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Introducing XP Badges: Earn achievements while improving student behavior

Classcraft TeamDecember 14, 2022

Introducing XP Badges: Earn achievements while improving student behavior

Educators are currently faced with unprecedented behavioral challenges in the classroom, and effective solutions are few and far between. One thing that does work is recognizing good behavior when it happens and reinforcing it with things that students care about. Classcraft happens to be tailor-made for this job.

But, if there’s one thing that we’ve learned from our amazing community, it’s that teachers want to have fun and be motivated too. That’s why we’re announcing XP Badges — a fun way to motivate Classcraft teachers to reward students on a regular basis and see behavior improve as a result.

How it works

If you’re a teacher using Classcraft, there are currently two types of XP badges you can earn, and you get to earn them as many times as you want:

A Super Week badge is earned by giving XP a total of 30 times within one week beginning on a Monday and ending on a Sunday.

A Super Month badge is earned by having at least three Super Week badges and giving XP a total of 120 times within one month.

It’s as simple as that!

Why it’s important

Teachers using Classcraft have seen how invested their students can get in leveling up, customizing their characters, training pets, and earning real-world rewards or privileges. Their good behavior then comes from a genuine motivation to enjoy and get more out of their learning experience. There’s one very important element that’s needed in order for this kind of motivation to work — consistency.

If XP is only given intermittently, students don’t have as strong a sense of behavioral expectations, and it’s more difficult for them to draw the connections between their behavior and their sense of accomplishment or fulfillment in class. 

If, on the other hand, XP is given regularly, students catch on much faster and stick with it for longer. They make a more deliberate effort to treat their teachers and classmates with respect. They’re reminded of how far their XP can get them, how fun it is to help out and collaborate with their peers, and all the cool stuff and enticing privileges they can work towards.

With XP Badges, teachers get to experience that same sense of fun and accomplishment while ultimately enjoying the biggest reward of all — a well-behaved classroom. Everyone gets to keep their head in the game, and everyone wins.

Ideas for rewarding students

Want some inspiration? Try these out if you haven’t already!

Reward good communication

Encouraging healthy communication is huge, whether it’s to avoid fights or to explicitly teach SEL skills. Whenever a student chooses to express their thoughts or feelings productively, it’s worth reinforcing. Depending on the educational setting and the needs of the students, this can of course be adapted to reinforce positive forms of communication that are nonverbal.

Reward growth and improvement

It’s pretty common for students to repeat the same forms of negative behavior. In these cases, it’s important not to let their moments of improvement go unrecognized. When you see them move in the right direction, reinforce it. Don’t forget to help them make the connection by acknowledging it explicitly — “Thank you for raising your hand first this time, I appreciate it!”

Reward positive behavior “assists”

Whenever you see a student carry out some kind of action that encouraged or reminded another student to make the right behavioral choice, don’t simply reward the primary behavior by itself. Recognize and reinforce the assist as well. This will encourage other students to do the same. Bonus points if you know the students like sports and you pair the XP with, “Nice assist!”

Reward a choice that the student made for their own reasons

During our recent chat with Dr. Maurice Elias, he recommended that teachers help students define goals for themselves. He went on to talk about how this shapes behavior. When a student makes the right behavior choice — and that choice aligns with a personal goal you know they have — reinforce it and highlight the fact that it’s helping them accomplish what they want to accomplish.

Now that we’ve got the gears turning, it’s time to start giving XP and earning those badges. We hope you have fun!

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