Coupons=free=not Spending Money On The Treasure Box
1. I have used coupons for various things in the past- eat lunch with your teacher, sit with a friend for the day, sit anywhere you want, sit in the teacher chair, and so on. They are free and well liked! -@mrs.a_fisk
2. Pick out a coupon! Bring a fluffy friend, pj day, sit with a friend at lunch, read to another class, and some more! ?? -@meesa__mm
3. I use a rewards binder!!! Its the greatest! They earn prizes like be sock footed for the day inside the classroom, choose a new rug spot, etc. My class LOVED it!! -@katzlovey
Why I Stopped Spending Money On The Treasure Box
A few weeks ago, I posted a picture about how I dont use the Treasure Box. I am completely serious. When I stopped using the treasure box, I asked myself, what would be the best idea? I came up with my Classroom Economy and you can read all about it on my other posts. I will be completely honest with you. Below is why I stopped spending money on the treasure box.
When I had my little one in 2015, I had one of the worst classes ever. There was a student who threw everything at me. Dead serious. He threw scissors, a desk, his notebooks, and everything he could possibly get his hands on. Lastly, he picked up my treasure box. I spent HOURS on this. I made it rainbow colors and painted each piece by hand. He picked up my treasure box and threw it. It was so big that it didnt break, but all of my students gasped. Some cried. It was at that moment that I realized I never wanted to spend another penny on my classroom. I have a son at home who would benefit from me spending more time and money on then little trinkets in my classroom.
Daily Praise & Incentives
Finally, what about everyday things? Yes, its fun to use bigger rewards, but sometimes kids just need a little day-to-day love to help them do their best.
Help them be proud of themselves with these:
- Love notes to stick in their backpacks, lunch boxes, etc.
- Saying good job on ________.
*Do you have a goal, but still arent sure about a reward? Leave a comment below, and Ill help brainstorm!
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All About Star Of The Week
This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click on or buy something from one of the links, I may receive a small income at no additional cost to you.
Star of the week is one of the best ways to get to know your students on a deeper level. I start star of the week right in the beginning of the year so we can get to know each other right away. I love incorporating this in my classroom because students feel special for a whole week and it promotes classroom community.
Prize Box Idea #: Sequin Keychains
Ive noticed a trend starting to build the last few years. Sequins that are reversible on shirts, bookbags, really on anything! When I saw these rainbow sequin keychains, I knew my kids would be obsessedand I was right. Nearly two-thirds of my class has multiple of these hanging on their bookbags. They also love playing with their own keychain while theyre walking into the building, packing up, or when they are grabbing a drink of water from their cubbie.
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One Of My Favorite Ideas
9. I have a VIP for the week and use brag tags. The VIP has really encouraged my kids that may act up to make better choices. They all want to earn this privilege. I used it when I taught 5th and 6th and they did! They actually loved the VIP! I actually taught 7 class periods, so I had a table that seated 4 for the week. They would get all kinds of special writing tools and they were allowed to have two pieces of candy for the drawers each day. **I would ask parents to send in the candy, when it needed to be restocked. So many bags =a hw pass. I always got more than enough. @2nd.grade.stars
10 .I tend to go more with experiences such as extra tech time, going to help in another classroom, etc. Although when class parties roll around, I will save those extra individually packed snacks for prizes! Everyone loves a good pack of Cheez-Its! @littleteacherwife
Language Arts / Reading
The goal of our language arts and reading program is to enable each student to have a firm foundation of phonics before they enter the first grade reading program. In addition, we work to individualize the program to each individual students ability level. We will be using a variety of strategies that include sight words, poetry, songs, class books, lists, journal writing, penmanship practice, dictation, and story writing. We use Journeys reading curriculum as a base, as well as draw from several other programs. Students read and write throughout the kindergarten day.
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How The Prize Box Relationship Ended
So yeah, we didnt get along, me and that guy named the prize box. I wish I could tell you that I put my big girl panties on and stood up to the box and laid it out straight. Its over, you high maintenance, time sucking leech.
The truth is I accidentally dumped him. Lets just say it was like a long-distance relationship where one day you forget to call and then you forget another day. And then by the third day, its too awkward to address the situation. So, you just go on pretending it never existed.
Yep, I went home one weekend, forgot all about going to the Dollar Tree and didnt have anything left in it on Monday morning. Just as a side note here, where I live in the mountains of Kentucky, the Dollar Tree is a good 35 minute drive away. So its not as easy as it sounds to get there and to get those items for the prize box.
On Monday, I realized what I had done, and I suffered on without it. By the third day, no one even missed it. Not me, and more importantly, not my students. By Friday, I knew I would never call him back. He was history. No more frantic weekend trips to find mindless trinkets that would probably end up left on the school bus or in the bottom of a toy pit at home. No more wasting time managing who gets in and who doesnt. And no more sad looks from the other students who may have tried so hard that day. But hey, I couldnt afford to give them prizes every day.
What Can You Do Instead Of Spending Money On The Treasure Box
These are all ideas from followers from my Instagram that have shared their idea!
1. I do class coupons. I have coupons for sit with a friend, lunch with the teacher, free homework pass, a note home, teachers chair for the day and shoes off in class. They dont cost me anything and my kids last year ate them up. @laylanconnorsmom
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Classroom Reward Ideas That Students Will Love
Every teacher needs a solid classroom management plan in order to keep their students on the path to learning and making positive choices. Students should learn to make good choices simply for the sake of doing the right thing without expecting a reward. However, it is still important to reward students for their behavior. These classroom reward ideas will help promote further positive choices and hard work and your students will love them!
School Incentives & Rewards For Younger Children:
- Special seating: Sit beside a friend in class for the day
- Special guest for the class: Our Montessori school hosted a John Muir impersonator who shared stories of his walks, his learnings about nature, and his adventures in the mountains.
- Chat break: For one day only, the student chooses a time for up to five minutes for the class to have a chat break
- Special Helper: Student is the teachers special helper for the day
- Student chooses story for story time
- Recess toys, such as a hula hoop or jump rope
- Family night kit: Create a gift basket with puzzles, games, or movie and organic popcorn
- Books: Age and family appropriate book chosen from a pre-approved list
- Special themed coloring book and crayons
- Sketchbook to encourage free expression through drawing and writing
- Adopt an Animal: Let the student choose an animal to adopt with the World Wildlife Funds program. If its for the whole class, choose the option where you get the stuffed animal and make it the class mascot.
- Superhero t-shirts: Student gets a Batman or Wonder Woman t-shirt
- Sleeping bag: a new sleeping bag to encourage sleepovers or camping trips
- Puzzles: Pick a variety of puzzles set in different cities or with pictures of animals
- Blanket fort starter kit: Student receives a large blanket, a flashlight and other fort-building supplies to build a DIY fort
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Why Not Use Both
4. I still do a treasure box but put student reward coupons in there! Still the fun of the treasure box but more meaningful rewards that dont cost me anything! ??-@teachingwithkayleeb
5. My grade level does Bobcat Bucks. They can save their bucks to pay for a prize at the end of each quarter. A craft day, a board game day, or a movie day. They can buy their movie ticket and refreshments. They can earn bucks by doing their classroom jobs and by demonstrating appropriate behaviors. @hazelaiden
Incentives For Upper Elementary & Middle School Students
Whether youre trying to supplement your classroom rewards with sugar-free alternatives, or youve completely committed to non-food incentives, the items below should help you narrow down your search. They are all relatively inexpensive, and most will be appealing to even the most discerning upper-elementary and middle school students. Hopefully, the curated list will be a time-saving source of inspiration as you research different prize ideas!
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Christian Prizes For Kids
Christian prizes for kids will reward children at home and in the Sunday school class. If you teach Sunday school use a simple reward or Christian prize to motivate your children.
Whether the Bible school class is practicing Bible verse memorizing or doing Bible trivia, you will want to give out Christian awards, and prizes, like a sticker, novelty item, toy, or other prize for the effort they made.
You really dont have to spend a lot of money on Christian door prizes for rewarding children. Affordable Christian prizes can include: bookmarks, candy, stickers and even small chocolates and the children will enjoy the reward.
Just the accomplishment of memorizing a Bible verse will make each child feel special! Keep in mind the age of the children, so a short Bible verse is so much easier to memorize.
Use a Christian prize to encourage a child to reinforce the Bible verse. In addition, the prize will help remind the student to walk daily with the Lord Jesus!
Children need to learn how Christ lived, how He walked on foot City to City, never staying in one place and relying on the goodness of others to give Him, and the disciples, a place to eat and sleep.
Children will catch on quickly what the expectation is for Bible verse memorizing. Be sure to remain consistent in Bible lesson time and also add a Bible verse to memorize every week.
Prize Box Idea #: Sports Stress Balls
I always have students in my class who enjoy sports. They may play soccer, football, or something in between, but anything with sports motivates them to do their best work. These stress balls are also great for silent ball or kids who need something to fidget with. We learn to use these as tools instead of toys in my classroom and theyve worked out fabulously.
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Best Home School Prize Box Ideas
If youre a homeschooling parent, you want to make sure your child has just as much fun learning at home as they would if they were spending their days in a traditional classroom. One way to do this is by having a home school prize box to reward them for a job well done. Here are some fun prize options that might just inspire your kids to work a little bit harder!
Start With A Treasure Box
Sure, you could pick up a plastic tub the next time you’re out shopping or reuse an old cardboard box, but what fun would that be? Weve got something even bettera treasure chest box that looks like a real treasure chest! Shiver-me-timbers!
A bit of assembly is required, but thats how were able to ship it flat and sell it at the super low price of $4.49. If youre going for that authentic treasure chest look, keep it as-is once its assembled. Otherwise, let your students decorate the classroom treasure chest with stickers, drawings, or whatever else you can think up.
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Dont Link It To Behavior
2. I give a treasure box for completing homework regardless of their behavior. But I teach lils and I just like giving them stuff. For behavior I send home WOW notes or Working on & message parents. -@jolenemonet
3. Whole Brain Teachings Super Improvers!!!- @auladesrab
4. Notes home. But not daily or even weekly. No trinkets, classroom economy, bribes, clip charts. None of those really work for the kids you really need it to work for anyhow. If you dont address whats the actual root of the displayed behavior, no trinket or clip chart will ever work. ?? @firstinfla
5. Me too!! Years ago. Got tired of kids asking for something at the end of the day for expected behavior. Lots and lots of praise!!! -@aoutlaw
When To Use Kids Rewards
Rewards for children are amazing! They can be used to motivate your child towards any number of skills & habits. Plus, consistent rewards eliminate the need for punishment later, and remove a lotof stress.
I mean, couldnt we ALL use less stress?
So, use kids reward ideas for any of the following:
- As rewards for good behavior: give positive reinforcement for helping a sibling, being kind, participating in a sport, etc.
- To reinforce good kid habits
- To show that you appreciate how hard they are working at home or school. .
- As rewards for chores and getting kids to help around the house.
- To encourage them to support a goal the family is trying to achieve
Now, pick from the ideas below and get started! Put these incentives in a jar or use free kids coupons like I did! Either way, youll love it!
Are You Wrong If You Stop Spending Money On The Treasure Box
Absolutely not. You are not doing any of this wrong at all. You are doing an amazing job and I know in my heart of hearts that you are doing what is best for YOUR class. This year try something different! It doesnt have to be the treasure box- or heck- try the treasure box this year. No matter what, you arent doing it wrong. You are doing what is best for youand your students!
Hugs & high-fives,
Virtual Classroom Reward Ideas
When teaching virtually, it is important to build community and stay connected with students. A great classroom reward idea is having a virtual lunch date with the teacher. This can be for individual students or small groups. A virtual field trip is a reward the whole class will love! Another fun surprise is to invite a mystery reader to join your virtual class to read a book.
Celebrating hard work and positive behavior as a whole class can be done with a virtual dress-up day, dance party, extra brain break time, or even a special show and tell. Another virtual classroom reward idea is to complete and read a Mad Libs story. The students will have a blast with this and be giggling the whole time!
Surprises At Home.
Sending students something at home will make them feel important and let them know how much you care. This could be a positive email, phone call, or letter that you send in the mail. You can even mail students a bookmark or sticker to let them know how proud you are of them. Staying connected and celebrating students virtually is key.
Have You Tried Table Points Yet
11. The best thing Ive seen/ used is a table points system. Table groups get tallies throughout the day for performing various expected behaviors . The next day the table with the most tallies gets flexible seating. Its easy to keep track of for the teacher, and the kids love it. @craftinginquirers
12. VIP Table @AmazingMaterials4You
No More Treasure Box Try Brag Tags For Behavior Management
Are you looking for something to spice up your classroom behavior management system? If so, I have the deal for youBRAG TAGS! They have changed the way my kids behave in my classroom!
Prior to BRAG TAGS my kids were not nearly as motivated to work hard towards their behavior and academic goals. Prior to BRAG TAGS, I was constantly spending money on refilling my treasure box. As teachers we spend enough of our own money on things. BRAG TAGS helped this cause for me AND they are a much more effective behavior management tool!
So, what is a brag tag you must be thinking? A brag tag is more than just a means for positive reinforcement for behavior management. They are something any child can receive for making good choices. They also make excellent rewards for meeting goals!
At the beginning of the school year, I give each child a necklace with their first tag already on there. The necklace chains can be purchased off of for about a quarter a piece. The tag has the childs name on it. The kids get so excited about earning these tags. They have worked out really well for me and my students and I think they could work for your classroom too!