Reward Good Behavior for Free!

As teachers, we are constantly faced with the struggle of spending our own money on our classroom, supplies, and students. We love our students dearly, but spending our hard earned money is not an easy concept for us to accept. After all, do surgeons have to buy their own instruments for surgery? No way, that would be unheard of!

Over the years, I have bought (gladly) many different things for my classroom and for my students. I really do not mind if I know it will make my students happy (and my life easier.) But also through the years, I have realized I was spending money on things that were unnecessary.

Good Behavior Incentives.

Now, we all want our students to behave. First (a bit of a disclaimer) I make sure my students understand they are expected to know right from wrong and do the right thing even when there is no reward. The rewards for good behavior are just bonuses, extras, a little icing on the cake.
Why teach them this? One, it is just a good lesson. Two, I don’t have to give out reward incentives for every kind gesture. Be kind because it is the right thing to do, but when a student goes above and beyond to show good behavior…they will absolutely be rewarded.

After the students understand this, we begin implementing our classroom reward system. I used to buy out all of Amazon, Target, Dollar Tree, and raid my kids rooms for fun treasure box items. Not any more! There are a ton a ways that you can reward your students with FREE and fun incentives.

A few years back a created this Reward Choice BINGO Board. It has been a hit every day since then.

See, I need my reward systems to be free, easy to implement, and EASY to explain to parents. Actually, I need it to be basically explanation free…
I give my students 16 different rewards to choose from (see above) and then they follow the directions on the BINGO board. Shading in their choice, and trying to get four in a row. Once they get four in a row, they add a marble to our marble jar. 

Why the marble jar? Because on the day I created this…I had a jar, and some marbles. Yep. I personally think it is brilliant because I am not keeping up with “were we good?? Do we get a marble??” Been there, done that. Now, they just know to show me their four in a row and then go put a marble in the jar. Done.

Now, a few people have asked when do the students get to “do” their reward. It depends. For example, show and tell can be the next day unless it is a testing day. Whereas lunch with me might have to be two or three days from now depending on conferences, etc.

Don’t overthink it, just do it when it is convenient.

Notice at the bottom of my Reward Choice BINGO there is a CELEBRATION once the class fills up the jar. DO NOT PANIC. I usually do Popsicles, a dance party, or something else fun and simple.

The bottom line to this system is…it is free, easy and effective. Print out the BINGO cards, pass them out. When a student is rewarded for good behavior, just tell them to choose something off their BINGO board. The students will take it from there. I am most impressed every year with how hard my students work to earn these rewards and fill up their cards. After they are done with a bingo card, we hang it up in the room and start a new card for that person! Talk about pride!

And lastly, I am a firm believer in giving the students a little bit of control over their rewards. If they feel like it is their idea, they will move mountains for you.

Grab the Reward Choice BINGO Board here for free!

For the editable version of this BINGO board, click here. Just make sure to OPEN IN GOOGLE SLIDES, SAVE a copy first, then edit. Otherwise, it will not let you edit. 

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