47-6 Incredibly Simple and Powerful Student Incentives

Here’s one massive unintentional lesson the world learned from Communism…incentives are necessary to inspire productivity. Here’s where Capitalism falls short. This tired cliche is also lacking:

Competition brings out the best in people!

Granted competition is motivational, but I’ve witnessed competition bring out the WORST in people! Watch parental behavior at your next youth sporting event. Study the history of the Industrial Revolution. Teach a World History unit on Imperialism. Then, reevaluate that cliche. Perhaps it could be reworded as:

Competition is motivational!

When it comes to the classroom, some students love incentives and competition and some kids hate them. It’s been my experience, that incentives motivate many students, but not all. Hence, it’s important to offer the right kind of incentives. It’s been my mission to include the incentives that are:

  • Fun
  • Low-risk
  • Simple
  • Social in nature
  • Non-academic
  • Engaging
  • Relationship-inducing

In this episode, I’ll promote 6 such incentives. Only 2 of these carrots are academic in nature, but even those are promoted and administered in a joyous non-threatening fashion. My objective in unleashing all this academic Capitalism is 2-fold:

  • I want to inspire reserved kids to join the class-participation party
  • I want to coax even more out of students who are already contributing

The key for teachers is to have fun. When you’re having fun, the kids are often having fun. In that spirit, below is a photo essay of how Mr. Sturtevant awards a PLUS +1. Of course, I could just say it…but I like to do things with more style and originality. Listen to the episode to hear a description of the entire dramatic performance.

Plus +1

FOR YOU…my dear student!

Here’s my joyous list of 6:

  1. Plus +1
  2. Questions Off
  3. Potty Pass
  4. Food Pass
  5. Teacher’s Pet for the Day
  6. Verbal Praise Coupon (You have to hear about this one!)

I have 24 hours to come up with something awesome!

Episode Template

The Problem:

Your students need to up their class participation game.

The Solution:

Incorporate some low-risk incentives.

What You Can Do Tomorrow:

  1. Determine the target audience for your incentives
  2. Decide whether your incentives will be academic, social, or both
  3. Create some non-transferable reward cards or coupons
  4. Consider ways to deliver the goods with style!

Maybe…all your students need to up their participation game is a little Capitalism. Don’t be shocked if you and they have a lot of fun in the process!

Listen to “47-6 Incredibly Simple and Powerful Student Incentives” on Spreaker.

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