I use a press and mobile light device (sometimes called a “tap light”) to motivate and reward my students. When a child contributes an idea that goes beyond a simply correct answer, I allow the child to remove the unlit device from a display on the wall that says, “We have bright ideas!” The child presses to light it up, and then he or she places it back in its special place on the display. Then I comment that the child really was thinking in a new way or had a bright idea that helped us see things in a new light. I make sure that the class hears the idea again. Later, I quietly press it to turn off the light, explaining if I need to, that we must save the batteries.
The lights always have a hole in the back of them to allow them to hang easily from a screw. The lights are readily available almost anywhere, are inexpensive, last a long time, and sometimes come in a variety of shapes — even stars! I get mine from a dollar store. The kids love it when their contributions are recognized with the light.