Positive Reinforcements and Rewards

Behaviour theorist, B.F. Skinner believed that when one provides positive reinforcements, by adding a desirable stimulus, the positive behaviour is more likely to be repeated (Vialle et. al. 2008). Therefore, in the classroom, it is important to recognise and reward positive behaviour so the students are aware of the behaviour expected of them.


Caitlin, you have indicated that the strategies that you are using to reward the students is not working, so we have developed some positive reinforcement and rewards for you to use in the classroom.

It is important to develop a whole class reward system, as well as use the schools reward system such as merit awards. An effective reward system is giving students raffles tickets when they demonstrate positive behaviour and then having a raffle every few weeks. Also, by creating a rewards chart with stickers or ticks for positive behaviour. These are quick, easy ways to reward students without disrupting the learning experience.

When you see the students demonstrating positive behaviour, describe that positive behaviour they have shown and immediately reinforce that behaviour (either extrinsically or intrinsically) in the following ways:

  • Give the student a sticker or a stamp.
  • Praise the student on their positive behaviour and/or work in front of their peers.
  • Write positive comments on the student’s completed work.
  • Give the student a job that they enjoy doing.
  • Create a table point system.
  • Give the student a tick on the rewards chart. At the end of the week, the two students with the most ticks receive a merit certificate.
  • Let the student be able to select a free time activity.
  • Let the student select the music to be played in the classroom when completing some lessons.
  • Give the students raffle tickets and at the end of a few weeks, draw the raffle to win a small prize such as an eraser, pencil case, etc.


The school may suggests additional ways that the students can be rewarded including:

  • Privileges.
  • Special tasks and responsibilities in class and around the school.
  • Displays of student work in class, the corridors and the front foyer.
  • Display of students who have received gold awards in the front foyer.
  • Communication to parent in person and through the newsletter.
  • School awards including Principal award, Merit award, Encouragement awards, Class of the week, Sporting awards, Playground awards and Environmental awards.


Further Reading:

Porter, L 2006, Student Behaviour: Theory and Practice for Teachers, Allen & Unwin, Crows Nest, NSW.

Classroom Management - Reward Ideas

Rewards and Positive Consequences