Our middle school has started a series of Reward Days – one per trimester. Students are eligible to participate in the Reward Day by having no office referrals and a C or better in all of their classes.
We’ve held two so far. The first one involved teachers coming up with activities to offer the Reward students to participate in. Students signed up for an activity and spent the last hour on a Friday involved in some sort of fun. The other students were in a detention room with work to do.
The second was a big hit: our band director has a rock band that performed for the students. With lights, sound, and fog, the students were treated to a rock concert in their middle school gym. We also got some dollar store beach balls for the kids to throw around.
It’s been interesting watching the reactions of students to our Reward Days. Some are devastated if they aren’t eligible. Others seem to not care. Some are excited that they are eligible, others seem to take it as their due.
One student, who has had failing grades all year, pulled his grades up to Cs recently. This meant he was eligible for the rock concert. On the way down the hall to return to class after the concert, he commented that “this was really fun!” My hope is that he remembers that fun and continues to turn in his work.
It’s a lot of work to put the Reward Days together, and some have questioned whether we should continue, since some students aren’t bothered by losing the privilege. Others have pointed out that the students who are doing the right thing rarely get rewarded for that. Especially since they only have to have Cs, this involves students who don’t make the honor roll. These students, who try, but aren’t able to pull really good grades get a reward for their effort.
Our biggest problem now is what to do for our next Reward Day. It’s going to be tough to top a rock concert!
Do you reward your students? How? Which ones?