Our middle school started offering a Reward Day each trimester to students who have no Ds or Es on their report cards and no office referrals.
Last year was our first time with it and it went so well, we continued it this year.
What we do:
First trimester, teachers develop a fun activity for the students. The various activities are listed on sign up sheets and students sign up for their choice at lunch. One teacher (or two, depending on numbers!) mans the academic support room for those students who are not eligible for the Reward activity. On the scheduled afternoon, students report to their assigned location and enjoy a fun time, or work on some goal setting, etc, to help avoid the academic support room in the future.
Second trimester, we take them on a field trip. This year, we’re headed to the movie theater. We book a private showing at a small local theater. In addition, we are going to film several leaders (mayor, principal, superintendent, school board) congratulating the students on achieving this reward. We also plan to film the MSU Dance Team congratulating them (they’re coming to one of our assemblies – more on that in a future post!)
Third trimester, we book an assembly. Last year, our band director, who plays drums in a rock band, brought his band to perform a special concert just for them. We haven’t booked a group yet for this year, but it will be hard to top that one!
Throughout the trimester, we make announcements reminding students the Reward Day is coming and they should keep working. My teammate and I have also found quite a bit of success in talking to our students about making sure they are all eligible for Reward Day so he and I can also attend and not have to stay behind for the academic support room. Sometimes, students will work for someone else more than they will for themselves. Our catchphrase has been: “don’t let your team down!”
Currently, we only have 6 students out of 59 who are not eligible, with 4 weeks to get those grades up. That’s half of the number from last trimester, so statistically, it seems to be working!
Does your school do an incentive for students to keep their grades up and stay out of the office? We’d love to know what other schools are doing!