Teachers how do you work your class reward system?

(21 Posts)
mrz Sun 12-Jan-14 16:01:02

I don't give rewards for behaviour - and give instant rewards for effort but don't keep a record of who has or hasn't been rewarded.

Phaush Sun 12-Jan-14 14:39:27

Does this sort of thread crop up every year around this time?

DD is in reception and already some of the children who seem more challenging at drop of time have had the daily award more than once - although of course in 200 days they should all be getting it two or three times over the year so it may well pan out fine.

Except it won't, because in theory any of the awards could be won by the same child every time, but in practice we all know that never happens and shouldn't happen, but it causes problems for the more reflective children: DD has already asked about what the weekly one is for, and I sense that she doesn't see much correlation between who wins them and what she sees in school. I would suggest that an award that isn't understood by those whom it is meant to reward and motivate is a poor kind of reward - more so when the reasons it isn't understood are to do with it being awarded on a rota basis based on criteria that are not only relative, but vary from child to child, which ultimately means that in some circumstances a child who is well behaved for just two weeks per year is likely to win the weekly award twice, whereas the child who is well behaved and conscientious all year is likely to win it once (and not really be able to say why if their behaviour / effort etc is consistent)

MidniteScribbler Sun 12-Jan-14 12:47:34

moldingsunbeams, I absolutely agree that you should approach the teacher. I don't give out rewards for minor reasons, but a teacher should keep a track of the awards they give out, and there should certainly be something that they can reward for, especially over a two year period.

Teachers saying that we won't give out rewards just because a parent kicks up a fuss is not the same as your situation. A child that has been overlooked for two years is simply not good enough and it needs to be addressed, especially a child with additional needs who may need the motivation, and may benefit from knowing exactly what it takes to earn a reward and will have difficulties if they feel they have attained that standard and are still not being rewarded for it. Clear expectations and outcomes are important for students with additional needs.

Thatssofunny Sun 12-Jan-14 09:17:54

GW297 Yes, it's for good presentation of work. This can be in any subject. I did have quite a push on handwriting with mine, although it's a whole-school issue and I also give it out for presentation in Maths for example.

GW297 Sun 12-Jan-14 08:42:05

Sorry yes after 2 years I would definitely contact the teacher and ask if they could explain to my child what they needed to do in order to become eligible for such rewards. I might also ask the Head to review their behaviour management policy or at least make them aware of what has gone on and the impact on my child's self-esteem and confidence.

We don't give awards for expected behaviour such as manners or good behaviour either but rather specific progress or achievements.

moldingsunbeams Sun 12-Jan-14 08:17:16

and it was teachers on Mumsnet who told me to mention it because of the length of time on someone elses thread about star of the week last year.

moldingsunbeams Sun 12-Jan-14 08:15:49

and I know someone has to be last but as I said its been two years with four reward systems in place and they are now on people having it third and fourth time.

For an sen child with low confidence and self esteem who had lost motivation and was saying she was "thick and rubbish" it could have been used so effectively to boost her when she made more progress than anyone else in tests, when she made so much effort with her writing or such.

I used to be a HLTA and often did star of the week choice, if a parent had come to me after two years and said what I said I would not have spat my dummy out and left the child till last because a parent had asked what their child needed to work on to get it.
Why punish the child.

I wouldn't have picked them next just for the sake of it but after two years I would have certainly been having a look.

I did not demand my "little darling got it"

moldingsunbeams Sun 12-Jan-14 08:01:02

I would just like to point out that I did not go in and demand star of the week, at parents evening they were talking about how hard she was working for her ta, I said she was very easily motivated where stickers were concerned and laughed (ta gives loads out) but had said she wanted to know what she had to do to get the class prize box and I had told her to work hard.

MidniteScribbler Sun 12-Jan-14 01:15:02

I keep a list of students and make sure they all do get something throughout the term/semester/year. We don't do star of the week, but we do have awards given at assemblies for various things (can be anything the teacher decides). I will not award "nice manners" or "being friendly", which are things that I expect from my students anyway, and go for more concrete achievements such as academic, or sporting, or perhaps a student who has gone out of their way to do something (volunteering to help me cover books etc), or they have done extra work (reading a book not on the book list and writing a review, that sort of thing) above and beyond what was required of them.

Personally, I prefer to use the student's diaries to write notes about their progress and praise any special efforts or behaviours. For some students, good behaviour is a challenge, but I think it's better to praise that effort more privately (a personal note for them, which can be read by their parents) rather than a generic piece of cardboard with a sticker on it.

I would not give an award just because a parent has come in and demanded that their child hasn't received one. However, a child that has missed out for two years, I think the parent should question, but along the lines of "DD feels she has been trying very hard and has not received an award. Could you perhaps let her know what she needs to do in class in order to be eligible for consideration?" Children are sensitive to missing out on something, and they certainly can see where things are unfair, so bringing it to the teacher's attention is certainly not unreasonable in the OP's situation.

GW297 Sun 12-Jan-14 00:12:41

I agree! If a parent asks to have a quick word that transpires to be along the lines of I just want to remind you that my child hasn't yet been the star of the week and has been wondering when they're going to get a turn, I will not chose them for at least three weeks on principle! As you say, someone has to be last.

Every school has different policies. Where I've worked there's been a system of Star/Pupil/Whatever of The Week, for which everyone gets a turn during the year. Records are rigorously kept.

The downside to this is that the children do work out eventually that they will all get a go. I heard one 'challenging' boy in year 5 laughing that he wondered what they'd say when it was his turn to be the Star... "Coz they gotta gi me it for summink ant vey?".

I've also worked with house points and individual merit marks. For the individual ones I give for effort and behaviour as well as academic achievement (for that child, not compared to the class), so that everyone gets an equal chance to earn. I give merits/points for the first ones ready for PE, the tidiest table, the quietest group, determination and perseverance ...

I do often slip a couple of extra stamps in their record books if I think that a child is falling behind unfairly compared to how I know they are (that's my fairness safety net).

One school had a system for noting those who showed the school values each week. We were expected to nominate 1/4 to 1/3 of our class each week, so there were ample chances for that one.

One thing I will point out ... I will NEVER bow to any parent who asks me to make their child the Star/Pupil/whatever. That's one thing guaranteed to make me change my mind even if their darling was going to be next.

... and my son was the last to be chosen in his class one summer. Someone has to be last.

GW297 Sat 11-Jan-14 23:32:45

What is a presentation award? Presentation of written work?

SlightlyTerrified Sat 11-Jan-14 22:56:14

I think for things such as Star of the Week etc then all children should have the opportunity to receive these awards at some point throughout the year, even the children with the most challenging behaviour will at some point have a fabulous week.

I do, however, disagree with just finding a reason to give specific awards. At my DCs school they have an awards night each year, in each class there is an academic award, progress and all rounder awards. The latter two give scope to be varied each year of course but it would be odd not to give the academic award to the child who has received the highest marks or whatever it is based on, it would make a mockery of it.

Thatssofunny Sat 11-Jan-14 22:14:14

Star of the Week - everyone gets it at least once during the year, sometimes my entire class gets the award as one

Presentation Award - this could be the same child for several weeks in a row, simply because the others don't bother. That was the case in my class last year. It isn't so much this year, so it's different children. However, I refuse to 'find reasons to justify' giving it to someone, just so they get one. If my entire class don't bother, nobody gets one.

Housepoints - ours collect them for their house and I don't know how many each individual child gets. I give them for good work, good manners, great answers, anything,...and there's nobody in my class, who doesn't get any.

However, I don't 'praise, praise, praise', particularly for things I expect of them anyway. Mine know that if I praise someone, it's deserved and not just a platitude. If they've done really well, I send them to the head and inform their parents. I also speak to their parents when they have been working hard or just been lovely. They might not get a certificate for that, though...

GW297 Sat 11-Jan-14 22:11:16

House points are trickier. I try not to let the gap get too wide, but sometimes it's inevitable I feel. I also try to stay in line with how generous other teachers are with them.

I try to send them each for a Headteacher's award about once a term, but I believe the work has to be outstanding or represent huge personal achievement for that particular child. I think some teachers send children more frequently than this though, so will maybe raise this briefly during a forthcoming staff meeting as it's always good to be reasonable consistent.

nonicknameseemsavailable Sat 11-Jan-14 22:05:46

in my kids school I think every child gets to have a head teachers award during the year with a reason found for each of them. There are then a couple of other opportunities where a few children a year can be rewarded for particular kindness.

2kidsintow Sat 11-Jan-14 21:59:43

Star of the week - reasons are found to justify why they are star of the week, but every child gets chosen.

Junior Termly certificates - 4 per class per term. I teach year 4 so always first check who had certificates in year 3 and then give them (for good reasons) to the children in year 4.

Housepoints - on individual merit, but I do check the chart from time to time to keep track of those who haven't earned any (or bothered to mark them off) as they get a housepoint certificate for earning so many and I try to make sure every child has earned at least one certificate in the year.

Here's the maths - 52 weeks of a year, a good 12 of them are holiday.
From the 40 weeks, and a class of 30 it gives the teachers just a week per child.

GW297 Sat 11-Jan-14 21:46:38

Sadly, you will find that lots of children who are always sensible, hard working and well behaved get overlooked for rewards in favour of those children who do something once that they do consistently. Interestingly, it is often a big factor in why parents move their children from state to independent in my experience.

I keep a record of how often children receive each type of reward and have a turn at being monitors for things. I also firmly believe that the children who choose to behave well consistently should have the most rewards and that sustained effort and achievement should be recognised.

As a teacher, I have a tick list to make sure every child gets every reward at least once a year/term ... very bad practice otherwise. As a parent, I try and compensate when quiet, shy DD (only at school!) gets overlooked ... but it is never the same when Mum says you are wonderful ...

moldingsunbeams Sat 11-Jan-14 21:18:15

Was talking about this on another thread and got me thinking.

Do you try and make sure each child gets a turn eventually?
Do you only reward the ones you feel have really deserved it or try and find something positive each has done throughout the year?

DD has not had any of the four reward systems the last two years.
They are for good behaviour and manner, effort and achievement.
There is a class trophy, star of the week, golden book and class ambassador.

She is nearly always very good and quiet at school, always opens the doors for teachers, is always polite, yet others get it for good manners.
She has made massive progress with her handwriting and maths and yet others get it for improvement.

She has sen and has been working with her much loved ta three hours a week and has really tried her hardest and has made more progress than any other child in the class this year (says her teacher) yet other children get it for improvement.

There is the ambassador trophy, star of the week, class trophy and a mention board/prize box. But nadda

We are obviously going wrong somewhere.
I did mention it in a jokey way at the end of the last school year and was told there were many reward systems in class.

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