Creating Incentives

Develop Incentives:Some students are self-motivated, but some may need an incentive to complete their work .  Remember school work can be frustrating for many children, so breaking tasks into chunks may be helpful.  Some children need an incentive often, and others can wait until the end of the day, week or month.
TIP:
Establish the incentive and how the student will achieve it BEFORE you begin work.  Think about what is realistic for you to give as incentives. Don’t have a new Xbox as an incentive at the end of the month/year if you aren’t sure you can afford one.  Start small, and see what works. You may need to modify your incentive system if it isn’t working. However, if you think you have a good system, don’t let your child bargain with you just to make it easier for them to earn the incentive.  Be consistent.

Take Breaks:  Downtime is just as helpful in getting through the school day as a schedule.  Students have downtime at school throughout a normal school day, while they're changing classes or while they're waiting for other students to finish their work.  Remember to give them the same while they're at home. 

Ideas for Incentives

SMALL (several per day)

MEDIUM (1-2 per day)

LARGE (once a week or once a month)


Short Break  - approximately 1-2 minutes long (see chart below for ideas)

Medium Break - approximately 15-20 minutes long (see chart below for ideas) 

Make homemade craft (Slime, jewelry, bath bombs, etc)

Stickers

Favorite snack 

Family slumber party in the living room (outside when it gets warmer)

Gum

Get to choose the next family movie

New item that you both agree to (sweatshirt, baseball glove, trading cards, jewelry, tennis shoes, etc)

Individual pieces of cereal, M&Ms, raisins, etc. 

Get to choose the evening meal

Home movie night (child chooses movie and favorite snack)

Give tokens/checkmarks to trade in for a prize/activity

One on one time with someone in your family

Choose an item to bake/cook with someone in your family


Board game with family member(s)



Get to pick a bedtime story



Dialogue for Discussing Incentives

It might sound like this if your child  works “X” number of minutes.

  1. "First we work 5 minutes, then we _______ for 2 minutes."
  2. Show a visual of what you are working for or explain the break activity.
  3. Set the timer for 5 minutes.
  4. Stop timer if student stops working. Say, "First work", then timer starts again.
  5. Once a student works for 5 minutes and timer dings, say, “Nice job working. Let’s get started with ___ activity for 2 minutes."
  6. Set a timer for 2 minutes and start brain break activity.
  7. Once timer dings, say something like, “Wasn’t that fun, now let’s get back to our lesson on ______."

It might sound like this if your child completes “X” task.

  1. "First complete 5 problems, then we _____ for 5 minutes."
  2. Show a visual of what you are working for or explain the break activity.
  3. Use a check sheet with 5 boxes to check off as you complete each problem.
  4. Once a student completes the five activities say, “Nice job working.” Let’s get started with ___ activity for 5 minutes."
  5. Set a timer for 5 minutes, start brain break activity.
  6. Once timer dings, say something like, “Wasn’t that fun, now let’s get back to our lesson on ______."