Bonus Bucks: A reward for kids too cool for rewards!

Sometimes I think being a middle school teacher is probably the most challenging when it comes to trying to relate to our students.  One day,13-year-olds are far too grown for treats and roll their eyes at the mention of stars by their names or positive notes home.  And yet, the next day those same children will ask you, “If I get this right, can I have ___________?” Fill in the blank with anything from an A+, to candy, to money, to a pet zebra. Kids. (I’m shaking my head as I say that one word…kids.)

However, I think of the numerous faculty meetings and workshops I’ve been forced to attend and I have to admit that a little reward makes me a little happier to be there.  Not much.  But a little bit.  And I’m waaayyy older than thirteen.  So I believe treats are definitely a must have, no matter the age and the pretending they don’t care.

Yet another issue is what to give as treats.  You can’t just randomly throw candy at them like animals in a feeding zoo. (I’ll admit I’ve actually done that a time or two.) You really need some sort of system that will fit your needs.

That’s where these Bonus Bucks I’ve created come in.  Bonus Bucks are small coupons that can be used for any reward you want.  Have them collect a certain number for prizes or events in which they can participate.  Award bucks for good behavior, good grades, a great answer during a discussion, a good deed done for another student, it’s your choice.  Set a number that needs to be collected for specific giveaway items or use them to enter drawings.

My school has a library store where students can use their bucks to purchase items like pencils, playing cards, hacky sacks, erasers and other small items.  The more bonus bucks they’ve earned, the more they can spend.

Another way I’ve used bonus buck is for admission to a reward movie in the library.  Students with bucks are allowed to pay to attend the movie and even use them to “purchase” snacks and drinks.

There are two denominations ($1 & $5) and the design is middle and high school friendly (aka – not babyish).

Visit my store on Teacher Pay Teachers to take a look.  You’ll find many ways to use them and your students will love you for it, even if they don’t actually admit it.

(The images on this page are low resolution. The actual product has sharp, clear images and text.)