Teachers in classrooms around the world know how important it is to keep children’s self-esteem high. They do this by rewarding students who show initiative, do well on tests, and sometimes, simply demonstrate kindness. There are many different ways of rewarding these students. In higher grades, it can be more difficult, but often, teachers notice that younger students enjoy simple things. One method of rewards that has stood the test of time is that of reward stickers.
Teachers can find stickers at just about any store, or they can order them online in bulk. Once they have the stickers, there are a number of different ways they can make use of them as a motivation and reward system for students. One very public way of awarding stickers is to buy an incentive and reward chart. This chart hangs on the wall of the classroom and lists all of the students in the first column. Then there are a number of columns to the right where teachers can place the Reward Stickers. At the top, teachers can often write what the sticker was awarded for. One column might be “received a perfect score on a test.”
If teachers don’t want to use the public reward method (and it can backfire, especially if one or two students have few stickers while the rest have a dozen or more), they can always affix reward stickers to each student’s papers before returning them. This way, students are more privately rewarded, but they still get that same excited feeling when they see that gold star or glittering smiley face sticker. Teachers are also given more latitude with stickers here-they could put a reward sticker on a paper that wasn’t quite perfect. This lets teachers give students who need it a bit of encouragement.
Of course, teachers can go in the opposite direction as well. If a student truly does something outstanding, the teacher may wish to call him or her to the front of the class and present the student with a large sticker that he or she can wear on his/her shirt. This is a way of letting everyone know what a great job that student did. This method of using reward stickers should be kept to a minimum, however, or the reward may start to seem not as important.
What counts as a “reward” sticker? It doesn’t always have to be gold stars or smiling faces. In fact, with today’s trends, those old-fashioned reward stickers may be a little outdated. Instead, teachers can find stickers with just about anything on them: animals, cartoon characters, race cars, and more. They may want to look for stickers that go with certain lessons. For example, if students are asked to name the planets in the solar system, teachers could use outer space stickers as rewards. Then they could give out Christmas themed stickers around the holidays. Teachers might even want to pick up some stickers featuring characters from popular cartoons and movies, especially ones that they know many of their students enjoy.