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5 PBIS rewards ideas to incentivize positive behavior

Shaddoe LambertJanuary 31, 2023

5 PBIS rewards ideas to incentivize positive behavior

Because it’s a school-wide effort, PBIS should be part of a comprehensive plan for improving student behavior. If you want your students to behave well and succeed academically, then you need to reward them when they do. That’s where PBIS comes in! By rewarding positive behaviors on a daily basis, we can help our students become motivated by good behavior and make more positive choices. In addition, it’s important that teachers are rewarded as well because they have just as much influence over classroom culture as students.

We’ve included a list of PBIS incentives and some fun ideas below so that every teacher has something to reward students with, even those on a low budget.

Better middle school and high school PBIS begins with better implementations. To help you with implementing PBIS, download our free PBIS implementation guide to access best practices and an implementation checklist to build a better PBIS program in your school.

#1 PBIS incentive: A classroom party

A classroom party is a great way to get parents involved in your PBIS celebration. Inviting them to the party will increase their interest and involvement with PBIS, and it’s a fun way for students to show off what they’ve learned from their positive behavior rewards.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Gather supplies – You can use anything from balloons and streamers, to candy and prizes. The more lively your classroom decorations are, the better.
  2. Decide on a theme for your party – Is it going to be a “tropical paradise” or maybe a “happy birthday” theme? Maybe you can come up with your own fun theme based on student interests or learning goals — there are plenty of possibilities.
  3. Plan activities – The more active the activity, the better. This could include games like Pin the Tail on the Donkey or Musical Chairs. You might also want to consider an obstacle course where students have an opportunity to show off their skills working together as a team.

#2 PBIS incentive: Extra recess

Extra recess is a great way to reward students for their behavior in the classroom. If you’ve already given the reward of a nutritious snack, adding extra play time can be an extra treat for your students. Here are some tips on how to make it work:

  • Make sure your school’s policy allows for this type of reward system before implementing it. Not all schools have time or resources available to provide extra recess time, so make sure you get permission before proceeding further with this idea. It also helps if you have a specific plan in mind so that administrators know exactly what will be happening during those breaks — otherwise they may believe that kids will just run amok without supervision.
  • Keep track of which students are getting the most benefit from these rewards — these are likely the ones who would benefit most from additional reinforcement outside class as well. You may want to consider targeting them specifically with additional attention when using positive reinforcement techniques.

#3 PBIS incentive: Early dismissal

If it suits the needs of the teacher and works with everyone’s schedule, dismissing students from class a few minutes earlier than usual can be a great way to reward them for their positive behavior. This can be especially fun if you do it on a Friday. It will ramp up the anticipation over the course of the week and will be appropriate for the feelings of excitement that everyone feels on the last day of the school week.

Students love leaving early, so this one is definitely worth a try when it comes to rewarding a particularly good streak of positive behavior. 

#4 PBIS incentives: Pizza and movie

This is a classic one — you offer your class pizza after the students have met their behavioral goal for the week, month or even year. You may consider using this event as an opportunity to reward your students for their hard work during the year by showing them how much progress they’ve made and remind them of what they need to do in order to continue improving their behavior.

#5 PBIS incentive: Spirit day

Spirit Day is a fun and easy way to celebrate PBIS in your school. Here are some suggestions for how your school can get creative, brighten up your day, and share the importance of PBIS with others in your community:

  • Wear your team colors. Whether it’s football or basketball, soccer or baseball — and everything in between — let people know that you’re proud to be part of something bigger than yourself by wearing the team colors on Spirit Day!
  • Wear logos. This could mean anything from the logo of your favorite sports team to an image representing something important about who you are as an individual. Want everyone at school to know why blue is special? Be sure to add some color to your clothes by sporting some blue today!
  • Don’t forget mascots! Bring out our furry friends on this special day where they’ll be able to show off their enthusiasm for making positive choices while at school.


PBIS is a powerful tool to help your students learn and demonstrate positive behavior, and these PBIS celebrations are sure to be a hit with your students. They’re fun ways for kids to celebrate the good things they do and reinforce their hard work in school. Best of all? These celebrations can be used at any time during the year — whether it’s as part of an individual student’s reward system or as part of an entire class celebration. So go ahead, give them a try!

Photo Credit: Google Education

Why choose Classcraft for your PBIS?

Learn how Classcraft's PBIS software can elevate your school culture and academic achievement

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Why choose Classcraft for your PBIS?

Learn how Classcraft's PBIS software can elevate your school culture and academic achievement

Learn why