Sunday, August 11, 2013


I've already discussed one incentive that you can use: games. But what if you don't have a ball for silent ball, or tables/desks for heads up 7up, or a large area to sit in a circle for duck, duck goose. Well then, you best be packing some stickers with you friend. 

We are only substitutes. We aren't teachers or doctors or lawyers. So leave the drippy diamonds at home (and sell them - don't give them away to children!). You can't afford mini chocolate bars for an entire class. Plus, with all this healthy living talk and encouraging kids to eat healthy snacks providing them with chocolate may not go down so great. Also, where would you stash them all while deciding if the class was good enough for the chocolate? AND... if the class sucks and doesn't get it then you are stuck with all this extra chocolate which means you may as well buy yourself bigger pants now. No, no, no... let's not get crazy. Let's just go to the Dollar Store and stock up on teeny tiny cheap erasers, pencils, and stickers now. 

My go to items as giveaways are: sticky notes, pencils, erasers, notebooks, and of course, stickers. I'm pretty proud to say I've hardly paid for any of them either. And no, I did not 5 finger discount them. I find being a teacher we acquire a lot of certain things and pencils, erasers, and sticky notes are hot items that I've often received. Since I don't need drawer fulls of any of these items I just stick them in a bag and give them away. I should state that I do pay for the stickers. They cost a dollar for basically an endless supply. 

I give away all these goodies at the end of the day. It can be to the entire class, to anyone who didn't get their name on the board that day, or anyone you didn't have to talk to more than twice about their behaviour. It can also be a draw. Everytime you catch a student doing something good and helpful write their name down on a piece of paper and draw for a few items at the end of the day (of course, let the students know about the draw at the beginning of the day so they have that incentive to be good). 

I know what some of you are going to say: "I don't believe in incentives", "kids should be good without the use of prizes" or "children should not be rewarded for doing what they should be doing anyways" and that's fine. You can say that. But I clearly do not live in your fairytale land of rainbows, butterflies, and unicorns. Kids are not always good where I am from and this works so I'm going to use incentives.

Examples of some of the incentives I have on hand that I also use for "mystery messes"

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