I know that today is Saturday, but I wanted to do a quick post on how much a HEART Fridays. And not just because its the last work day of the week.
I will be honest when I first started at the school Fridays completely through me off, we do a modified block schedule so on Wed/Thur we have 90 minute periods and then Friday we go back to 48 minutes. And boy does that 48 minutes fly by, the students are antsy for the weekend and I felt like a crazy person trying to get the lesson done before the bell rang.
And then it hit me, why not write into my lesson some reward time. A lot of jobs have a casual dress day on Friday and since my class is a career based class we could end our week with some casual time.
There are three reward systems that go into this, I know some teachers that do less and others that do more but it seems like a manageable amount for me to keep up with.
1.  Individual Rewards
Every day my students are given raffle tickets for doing something right or great. For example, you do you warm up, you get a raffle ticket. You participate in class discussion, raffle ticket. Help a neighbor, raffle ticket. Etc.
Then on Friday's we draw out 5-7 winners for each class period. Rewards are not things that cost me money, because frankly I don't have any I teach. I use grade incentives: 100 for a warm up, 5 points on a project, 100 for a daily grade. As well as 5 minutes of PAT, listen to music why you work, first out of class.
90% of my students love getting these, a new student was bragging that he wouldn't have to do a warm up one day since he won. That equals a winning combination in my book.
2. Whole Class Reward
What is PAT you ask? PAT stands for preferred activity time, I actually take the time to write it into our lesson plan each week so a administrator can never question why we play computer games.
Each class is so graciously given 10 minutes each week by me and they can earn or lose time throughout the week. A class is up out of seats or talking when I am talking, I start my kitchen timer and hold it high, peers will start yelling at each other to sit down or be quiet and I never have to raise my voice. A particularly difficult class has 100% participation on warm ups I give them an extra minute.
When Friday comes around I designate a student a time manager and they tell me what time to stop my teaching to begin their PAT.
And suddenly you have 30 students able to play computer games and visit with peers. They eat it up! I introduced a very neat racing game to my students yesterday, TM Nation, and WOW did they love it.  It will be a great reminder all next week of what they are working for.
3. Grade Rewards
My newest reward system is giving my three-four highest grade ranked students in each period a little recognition and an extra reward card. I upped the anti a bit and did 10 minutes of PAT, listen to music why you work ( a class favorite, treated like gold) and use class ipad for the day. The class all cheered for them and it seemed to add to our class positivity.
Our school also does a school wide drawing with yellow tickets and I try really hard to give them out but most of our students are so indifferent to that drawing that the tickets end up on my floor so I try and stick to classroom incentives.
I am linking up with The First Grade Derby linky party What's Your Favorite Reward or Incentive. I absolutely love being able to add to my toolbox ways to motivate my students to keep class running smoothly and grades up! I would love to hear your tricks!
The Babbling Box


  1. I am so glad that I just found your blog! I teach 6th grade in Fredericksburg, not far at all from you! It sounds like you are off to a great start this school year!

    Miss Klohn
    Adventures of a 6th Grade Teacher

    1. Thank you! I am already following your blog, can't believe we are so close to each other.