24 Classroom Reward Ideas and Teacher Reward Systems

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Kids in class engaged in a activity for a classroom reward

Fun rewards for students can create a positive classroom atmosphere and motivate kids to stay engaged and ready to learn.

Whether you’re looking for examples of classroom rewards for the whole class or student reward ideas for individual kids, we’ve got you covered!

Check out these creative and effective classroom reward ideas for students of all ages.

Incentives for Elementary Students

It’s important to make sure student reward ideas are age appropriate so that they’ll appeal to a kid’s developmental needs. When it comes to incentives for elementary students, look for classroom reward ideas that will motivate kids in a fun way and help them build lasting friendships with their classmates.

Here’s how to reward students for good behavior and academic achievements during the elementary school years:

1. Stickers or Stamps

Younger students often respond well to tangible classroom reward ideas like stickers or stamps. Have kids make their own “passport” book to collect stickers that they can then exchange for small prizes or privileges. It doubles as a fun craft project!

2. Theme Days

Plan theme days like Crazy Sock Day, Hat Day, Sports Jersey Day, or Superhero Day. Kids always get a kick out of expressing themselves and dressing up.

3. Pajama Day

Similarly, make it a cozy and memorable day by allowing students to come to school in their favorite pajamas. Many teachers like to offer fun rewards for students like this one just before a holiday break or on a half-day.

4. Show-and-Tell

Let students bring in a special item and share a story for show-and-tell time. These types of classroom reward ideas can foster bonding and help kids get to know each other better.

5. Mystery Prize Box

Create a box filled with small prizes and let students choose one after achieving a goal. Think friendship bracelets, mini fidget spinners, bouncy balls, keychains, and of course, snacks.

Welch’s® Fruit Snacks are the perfect choice for classroom prize boxes because they’re nut-free and individually packaged for convenience. Plus, they’re made with real fruit and are an excellent source of Vitamins A, C & E.

6. Classroom Decorations

Let a small group of students get creative by decorating the classroom or a bulletin board with their artwork or holiday decorations.

7. Dance Break

Looking for how to reward students on a Friday before the weekend begins? How about a dance break? Let students choose a song and dance their hearts out at the end of the day to celebrate a successful week.

8. Outdoor Time

Another reward system for classroom-wide participation is extra outdoor time. Give students a longer recess or play a fun outdoor game together like Hide-and-Seek or Red-Light Green-Light. 

9. Snack Celebration

Make a classroom reward chart to keep track of whether or not the whole class turned in their homework on time that week. If they did, hold a small snack party at the end of the week to celebrate this class-wide achievement. Be sure to include gluten-free snacks and dairy-free snacks for children with allergies.

Incentives for Middle School Students

Middle school students are all about exerting independence and feeling mature compared with their elementary school counterparts. You’ll want to appeal to them with positive behavior strategies and classroom reward ideas that strike the perfect balance between fun and “cool.”

What is a classroom reward system that works well for 5th-8th graders? Here are some of the best incentives for middle school students:

1. Tech Time

For better or for worse, middle schoolers are all about technology. Having said that, one of the most effective teacher rewards systems for this age group is to let students have extra tablet or technology time, or play online games as a class.

2. Movie or Video Time

Reward students with a movie related to the lesson. Add to the fun with crowd-approved movie snacks, like popcorn and Welch’s® Fruit Snacks.

3. Classroom Games

Let kids choose a game for the class to play, such as a board game or charades.

4. Classroom DJ

Designate a student as the “Classroom DJ” for the day, allowing them to choose background music during activities.

5. Science Experiments

Let kids work on a special hands-on science experiment or demonstration that aligns with the subject matter rather than doing a traditional lesson. 

6. Free Time

Dedicate a period for students to read a book of their choice, get some extra homework time, or listen to an audiobook.

7. Book Swap

Hold a book swap event where students can bring in books they’ve already read and exchange them with their classmates. 

8. Field Trips

Organize a field trip to a local theme park or museum as a reward for class-wide participation.

Incentives for Students in High School

In high school, students are (hopefully) more mature and have different needs and interests compared with younger students. It becomes more about how to reward students for achievement from an academic standpoint as they approach the college application process.

If you’re wondering: What are good rewards for students in high school? Here are a few of our favorite classroom reward ideas for kids in upper grades who are interested ways to save time in their busy schedules and enhance their colleges applications:

1. Homework Passes

Give students a homework pass that allows them to skip one assignment without it affecting their grades. When it comes to incentives for students, it’s hard to beat no homework!

2. Free Study Period

In that same vein, allow high schoolers to choose a free period so they can get ahead of assignments, which can be a big help on days when they have a sports game, work shift, or other activity.

3. Extra Credit 

Offer opportunities for extra credit assignments as rewards for students who show effort and would like to boost their grades by a few points.

4. Leadership Opportunities

Give students an opportunity to take on leadership roles in clubs, student government, or school organizations. Classroom reward ideas like this one are great college application boosters.

5. Guest Speakers 

Has the whole class been showing effort? Invite guest speakers or experts to conduct workshops on topics of interest to high schoolers, such as social media content creation, video editing, or personal development. This can be a nice break from typical lessons.

6. Awards

Present certificates or awards during special ceremonies to honor students’ academic achievements, sports accomplishments, and more. Everyone loves to be recognized, especially in front of their peers.

7. Class Party

Has the whole class turned in their homework on time all week? Reward them with an end-of-week party and fun snacks they’ll never outgrow, like Welch’s® Fruit Snacks.   

We hope our examples of classroom rewards have helped you come up with some fun new ideas for your students. To make learning even more fun for kids of all ages, be sure to incorporate fruity incentives like Welch’s® Fruit Snacks!

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