In the ideal classroom, every student should be actively learning; however, experienced teachers know this is not always the case. Classroom rewards can help increase class participation and encourage your students to reach higher. Successful teachers make effective use of rewards that can help students learn acceptable classroom behaviors with the goal of moving toward understanding and recognizing the intrinsic rewards of engaged learning. 
Rewards That Fit Your Budget
If, as a teacher, you are required to supply your own rewards, you’ll want to make the most of your budget with items that can last an entire school year and even longer. Individually wrapped [edible rewards] that don’t need to be refrigerated can be a good choice for the classroom as long as they are healthy and don't cause allergic or other reactions. Pens, [pencils] and erasers also are good choices that encourage the student’s artistic abilities. Use these small rewards at the beginning of the school year to teach and reward the behaviors you expect in the classroom. Let problem students know that good behavior will be rewarded – time and again. This short-term reward system can be in place for a limited period of time, leading to a longer-term program.
Long-Term Rewards That Gain Traction
As you begin tapering off the small, immediate rewards of candy or pencils, start initiating a longer-term reward system. Use a sticker chart with [foil stars] or stickers to track student behavior. Consider printing coupons that say "I was caught being good" for those displaying the expected behaviors. You can even make it fun and interesting by allowing students to trade their certificates for items available at the school store. Other long-term rewards include Student of the Month or Student of the Year [certificates] with the student’s name printed on it. Your school might even consider involving local merchants who are willing to donate items used as prizes. Another option is for students to stock the store by donating items of their own no longer used, such as puzzles, books and games.
Create an Atmosphere Conducive to Learning
A welcoming classroom also helps to engage students, according to Concordia University.  Make classrooms more welcoming with attention-grabbing bulletin boards to display student artwork and reduce clutter. For the younger elementary students, steps that give the classroom a more homelike feel allow the students to relax so they engage in effective learning. Because of the number of people in what can be a relatively small space, clutter can get out of hand quickly. Purchase items that you can store and organize teaching tools easily and effectively. You’ll set a good example for your students while teaching them the value of neatness and organization!
Benefits of a Classroom Response System
A classroom response system helps you engage students by giving each one the chance to respond directly to your questions. Student response systems using clickers that you distribute are one possible choice, but in classrooms where students have access to computers, tablets or cellphones, apps are available that allow a response and classroom participation without purchasing additional equipment. Such systems are handy for team learning where the first correct response is awarded points, but they also help with students who may feel uncomfortable voicing their responses. The system allows them to type in an answer and send it privately to your unit. 
Engaged students are better at learning and behaving. The process increases your performance as a teacher and improves the chances of developing lifelong learners. While you may never reach your goal of engaging every student for the entire school day, you can improve the time students spend in an active learning environment with a few simple tools and supplies.
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