Students love recognition throughout the year. Whether they are positively polite, a rockstar reader, or lend a helping hand. Using student awards in the classroom will surely increase student engagement and create a positive classroom culture.
Using Student Awards In The Classroom
The end of the year always seems so far away whenever I start a new school year, but then suddenly, it’s around the corner, and I am trying to figure out how to celebrate each student in my class!
Each student has special qualities and traits that shine through the year. Because of this, I spotlight students and give them each a unique award. I send each award home as part of our end-of-the-year celebration.
But why not recognize students throughout the entire year? Student awards don’t always have to wait until the last few days. They can turn a classroom into a place of growth, reflection, and fun!
Why Use Student Awards In The Classroom
Student awards are great for classroom community and culture. Some reasons why student awards should be brought into the classroom are:
- Positivity – Student awards are positive reinforcements, and students will continue to work hard to earn more awards.
- Motivation – Students will become more motivated and want to earn different student awards. They may even make it into a friendly competition between friends.
- Fun – Student awards are fun! Whether they get to wear a hat or bracelet or collect them like Pokemon cards (I know you remember that trend!).
- No cost – There’s no cost to you to pass out student awards. All you’ll need is some paper for printing, and some rings, keychains, necklaces, etc., if you decide to go that route.
- Family Friendly – They are great for letting families in on all of the great things their child is accomplishing in school by sending the awards home to share.
When to Use Student Awards in The Classroom
Student awards are a great addition to any classroom celebration. I especially love using them at the end of the year. But that doesn’t mean the end of the year is the only time you can celebrate with these student awards!
Other times, I have used student awards.
- During and after large units or projects
- During and after tests or quizzes
- Mid-year point to increase motivation and student buy-in
- Recess, snack time, lunchtime, arrival/dismissal, etc.
- During morning meetings, after projects wrap up, or during a transition to recognize the effort
How to Use Student Awards in The Classroom
There are so many types of awards out there now. You can stick with the classic certificate or switch it up and try some other fun ideas!
Award certificates are a great way to celebrate students, and kids love to take them home to show their families. If you are looking for a way to recognize students at the end of the year or during a class celebration. You’ll want to use these certificates.
Create small certificates students can place on a necklace or awards ring and build a collection throughout the year. Kids then can take the award necklaces or rings home at the end of the year and show them off to their families. I love putting the unit, project, or accomplishment on the back of the tags as a reminder of what they accomplished.
If you’re looking for a fun way to show families how amazing their child is when they head home for the day, you will love these award bracelets. Print out a bracelet and attach it around a child’s wrist with a piece of velcro or tape. Kids can add their awards to their bracelets over time or all at once. They will love sharing them with classmates, teachers, and families.
It’s always great to give students a way to publicly show they are awesome. Try award hats! Students can color, decorate, and wear their award hats to show off their achievements in and out of the building.
Competition Bulletin Boards
You can even create a bright and beautiful bulletin board and display your student’s awards in your classroom or in the hallway. I love creating competition bulletin boards. I put up four different types of awards, and we try to see which award the entire class can earn first. It not only gets students excited about the award but gets them excited about other students earning the award. You could even break your class into teams and see which teams can earn the awards first. It’s a great way to show everyone how hard working your students are!
These are just a couple of fun ways to give out awards and let students show off their incredible talents and achievements!
How-To Tips and Tricks
Here are some quick how-to tips and tricks that may help make student awards easy to use in your classroom.
- Pick one to two specific awards to give out at a time. This way, you can look specifically for students who are exhibiting those specific traits. You also won’t feel overwhelmed remembering which awards you gave out that day.
- Find an easy way to track which students have received which awards. Use a spreadsheet or a grade book to stay organized.
- Discuss with students what each award embodies before giving them out. This will help students know what you are looking for and ways to improve if they want to earn a specific award.
Organization Tips For Student Awards
Here are some quick tips to make student awards easier to manage throughout the year.
I suggest laminating each tag if you are going to go this route. That way, the awards can be used year after year.
Student Award Area
Have a specific area in the classroom where students can hang their student award necklaces, rings, hats, bracelets, etc. This will keep everything organized, and you won’t find random awards on the floor, inside desks, etc.
Use a milk crate or other hanging file organizer and print a bunch of each award at the beginning of each year. You can grab the award you need and easily fill in the name when needed.
The same goes for hats. They can easily be stored in a file organizer or filing cabinet in hanging folders.
Try the bundle of Classroom Awards by Proud to be Primary. This amazing resource includes various awards, like hats, tags, certificates, and bracelets, as well as the materials to set-up a special area in your classroom. This award system makes it easy for you to find what you need and keeps your students motivated to keep up the great work!
Simple Student Awards Freebies
Free Student Awards
Want to try some student awards for free? Get a free sample with 5 awards. You’ll receive a full-size certificate, tags, and hats! Use them to recognize your students throughout the year or as the year ends.
Click the image below to grab a copy.
Showing Some Love For Student Awards
There are so many ways to reward students. But giving children a physical award is an extra special way to motivate students to try new things, push themselves a little harder, and grow emotionally, socially, and academically.
Whether you use the large certificates at the end of the year or the bracelets, tags, or hats throughout the year, your students will appreciate the recognition, and you’ll see the benefits in their work!
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