Whatever your classroom management style may be, you probably use some sort of student reward or incentive system.

Student incentives can become expensive, but motivating and rewarding students does not require a heaping stash of fun-size candy bars or a treasure chest of Dollar Store prizes!  Motivating students can be surprisingly simple. Try some of these no-cost, non-food student incentives in your classroom.

Help In Another Classroom or Another Staff Member – Team up with other faculty and staff members to allow students to help that staff member or teacher.  When they get back to your class, have them share their experience to motivate others.

Computer/Tablet “Free” Time – Allow students “free” time on computers or tablets.

2nd Chance – Students receive a chance to redo an assignment.

Choose the Next Class Brain Break –  Let a student pick the next brain break for the class, or even choose all of the brain breaks for the entire school day.

Assignment Reviewer – Students will review assignments with the class (homework, morning work, etc.) acting as the teacher during that time.

Choose Your Seat – Students may choose their own seat in the classroom.  This can be short or long term.

Performance or Presentation – Students can present in some format, like “Show And Tell.”  Perhaps a student has a special talent, like playing an instrument, or reading aloud a passage or poem in a dramatic way?  It can also be a time for students to share interesting information about themselves, like sharing a personal artifact with a meaningful story.

Stress Relievers/Fidget Items – Students get to us stress-relievers like stress balls, putty, and other fidget items for the day.

Drop Lowest Grade –  Allow students to remove their lowest grade on a test, quiz, or assignment for the grading period.

Extra Credit Opportunity – Students receive an opportunity to complete an extra credit assignment.

Morning Announcements – Students get to say school morning announcements or the Pledge of Allegiance over the intercom.

Hat Day – Students get to wear a hat for an entire school day.

No Homework Pass – Students receive no homework for the day or subject.  This can be used for any subject and teachers may implement at their discretion.

Special Chair – Students get to sit in a special chair all day, like the teacher’s chair.

Lunch in the Classroom with the Teacher and a Friend – Students get to eat lunch in the classroom with you and a friend of their choosing.

Bring a Stuffed Animal – This, of course, is for the younger students.  Students may bring a stuffed animal to school for the day.


What are some of your favorite non-food, no-cost student incentives?


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