August 10, 2005
For group rewards, I have my students' desks in four groups of 4 or 6 and then reward each group with a tally mark on the board. Tallies can be given for the group being ready, good listening, cleared desk, clear floor, working well together, completed work, etc. On Friday, the group that has the most tallies can pick from the prize box. I order many things from Oriental Trading Company (www.orientaltrading.com). Sometimes the items relate to the curriculum (Solar System, magnets) or season (snowflakes, snowmen). I also look at party shops for packs of little gifts for loot bags. Favorite prizes are coupons for 'No Homework', 'Extra 10 min. on computer' and 'Lunch in the classroom with a friend'. I have found that the prize itself doesn't matter -- it's the fact that they earned it. I make sure the same group doesn't always win, and I change seats the beginning of each new month.