I’ve often got asked, “What are some inexpensive ways that I could reward my students?”. Obviously, new teachers don’t have a lot of money to keep their treasure chest overflowing with super cool stuff. But you know there are many things that you could do for your students that don’t cost any money. Well, for starters one thing might be to let well-behaved students work with a friend for a period of time, or to sit in a special place in the classroom. Another thing would be to put special notes on students’ desks, or simply drop them in the mail — your kiddos will love getting mail.
Now, another thing would be to make weekly positive phone calls home. What I used to do was pick two students every single week and call home with a positive message. Let me tell you parents really loved this. As a matter of fact, I’d have parents tell me that that’s never happened to them before. Just think about this, parents are mostly used to just getting bad news as opposed to good news. I am here to tell you that this tip has paid off in terms of fostering positive home-school connections.
Another kind of reward would be to encourage your students to complement one another. Lastly, the teacher could give a thumbs-up, a handshake, or just have the class “sparkle” for the one being congratulated.
There you have it, one doesn’t have to spend a bunch of money to reward students. I’m sure if you have brainstormed the idea, you could come up with many other ways!
Please share if you have any other ideas as to rewarding your students without spending money.