Read more Great Ideas for Classroom Recognition on the PaperDirect blog.