Some of the best teacher’s best tricks are positive incentives. Students will work hard and follow rules much easier when there is a reward in the end, or some sort of recongnition. Eventually, their behavior becomes habit, and the incentive can be taken away. I consider myself an expert at positive incentives. I’m pretty confidant that if my students remember anything about me (pu-leeaase, I’m sure they remember EVERYTHING), it will be my rewards programs…. and the fact that they never saw me without high heels and a coffee cup.
EVERY picture of me that my students drew looked like a blonde stick figure in stilettos holding a cup of coffee.
My most popular incentive was “Ms. M’s Money” * I gave out “money” (which looked very similar to real money with my face on it), out to students for various reasons. They may get a buck for neat handwriting, 2 bucks for helping to clean up, five dollars for being the quietest in the line, 10 dollars for helping a friend, etc etc. The best part was that they never knew when I’d give out money. Basically, I would have to “catch” them being good and reward them with “money”.
The students also had their own wallets that they saved their money in, and each morning they could spend their money on a myriad of things!
A few other incentives I used was a “Fantastic Hat” (The hat Mickey Mouse wears in Fantasia), that I gave out to someone being fantastic. Bruce, the reading shark was given to the best listener at story time. There was the “American Idol” microphone for the “best” singer after our morning songs, the “mathematician” award, and the list goes on and on….