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Fostering a positive, encouraging, and productive learning environment is always a top priority for teachers and school administrators. Reward systems are a great way to motivate students to engage in their studies and behave appropriately. But with so many different reward systems out there for teachers to choose from, how can they know which reward system is best? In this post, we’ll discuss our top pick - a reward system where students work individually and as a group to earn tangible prizes for meeting performance goals and behaving appropriately.

The Merits of Tangible Rewards

Research verifying the effectiveness of incentivizing students with tangible rewards, such as toys and school supplies, is well-documented. Students who know their good performance and behavior will result in a tangible reward participate more, are more engaged, and are more enthusiastic about what they are learning. When a student earns a new prize of their choosing, they feel immediate satisfaction and accomplishment, both of which are great self-esteem-building emotions in children. Tangible rewards also help students feel pride, as they are able to physically represent their accomplishment to their friends and classmates.

Rewards for Enhanced Engagement

By offering a variety of tangible prizes to students for good behavior and grades, you can give each student something practical and useful that they actually want. Toys are great for younger students who are still exploring the world around them using their senses. Older students may prefer writing or art supplies, especially those who enjoy writing or drawing. By catering to the actual interests and skill levels of the students, tangible rewards can help them engage in the academic environment while also keeping their interest.

What Does the Best Tangible Reward System Look Like?

As mentioned above, we feel that the best student reward system incorporates both individual and group goals. For example, individual students could earn points each day for things like turning in homework, participating in discussion sessions, and behaving well. Students can then cash those points in on a weekly basis for tangible prizes like pens, pencils, watercolors, notebooks, fidget toys, squishies, crafting supplies, and more.

In addition to these individual earnings, the class can collectively earn points towards a larger class goal, like a pizza party or a whole week without homework. All points earned by the students in the class each week would be added to the class’ running total. Once the class collectively meets the points goal, the prize is theirs! This setup allows students to see the value of both individual and team work. 

The Rules Matter

No matter how you structure your student reward system, you should first set clear and reasonable rules and stick to them. If one of your rules is that each student earns 100 points for turning in daily homework and one student doesn’t turn in their homework, then they don’t get the points…no excuses allowed. Consistency is key to make the system fair for everyone.

(Note: You may need to make adjustments and exceptions for students in your class with disabilities. These would need to be decided on a case-by-case basis and should have the goal of ensuring that every student has the opportunity to participate and succeed.)

Get Your Student Reward System Prizes at GEDDES

A student reward system that includes both individual and class tangible prize components is the best system for encouraging meaningful student participation and positive student behavior. Tangible rewards give students a sense of achievement and something to show off to their friends, pushing those students to strive for a similar reward. If the reward system is well-planned and thoughtfully executed, it will be an invaluable tool in promoting student engagement and a lifelong interest in learning.

At GEDDES, we offer wholesale school supplies, toys, art supplies, and more for teachers looking to stock up their reward system prize box. To check out everything we offer to make a tangible reward system affordable and fun, click here to view our digital catalog. For more information, contact us at (888) 431-1722 or