You already know the value of rewarding your students for good behavior with Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS). But you might be wondering how to get things rolling with the first tier: PBIS rewards for students.
Sure, you’re familiar with sticker behavioral charts. But when you’re practicing schoolwide PBIS and have to document your progress, you’ll need a big supply of PBIS student rewards to choose from.
Finding time to collect these rewards is another matter. Once you’ve dealt with parent-teacher conferences, turning in lesson plans and recording grade levels, creating a stash of PBIS student rewards might seem a bit daunting.
Don’t worry — we’ve put together an evidence- based list to help you get started with Tier 1 PBIS rewards. We’ve also created a new comprehensive guide to gamifying PBIS, and it’s now available on our site!
PBIS rewards for students
Rewards are an important part of establishing a solid PBIS system in your school. They keep your students motivated by reinforcing good behavior and providing incentives for them to make good choices throughout the school day. Here are some options you can try out in your classrooms.
Trophies — kids love them, and they’re budget-friendly! So why not get a few academic trophies that your students can earn for good behavior?
We’re not talking about the Stanley Cup here; your trophies can be super tiny. You might even find some affordable ones at the dollar store.
You might be surprised by how well trophies can motivate your students to behave well!
2. Activity with a teacher/administrator
Another fun way to reward a student’s good behavior is to give them the privilege of participating in an activity with a principal, teacher, or other administrative staff. This could be having lunch together, attending a sports game or getting rowdy with some go-kart racing.
Believe it or not, kids are interested in your life and would jump at the opportunity to participate in these kinds of fun activities.
Of course, make sure you pick something you enjoy doing, too.
3. Bounce-house party
Bounce houses come in all shapes and sizes. You can rent one for your school or take your students to an amusement center as a field trip. Your kids will quite literally jump at this opportunity!
4. Hat day
Let your kids wear a hat for a quick and small PBIS treat! Offering privileges like wearing hats requires no prep and allows students to express their personalities in creative ways.
5. DJ master
Kids love music — so let them pick a song to listen to in class during independent reading or work time. Now that’s a PBIS reward they’ll really enjoy! Of course, you need to screen their music choices first, but you may find that you’re a Beyoncé fan after all!
6. Icebreaker guru
Start class with daily icebreakers! To help with planning and rewards, you can allow your students to decide what the task should be for the day. This PBIS reward is a simple way to start off the day and get your students excited to learn.
7. Choose your own [X]
Let’s face it. Your school probably has a lot of rules for students to follow every day. Give them some power! Allow your students to choose a class project (within reason), the next lesson, or their seating arrangement.
Recipients of this reward get to participate in a special kickball game. To mix things up, you can add another reward that allows recipients to pick their teams.
9. Four square server spot
Continuing with the sports theme, how about four square? It’s hard to become the four square server, but what if that was a PBIS reward? Your student could earn the first serving spot for a week. Be sure to emphasize that there should be no slamming 🙂
10. Special bus seat
Get the bus driver involved in the PBIS framework initiative. How? Kids love picking their own seats, so make that a reward. Ask the bus driver to label and save a couple of seats for your special students.
Our recommendation: reserve the back row. Kids love it!
11. Get down with a BBQ
Host a PBIS reward BBQ complete with hot dogs and s’mores. After all, who doesn’t love a free dinner and an extra 30 minutes with peers and faculty?
*Make sure to put this BBQ on your calendar and give students a warning and time limit for earning their spot.
12. Book fair perk
You’ve probably been to your fair share of Book Fairs, so why not have a PBIS reward where kids earn a set amount of credits toward purchasing a book from the fair?
This reward strikes inner reading motivation, too. Score!
13. Fidget spinner
Before you roll your eyes, fidget spinners help some kids zone in, but we know they can also distract others. You might consider either gifting a fidget spinner or allowing students to use a fidget spinner during certain times in class.
If it motivates kids and improves behavior, you may as well let them fidget and spin to their heart’s content!
14. No homework for a night
Don’t assign homework for a night — no explanation needed 🙂
15. Treasure box
Fill a box with small goodies like shaped erasers, stickers, funky pencils, notebooks, and small toys, and let your kiddos pick their own reward.
We know, reward-based sticker charts may not be your thing. But these simple tools have survived the ages. You can find smelly or hologram stickers for a simple and quick PBIS reward. We’re hoping the gesture alone will make the good behavior stick!
17. Lunch vote
For schools with a flexible lunch program, offer a reward where kids earn a vote for their next meal. Mac and cheese or chicken nuggets?
18. Let them chew gum
Give students the permission to chew gum for a day. Go all out by providing it. (However, blowing bubbles might not be part of the deal.) 19. Drop the lowest quiz grade
Kids care about their grades, so this PBIS goal allows students to drop their lowest quiz grade. Make this a sweeter reward for students, and parents, by letting students earn it once or twice during a marking period.
20. Have classes outdoors
Kids will take any opportunity to break away from their desks and do their schoolwork outside. Offer it up and watch them charge out the door !
21. Water balloon fight
OK, we’re getting a little crazy here, but who doesn’t love water balloons? Talk about a motivator! Reward students with a water balloon fight. You can play, too — as long as you know what you’re getting into.
22. Parachute time
Do you know those huge parachutes that are popular in gyms? Have one on hand for a sweet reward and brain break. Kids will love this unique activity.
23. Swim party
Students can earn a pool party or a trip to a swimming hole. (The waiver you send home could be worth it.)
24. Special field trip
Students who earned a designated amount of PBIS points can go on a special field trip — like a sports game, movie, or petting zoo.
*Try scheduling these special education field trips at the beginning of each school year to excite kids and dangle it as a motivator.
25. Extra video game time
Have a PBIS reward to earn extra academic game time. This one’s sure to be a hit for all ages.
26. Money for the school store
Yes, you need a school store for this one — or make the whole class eligible. There’s a lot to work with here — candy and treats, fancy pencils, and all sorts of other goodies.
27. Extra dance
Motivate kids to earn PBIS points to go to a dance. They also get to vote on the theme.
28. Guest speaker
Use your connections. Is one of your parents a former athlete? Do they have ties to a famous YouTuber? Are they willing to make a few cold calls to prospects?
Set up a reward to attend a guest speaker event.
Kids earn a movie day or opt for a movie night. There’s also not much to say here — kids love watching movies!
30. Skating party (on ice or wheels)
Skate it up — let your students earn the privilege to go to an ice rink. Invite parents and teachers and staff for a memorable reward where you can blow off steam while exercising at the same time.
31. Laser tag
Rent the equipment or schedule the ultimate playdate with a game of laser tag. This reward will be the talk during recess.
32. Class breakfast
Offer a class breakfast, and create a sign-up sheet where students bring in anything from pancakes to watermelon balls.
Allow the parents to have the final word so Johnny’s mom doesn’t have to spend four hours making a casserole. It happens!
33. First choice for electives
With electives, it’s sometimes hard to snag those seats. They fill up quickly, especially for classes that have a reputation for being fun. We have a solution: offer a PBIS reward that gives students first dibs at signing up.
Make PBIS rewards happen
We get it, a PBIS rewards system takes serious brainpower. But if you have a plan and loads of options at your fingertips, you’ll jam out that first tier with style!
Photo: Google Edu