Inexpensive Rewards Middle School Students Love - History Gal

Inexpensive Rewards Middle School Students Love

By History Gal
 Rewards for your students don't have to cost a lot. Here are ten your students are sure to love!
1. PENCILS - I'm always surprised at how popular pencils are (I even give pencils away at my house on Halloween and kids will pick them over my stash of good chocolate candy!).  If you are headed toward the dreaded fill-in-the-bubble sheets, make sure the pencils you are giving away are #2. I have a canister of plain to wildly decorated and holiday theme pencils for students to choose from.
2.  HIGHLIGHTERS - The various dollar stores have good prices on highlighters, but I also keep an eye out for great back-to-school sale prices. I buy the assorted color multi-packs and students get to choose one color.

 3. RUBBER STAMPS - Rubber stamps can be found for cheap in many of the craft stores’ clearance bins, along with other prize ideas.
4. STICKERS - A sheet of stickers, especially stinky stickers, never goes out of style, no matter how old your students are. I even like putting them on papers I grade.
5. COUPONS FOR FREE FOOD - This takes a little more effort on my part, but I go to local restaurants and ask if they will donate coupons for a class reward. You'll be surprised at how often they say "YES!" A drink or milkshake, a breakfast sandwich or a two-for-one meal coupon are always appreciated.
6. SMALL TRINKETS FROM ORIENTAL TRADING COMPANY - I wait for Oriental Trading Company to have sales and free shipping codes and then I fill my cart with leis and great reward little trinkets like key rings that can adorn backpacks, small hand-held puzzle boxes, glow sticks, and inflatable microphones. To help me keep track of my receipts for tax purposes, I create a folder in my email for each tax year and when Oriental Trading emails me my receipt, I move the email into that folder. When it's time to prepare taxes, I just print out all of my receipts and give them to my accountant (any by accountant, I mean my husband!).
7. FOOD or DRINKS - For many middle school students, food or drink is the ultimate prize. But, this depends a lot on your district’s policies. You can provide a coupon for a free ice cream in the cafeteria, a pack of chewing gum, or other inexpensive candy. You can even bring in doughnuts or bring in homemade or home baked cookies as a top prize.
8. +10 POINTS COUPONS - These coupons are always in high demand! Just print or write “+10 Points Coupon” on a 3x5 index card. To use, the student simply signs the coupon, staples it to a previously graded assignment, and returns it to you.
 9. DROP ONE HOMEWORK TICKET -  These tickets are also highly valued! Just print or write “Drop One Homework” on a 4x6 or 5x8 index card. Students use them when they have a homework or overnight assignment to finish. The card is labeled with the assignment, signed by the student, and turned in for a 100.
10. BOOKS - I love letting students pick books as rewards. Books are expensive so to get them cheaper requires some work. I collect gently used books from people in my neighborhood, I scour the local libraries semi-annual book sales, I go to Scholastic Warehouse sales and fill boxes of books for a fraction of the regular cost, I visit used books stores (there's one a few towns away from me that sells books for $.99 and lets me fill a box for $15), and I use Donor's Choose to fund new books.

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