10 Ideas for The Appreciation Station

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Contributed by Ashley D., Teacher, White Lake, MI

Appreciation Station

An extremely great way to keep students motivated is by offering positive reinforcement! An Appreciation Station is a GREAT way to motivate students! I don’t know how I ever taught without it!When students have incentives for their positive behaviors, actions, and work habits they are so much more likely to perform with excellence! Below is a list of 10 ways to utilize the Appreciation Station in your classroom!

  1. Weekly Table Points – Keep track of student behavior each day my marking tally points on the board next to each of the tables names. Students can earn points by working quietly, following directions, being good, etc. They can also lose points when undesirable behaviors come out. At the end of each week, total up the tally points and the children at the table with the most points each get a token for a prize!
  2. Magic Piece Clean Up – When the classroom floor gets messy you no longer have to stress! Set a timer for one minute and explain that there is a magic piece of trash somewhere on the floor. Tell the students that it must be silent when the magic piece is picked up or the piece will lose its magic! When the timer goes off, the student who picked up and threw away the magic piece gets a token for a prize!
  3. Mystery Walker – Ever have trouble keeping your students quiet in the halls? Next time you are about to walk your class down the hall, explain to them that you will be looking for a mystery walker while you are in the hall. Explain that the mystery walker will be someone who is completely quiet, keeps their hands to themselves, and keeps his or her eyes looking forward the entire walk. Tell them the mystery walker will get a token for a prize!
  4. Reading Logs – Each month send home a reading log for students to track their minutes of reading at home. Any student who turns their reading log in completed by the end of the month gets a token for a prize!
  5. Substitute Teacher Incentive – On days when you have to get a guest teacher, explain to the students that you will be asking the substitute to write down the names of the most helpful students. Tell them the names that are written down will all receive a token for a prize when you return!
  6. Learning Games – play games like the last man standing and jeopardy to help students learn and practice sight words, math facts, social studies concepts and more! The winners of the games receive a token for a prize!
  7. Student Helpers – Ever have a lot of papers that need to be passed back, or tasks like tearing out book orders or stuffing Friday Folders that need to be done? Why not ask a student or two to help! Not only will the students enjoy helping their teacher, they will love receiving the thank-you token you give to them when they are finished!
  8. Birthday Prize – Each student receives a crown, a sticker, and a special pencil on his or her birthday! Why not let them have a token for the treasure box as well?! Students will be so happy! Children with summer birthdays should be encouraged to celebrate their half birthdays!
  9. Personal Behavior Plans – We’ve all had those students who just need that little extra attention to ensure positive behavior. For these students it often helps to set up a personal behavior plan. The student sets a behavior goal, and keeps track with stickers or other means. When the behavior goal is met, the student receives a token for a prize!
  10. Quality Work – When your students are working on an assignment, explain that you will be walking around choosing students who are doing exceptional work. These students will get a chance to stand up and show their work to the class. As a thank-you for sharing their quality work, these students get a token for a prize!