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Reward System

Reward System

Why should I do it:

  • Provides students with positive feedback
  • Students respond to positive reinforcement best
  • Helps reinforce positive behaviors and expectations
  • Provides incentive
  • Increases motivation, buy-in, and effort
  • Produces a challenge with a pay-off
  • Creates incentive
  • Improves behavior and academics
  • Increases on task and attending behaviors
  • Produces immediate and quick results
  • Provides a visual concrete reason for students to work toward behavioral and academic goals

When should I do it:

  • When students exhibit chronic behavioral problems
  • When students demonstrate low and persistent motivation, effort, and interest
  • When a student refuses to do work or follow behavior guidelines
  • With oppositional and defiant students
  • When students have poor attention and focus
  • When students are impulsive
  • When students consistently fail to meet behavioral and academic expectations
  • When students frequently break the school and classroom rules
  • When students have difficulty getting along with others or interact inappropriately with others
  • When students have frequent incomplete and missing work

How do I do it:

  • School Reward Dollars.pdf (simply type in your school name to customize them!)
  • Give the student the Forced Choice Survey 1 to determine what type of reward they prefer and will be most likely to work toward
  • There are numerous reward systems and strategies, please click on and explore the links below to choose an idea(s)
  • Some basic reward systems include:
    • Token economy where students earn a token, check mark, sticker, etc for meeting predetermined goals, which they can use to buy or earn a reward after a certain number
    • Praise for performing expected behaviors
    • Earning privileges for meeting expectations
    • Earning free time for meeting expectations
    • Positive notes sent home for demonstrating good behavior and meeting expectations
    • Small items as rewards for following rules and procedures, including stickers, erasers, trinkets, pencils, crayons, snacks, drinks, books, candy, etc

Resources & Support for technique:
(Items with footnotes link to external websites)


  1. Modified by Gable, R. A. (1991) from: Cartwright, C. A., & Cartwright, G. P. (1970). Determining the motivational systems of individual children. TEACHING Exceptional Children, 2:3, 143-149. Forced-Choice Reinforcement Survey. [].
  2. Riffel, R. (2008). 100 Free or Inexpensive Rewards for Individual Students: Elementary Level,
    60 Free or Inexpensive Rewards for Individual Students: Secondary Level,
    35 Free or Inexpensive Rewards for Adults in the Building.
  3. Bafile, C. (1020). Reward Systems That Work: What to Give and When to Give It!. [].
  4. Demand Media, Inc. How to Reward Students for Achievement. [].
  5. Child Nutrition & Wellness, Kansas State Dept. of Education. Student Rewards and Incentives. [].
  6. Meyers, W. (2010). 3 bold new ways to reward student achievement. [].
  7. 123Certificates. [].
  8. Lewis, B. Free and Effective Classroom Rewards: You Don’t Need to Spend a Cent to Get Great Behavior!. [].
  9. Lewis, B. Motivating Students with No-Cost Rewards: Use These Free Rewards to Motivate Positive Student Behavior in the Classroom. [].
  10. Whelan, S. (2008). Easy Reward Systems to Encourage Children: Encouraging Good Behaviour and Habits in Kids. [].
  11. Keith, K. L. Charts & Chips – Using A Behavior Modification System With Your Child. [].
  12. Demand Media, Inc. How to Use a Token Reward System With Kids. [].
  13. Ricochet Limited. The reward chart. [].
  14. Ricochet Limited. Supernanny Superstars Reward Charts. [].
  15. KG Investments, LLC. The Family Chip/Reward System. [].
  16. Genesis. (2008). Three Sure Fire Reward Systems for Children. [].
  17. Watson, A. World’s Easiest Token System. [].
  18. Huntley, A. Reward Points System and Home “Store”. [].
  19. Working With Autism. Reward Systems: Sticker Charts. [].
  20. Working With Autism. Reward Systems: Chips. [].
  21. Working With Autism. Reward Systems: Tickets. [].
  22. Working With Autism. Reward Systems: Edibles. [].
  23. New Attitude Designs. The Better Behavior Wheel to the Rescue!. [].
  24. Working With Autism. Reward Systems: Behavior Bucks. [].
  25. Teaching Ideas. Classroom Management – Reward Ideas. [].
  26. The Incredible Art Department (2010).REMEMBER, A SMILE IS WORTH 1,000 WORDS. [].
  27. Flora, S. R. (2000). Behavior Analyst Online., Gale, Cengage Learning. Praise’s Magic Reinforcement Ratio: Five To One Gets The Job Done. [’s+magic+reinforcement+ratio%3A+five+to+one+gets+the+job+done.-a0170112823].
  28. Jackpot! Ideas For Classroom Rewards. [].
  29. J. G. Hunter, HGIC Information Specialist, and K. L. Cason, Professor, State EFNEP Coordinator, Clemson University. (New 01/07). Non-food Rewards For Kids. [].
  30. Free Printable Certificates. [].
  31. Astroth, K. A. (1994). The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A’s, Praise, and Other Bribes. [].
  32. Gold Medal School Team, Salt Lake City, UT. (2005). Rewards Kids Will Crave. [].
  33. Riffel, R. (2008). 100 Free or Inexpensive Rewards for Individual Students: Elementary Level,
    60 Free or Inexpensive Rewards for Individual Students: Secondary Level,
    35 Free or Inexpensive Rewards for Adults in the Building.