Sunday, May 21, 2017

Ending Sugary Treats as Prizes Once and For All: Your Healthier Alternatives

 
     Let's face it, everyone LOVES sugar. It is so beloved that sugary treats are eaten during celebrations, special events, as dessert, and many times "just because". They are even given out as rewards and prizes (usually in the form of chocolate or candy) in school. However, we now know the toxicity of sugar. It's simply not healthy for our brains or minds. As teachers, I strongly believe we should not be giving treats out to students because of its negative effects on the body. So, if we don't give out treats, what do we give out?
     Giving out prizes and rewards doesn't actually have to be complicated, sugary, NOR must it cost money. My prizes primarily consist of tickets for things my students like to do in the classroom. I have a ticket to use the bean bag for the day, bring healthy food inside the classroom to eat, be line leader for a day, just to name a few examples. Students acquire tickets by completing their punchcards and choosing a ticket from the prize jar. Though these prizes seem simple (and are), they are very effective! Think about your own classroom. We teachers choose different classroom jobs and rotate them around because they need to be done, AND most students are dying to do them. Why not give them out as prizes instead of assigning them? They are free, and your students will be pleased with them. 
   To review, when deciding what kinds of ticket prizes to give out, think of things your students naturally like to do in the classroom, as well as specific jobs that need to be done. Then, make tickets for those things and give those tickets out as prizes instead of sugary treats. This is an incredibly economical way to give prizes, an efficient way to get jobs done, and all without having to spend money or manage a job-rotating system. My students have NEVER complained about not getting candy. Instead, they are excited every time they get to choose a prize. 

Note: I also throw in things that students have extras of like the character card in my prize box. 

Tip: Try asking students if they have things they would like to donate to the prize jar. They often do! 

 My prize jar and a few of the tickets available in there. 

 As you can see, my tickets are simple and easy to make. If you want to make them fancier, you could create them online and print them out instead of hand making them. 


    

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