|Photo courtesy of http://www.morguefile.com/creative/jusben|
I like the small, self-inking round stamps with a French positive message to track homework that's complete. In a pinch, if you can't get one that's truly French, a simple "Wow!" or "Excellent!" works just fine.
|Available for about $7 each at Scholar's Choice|
As for the stamp students get if the homework isn't done... I don't want anyone to feel left out, right? Basically, either the homework is complete and ready for me to quickly scan, with the stamp page displayed beside it, or I expect to see the student's agenda, open to the correct date. For less than $3, I had a self-inking stamp made at VistaPrint. I keep forgetting to take a photo of what it looks like, but I recreated it in about 2 minutes on their website. A tip - sign up for their email offers and wait for a great price! Essentially, the stamp was totally free and I just paid for shipping. A zillion teachers will send you to VistaPrint with a link to special offers (which they earn rewards through as well) so seek one out if you aren't patient enough to wait around and check the email messages from VistaPrint.
I started out with candy as a reward, and then moved a few years ago to choices from a variety of candy and non-food items. I honestly can't remember if this year or last was my first not offering sweets at all, but just prizes.
My treasure bin is usually chock fun of fun pencils, erasers, and stickers. If I've just stocked up, they may also find bouncy balls, mini-card games or small puzzles (5 for a $1 in the party store loot bag aisle!) and one of the "hot items" is technically free. I have a subscription to COOL! magazine, which usually has a middle poster insert, as well as a free gift enclosed with each issue. These boy-band or movie-inspired posters and the jewelry or other fashion/decor freebies that come with my subscription go right into the prize bin! Actually, for the posters, I usually display them at the front of the class and the kids whose attention that grabs vie to be the first to finish their required number of homework assignments (Yes, I've even had requests for EXTRA homework, which I ignore.)
I've thought about using privilege type rewards, but haven't implemented anything like that just yet. I'm starting to use a raffle system to encourage being on time and prepared to start, which I will post more about in the future.
Do you use reward coupons, like these really cute ones for primary or junior class? Or is candy your go-to reward? They love it - and frankly I love helping myself to a chocolate after school once in a while too - and it works as an incentive, so I am wrestling with "why not?" as I think about my approach for next year.
I would love it if you would leave me a comment to let me know if extrinsic rewards, for individuals or a class, play any role in your classroom management at all!