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24 PBIS school-wide celebration ideas

PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports) has been gaining popularity among schools because of its consistency in teaching students about positive classroom behaviors. Many states now mandate PBIS, and many school districts are also finding success after implementing PBIS practices.

An important part of PBIS is teaching clear behavioral expectations to all students. Once your students have learned and practiced these classroom values, they can more easily grow both socially and academically.

To help make PBIS a success, schools reward students (and teachers) for their efforts and growth. This may include rewards for individual students, classrooms, or even entire student bodies. Below are 24 PBIS celebration ideas to help get your school and students motivated.

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Photo credit: Pixabay

PBIS individual student celebration ideas

These individual prizes can be given to students who demonstrate positive behaviors.

1. Breakfast or lunch with the principal

What better way to reward a student for their good behavior than to give them the privilege of hanging out with the school principal? This is a great treat for students, and they get to have a nice meal and spend time with someone who’s often viewed as their enemy. You may also consider reading the nomination letter in front of the student or class.

2. Name on the announcements and/or “wall of fame”

Students can listen to their name be announced over the school intercom in the morning or have their photo and name added to a special display in the building. This can even be tied into a “Student(s) of the Month” award.

3. Raffle tickets for fun prizes

Many schools offer positive tickets that teachers hand out to students who are demonstrating the core PBIS values of their school. These tickets can then be put into a bin for the chance to win donated prizes. Prizes can include candy, movie tickets, gift cards, and tickets to events like prom or a sports game.

4. Special field trips

Round up all of the PBIS winners for the month (or week), and take them to a special, fun place. Some schools take students bowling, to play laser tag, or to a putt-putt place.

5. VIP privileges

Students get excited to earn special privileges such as prime parking spots or premium seating at sporting events. Students might get to be line leader or be the first to leave for lunch. Another option is to have a fancy chair in class that only one person can sit in each day.

6. Classroom freebies

Students who behave well in accordance with their school’s PBIS rules can earn free homework passes. They can also drop their lowest quiz score or erase a tardy penalty.

7. Student’s choice

Choice is a powerful (and often absent) element in the classroom. Students can make a choice for the classroom, such as what music to listen to during independent work or which story to read at story time.

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Photo credit: Pragyan Bezbaruah

PBIS classrooms celebration ideas

These group rewards can be given to classes that show exceptionally positive behaviors. A teacher, principal, or any staff member can reward an entire class for making good choices. Here are some ideas to get you started!

1. Food

Let’s face it: kids are always hungry! But snacks are usually off limits during class time. So how about rewarding your class with popcorn, pizza, or donuts for a day? Alternatively, you can designate a day when students can bring in a drink or snack of their choice to eat during class.

2. Games

Students enjoy rewards that allow them to interact and have some friendly competition. Some classes earn a water balloon fight or a tug-of-war competition entry. Bingo, jeopardy, and other educational games are classic options as well. Escape rooms can also offer a fun hour for students to solve problems together and learn more about each other.

3. Chill time

Well-behaved classrooms can relax and enjoy some time off. For this reward, teachers can host movie time or give their students an hour of free (but supervised) technology use. Coloring time and nap time are also popular options among younger students.

4. Classroom of the month

Principals can choose to celebrate one class that’s showing great strides in PBIS accomplishments. This classroom can have a photo on a special display in the school building, including a little bit of information about it and the students.

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Photo credit: Zun Zun

PBIS school-wide celebration ideas

When the culture of the school starts to evolve and the student body successfully meets the expectations set for it, it’s time to celebrate everyone. These rewards can be decided on collectively by the teachers, staff, and students.

1. Special assembly

Bring in a musical guest for the entire school to enjoy. Fill the auditorium with students and show a movie on the big screen while snacking on some popcorn. There’s no shortage of assembly options, from zoo visitors bringing in some animals for a visit to touring children’s theater companies putting on a show. You can even take your students on a field trip to a local park, museum, or other place they’ll enjoy.

2. Faculty versus students competition

Teachers and students can play against each other as others spectate. Popular games include kickball, volleyball, dodgeball, and basketball.

3. Field day

Dedicate a special day to outdoor activities. Students will be active and have fun with mini-competitions like three-legged races, hula-hoop contests, or any other games you can think of.

4. School dance

Turn the gym into a dance hall for the last hour of the school day. Crank up the music, and let the students move to the beat and have some fun.

5. Music in the hallways

Play music over the intercom during transition times. Between classes or as students are heading to lunch, students will enjoy hearing their favorite (school-appropriate) tunes.

6. Food

For a school-wide food reward, popsicles are a cost-effective option. Snow cone or ice cream cone days can also work quite well.

7. Make the staff do strange things

This seems like an odd idea, but it’s a lot of fun for students. Students can choose a faculty member to duct tape to the wall during lunch or at a school assembly. Students can also choose to do an ice bucket challenge on a teacher. They can host a teacher dance-off or a lip-sync battle. This option works well with teachers who are open minded, but it’s often a good time for everyone involved.

8. Extra recess

Students love recess (duh!), and they’ll always appreciate even more time to move around, hang out with friends, and catch a break from class.

9. Mix-it-up day

This is a day where students can mingle and sit with students they might not usually get to see. At lunch, students can choose their own seats if there are normally grade-based restrictions, and at a school assembly, students can sit wherever they’d like. Along the same lines, if there’s a morning meeting, students who’ve been rewarded don’t have to necessarily sit with their classrooms.

10. Pajama day

Students can wear their favorite PJs to school. Younger students can bring in a favorite stuffed animal as well. This is a great way to lighten up the mood and make students feel more comfortable.

11. Hat day/Superhero day/Fancy dress-up day

Students can pick a theme day of their choice for a fun celebration. There are many other options aside from these. Teachers and students will have a great time coming up with creative outfits.

12. Talent show

The student body can take time out of the schedule to support their classmates’ talents. Students can sing songs, act out skits, tell jokes, play instruments, and much more.

13. School competitions

The entire school can participate in tournaments. Classrooms or different grade levels can compete against each other in tug-of-war, dodgeball, and volleyball games. Some schools also have a March Madness bracket competition; the entire school can root for their class as they move through these brackets.

The goal: Encourage students to keep working on PBIS

There are many PBIS celebration ideas that you can try. Whether you settle on individual, classroom-based, or school-wide rewards, the possibilities are truly endless — students can be recognized for their accomplishments in all sorts of ways! The ultimate goal is to remind and encourage students to keep working hard on their core PBIS values and expectations. A little recognition can go a long way in motivating your student body to make good choices and strive to meet expectations.

Photo credit: Lukas /

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