Did you know that students of all ages need incentives and rewards to do well in class? Research shows that incentives are great motivation tools. Incentives refer to tangible and intangible rewards used to motivate a human being to behave in a given way. They can be used when kids need to be encouraged to participate in activities they hate doing. Besides, incentives and rewards can inspire children and teens to attend and take part in co-curriculum activities. This motivation is so crucial in a time like this when research is showing the advantages children can get from regular participation in co-curriculum activities. And if you are a music teacher who is looking for ways to incentivise and reward students, here are 5 suggestions.
Use formal learning models
Theory can be so boring sometimes. So it would be better to introduce discovery based learning models to your students. That’s because kids love experiments and adventurous activities. They promote critical thinking and fun learning. Experimental learning involving fieldwork can be so engaging and mind boggling too. You can also try project-based learning where group work is a requirement.
2. Use Game mechanics
Young kids are fascinated by shiny and sticky stuff. Thus, teachers who want to encourage kids’ participation in lesson activities can use a game mechanics method. The most common games are Head of the Class and Trivia. Stickers work great in boosting classroom participation and hard work. If a student attains a higher mark than previous gets a sticker on their paper, they will put more effort to keep it every time. The one who doesn’t get a sticker will be forced to pull up their socks to get it next time.
3. Introduce weekly coupons and a point system
Weekly coupons and a point system are a nice way to incentivize your students. Make sure your weekly coupons are limited in number, meaning that students will have to contest to earn a coupon or point. It is upon you to create weekly contests that students can take part in. As well, let the student know what the coupons are all about. They could be about extra stickers, choice song demonstration, free cookies/candy so on. You can be as creative as possible when designing your weekly coupons. Additionally, you can allow the student who gets the highest points to buy the coupons until they are over. As for the point system, you can set it in a way that kids or teens can earn and bank points for various things. This will boost their level of involvement in classroom activities. While kids might not use the points right away, they will be happy to accumulate them still. The point system should promote hard work and resilience until the points are earned.
4. Use hand written tools
If you want to make a pact with a difficult student, create a hand written note or card with a personal message to congratulate them for the progress they have recently achieved. Do not be surprised to see them making a lot of effort to reciprocate your heartfelt gratitude and appreciation. Another hand written tool you can use is a letter. Send a handwritten letter to your students’ parents expressing your happiness with their current classroom performance. The students will be thrilled by this and will work even harder to please you and their parents. Additionally, you can have stamps made that feature personalized messages like “You are great”, “You can do It” or any other text that resonates with your students.
5. Make deals in class
One method is a “That was Easy” button. It is a cheap tool you can buy online and use in class to motivate students. Make a deal with the students that they will only come forward and push the button when they have done something great. A genius bell is a method that has customarily been used to incentivise students. It works on the rule that no student can ring the bell without the teacher’s permission and without giving an extremely great answer to a given question. If a teacher is tough with dinging the bell, kids will try harder to earn a chance. In a group class environment, the bell method doesn’t only motivate one child who gets a chance to ring it, but also the rest. Kids will tell you when their fellow student deserves to ring the genius bell.