Incentives for Jaded High Schoolers?
January 17, 2009 10:58 PM Subscribe
Think-Back-To-High-School-Filter: What incentives / prizes / privileges really motivated you? (Aside from grades)
posted by Alabaster to Education (31 answers total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
I'm looking to compile a huge list of incentives for high school aged students who, on the whole, do not care about grades.
I'm not looking for general motivation or classroom management tips -- I simply want tons of ideas for incentives that the students can work towards.
Looking for individual, small group/team, and whole-class incentives -- to be awarded for meeting certain checkpoints, going x days with y behavior, winning competitions/games, successfully attempting extra-credit assignments, and other, more silly or random .
I think I have the "stuff" covered -- candy, small toys, goofy prizes, etc., although I'm always willing to hear more ideas.
But I'm mainly looking for privileges, honors/accolades, team prizes, whole-class activities (e.g. pizza party), etc. Less "stuff," more
Silly and outlandish is OK, for example:
-"The person with the best answer will be called 'Your Majesty' for the rest of the day"
-"The group who meets the following objectives fastest gets to sit in comfy teacher chairs for a week".
-"Any student who makes
-"If the entire class successfully completes these 10 projects by the end of the month, I'll show you my (very bad) breakdancing moves."
The kids are fairly cynical but they tend to respond to silly things, and just about *any* positive reinforcement tends to perk them up a bit. Unfortunately, grades aren't enough -- for most of my kids a D is just as good as an A, as long as they pass.
I'm not looking to get cutesy here, just to keep it interesting, keep the tone of the classroom a bit silly, and give kids something tangible to compete for. The longer my list of ideas, the more I can keep them guessing.
So think back to your high school days. What kinds of things made it worth your while to put a little extra effort into that project? What made you want to help the remedial kid along so that the class would excel? Did you have any teachers with strange/silly (or just effective) reward systems? Bring 'em on.
(While you're at it, I could also use a few some strange or unique consequences/punishments for small-time "offenses." Consequences the students would want to avoid but won't stir up a lot of hostility in the room--e.g. if a student forgets his book, he sits in the creaky wobbly chair for the day, if anyone in the class gets question 4 wrong, I play polka music in class for 3 days, etc.).