The key to good classroom management is in the relationships you build with your students and the relationships they build with each other. It's important to build a classroom community to help to motivate all of your students to make positive choices. Using a whole class reward system with behavior incentives, like a build-a-reward chart, is a great way to encourage your kindergarten students to work together toward a common goal.
What is a Build-a-Reward Chart?
A Build-a-Reward chart is a whole class reward system with a visual way to motivate your entire class to make positive behavior choices. Set a behavior goal and choose a reward. Then each time you catch your students meeting the behavior goal, they earn a piece of their reward chart (kind of like a puzzle). When the chart is complete, the class earns a reward.
Why use a Whole Class Reward System in Kindergarten?
When you begin to focus on positive behaviors instead of unwanted (or negative) behaviors in the classroom, you'll see a total transformation. The classroom becomes a happier place and catching kids being good becomes contagious. Setting up an effective whole class reward system is a great way to help everyone to begin to focus on the positive things happening in the classroom.
Kindergarten students benefit from the use of visuals throughout the classroom. When reinforcing positive behaviors, why not use fun visuals to support all your learners? The visuals provide a great reminder to show students what their goal is and how many more pieces they need to earn to get to their reward. These build-a-reward charts are a fun and engaging way to motivate your entire class to make positive behavior choices.
How do Whole Class Reward Systems work in Kindergarten?
Behavior Goal: First, you'll need to choose a behavior goal. Choose just one behavior – that can be tricky with a challenging class, but choose only one behavior at a time. Is your class having trouble walking quietly in the hallway? Maybe they need to improve their transitions or their desks are super messy? Pick a behavior that everyone can work on together.
Reward Choice: After you choose a behavior goal, you'll need to choose a reward. Your reward can be anything that motivates your students. Keep in mind rewards can be totally FREE! Kids love dance parties and extra recess and they don't cost a thing. If you use a prize box, maybe everyone can choose a prize. Maybe you want a bigger reward like a popcorn or ice cream party? It's totally up to you.
Using the Chart: You can choose to have your students complete the chart each day, earn one piece of the chart per day, or whatever interval works best for you. You can chat about your behavior goal at the end of the day during your closing circle and discuss whether or not the class met the goal to earn a piece of the chart. Or you could choose to give a piece of the chart every time you catch a student meeting the goal. You'll need to think about your class and your goals and set it up in a way that best meets your needs.
Where should I display our whole class reward chart?
You'll want to display your positive behavior chart somewhere prominent in your classroom so that everyone can see it. This helps to keep everyone accountable. If your principal walks in, they will know what your class is working toward. Your substitute can look and know what to watch for. The visuals are a great reminder for you and your students, too!
You can display it in a pocket chart, using Velcro dots on a bulletin board, or even using magnets on your whiteboard. The key is to display it somewhere that everyone can see.
Get a Closer Look at Build-a-Reward Charts
Where can I find a build-a-reward chart?
I have a bundle of Build-a-Reward charts here in my TPT store or here in my website store. Each pack has all the printables you need to create a whole class reward chart including visuals for your behavior and reward choices. They were created with flexibility in mind, so you can choose how many pieces your students will earn.
Try a free Build-a-Reward Chart
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I'd love to see and hear how these work in your classroom – tag me on Instagram @teachingexceptionalkinders!
Need more tips for classroom management in kindergarten? Click here to read about using visual supports in the kindergarten classroom.