Do Rewards Work in Classrooms?

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Rewards can affect student behaviour but when is it ok to use them and why?

Rewards are a motivating factor for all and especially children. It can make them very productive in completing their work. If you are finding it difficult to get everyone involved a reward system may just be the answer.

Happy students
Students are encouraged to work towards a challenge knowing they will be rewarded in return. This gives students a sense of achievement when they have completed a challenge. Praise and rewards can boost students’ self-esteem making them feel good about themselves, but a public indication of success can be very powerful.

Using incentives can sometimes encourage those who don’t usually behave well to imitate those who are behaving .

Even though giving class rewards can be beneficial, it can also have a negative impact. Therefore, it’s important to use them with some thought and discernment.

Students may soon expect to be receiving rewards for every task they complete or any good signs of behaviour they show.

Producing work
Once they know there’s a reward, students may rush to complete their work. Students may stop analysing questions; rushing to find the correct answer rather than processing and understanding the topic carefully.


Some students may feel that they are a failure, if they are not recognised as much as their peers.

So, if you’re using a reward system to keep your sanity, review what activities are you using these for and how often.

Rewards that can be used in the classroom:

  • Being able to sit with a friend
  • Being the first one to go for lunch
  • Choose a game at the end of the class


Class Dojo is a popular online piece of software that allows parents to be notified about good behaviour by their children.

Let us know what works best for you!

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