One component I added to my classroom about 10 years ago was a student incentive store. Our building had been struggling with a great deal of transition, and our student behavior was a school-wide challenge. We had just adopted the CHAMPS program, but as whole group teachers, we were still finding behavior management to be a challenge with our students. Work completion was a struggle, and student behavior was impacting instructional time.
As a 6th grade team, we decided we were going take a different approach. Part of the CHAMPS program is having a student incentive opportunity for students. While some teachers thought a school-wide incentive store was the way to go, it wasn’t working for our upper elementary students. They complained, “No one ever gives us Eagle Bucks!” or “The incentives are too babyish!” So, I took charge and created a student incentive store to meet the needs of my sixth graders. I can’t control what happens in other classrooms or learning environments, but I can control the needs and successes of my students.
What You Need to Get Started
Find a Space in Your Classroom, Hallway, or School Building:
- Needs to have shelving
- Is inviting to students
- Can be locked
Materials Needed to Organize Student Incentive Store:
- Clear plastic bins or boxes (lids are not necessary)
Item Ideas for Students to Purchase:
- Pencils, pens, markers, colored pencils
- Notebooks, folders, loose-leaf paper, mini-notepads
- Extra classroom planners
- Bead packs for jewelry-making
- Craft supplies/kits
- Picture frames
- Baseball/football/basketball cards
- Playing cards
- Silly Putty, Slinkies
- Seasonal items
- Bags of crackers, Goldfish, fruit snacks
My Favorite Places to Find Trinkets:
Getting Student Buy-In
Make It a BIG Deal!
- Make it a big deal! Shopping day should be a scheduled day and an EXCITING day!
- Keep it well stocked.
- Include items they WANT!
- Make sure you establish a routine so they know when they will get to shop EVERY week.
Earning Currency and a Shopping Day
- going above and beyond on an assignment or task
- helping others
- demonstrating good citizenship
- random acts of kindness
- using strategies for reading
The list is endless as to how students can earn; I just made sure to be consistent with passing it out to students so they knew they had the opportunity to earn them at any time during their school day.
I would love to hear all about your incentive store success or any questions you may have about how to get started. My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. Best of luck this school year!
My name is Erin Beers from Mrs. Beers’ Language Arts Class, and I am thrilled to be guest blogging today on Minds in Bloom. I am an upper elementary teacher currently on extended maternity leave for the 2014-2015 school year. I have been teaching for 15 years and adore being an upper elementary teacher. Teaching 6th grade language arts for the last 13 years has been an amazing experience, and I love blogging, collaborating, and connecting with other educators to enhance my “bag of tricks.”