Inside: Want to reward kindness in your classroom in a sweet way? Use these sweet ingredients as positive reinforcement.
When I taught third grade, I had a group of students who absolutely refused to do their homework.
Now, homework is not the most important part of being a student, but it did teach them responsibility and reinforced what we were learning in class.
I was constantly looking for ways to encourage them to do their homework rather than penalize them for not doing it.
And since my students loved class parties and holiday parties and when someone brought in a birthday treat, I quickly added sweet treats as a way to reward my students for positive behaviors I wanted to continue.
Each time our whole class brought in their homework, I added an ingredient to the jar. When they had all the ingredients, I made them the treat they were working towards. Homework became delicious and something they all worked towards.
These positive rewards can work towards any behaviors we want to encourage to continue… so we use them to encourage students to speak and act with kindness more often.
Now kindness shouldn’t need “rewards” or even praise. Kindness is something we expect from our students and it’s one of the only 2 Class Rules You’ll Need.
But when we’re trying to make kindness a habit, a little motivation and positive reinforcement can go a long way in helping young students learn how to speak and act with kindness more often.
So we can use these sweet treats as a way to “reward” kind behaviors…because when we’re sweet in life and kind towards others, sweetness and kindness often come back to us.
Fun Ways to Encourage More Kindness in Your Students
Being kind doesn’t have to be this tedious chore like homework sometimes is.
We can incorporate sel curriculum and character education into our lessons in fun, hands-on ways like our Kind or Unkind sorts, our Kindness Zoo and our Kindness Emergent Reader Sets.
We can read books about kindness, books about being an includer, and books about standing up to bullies.
We can encourage kindness to become a daily habit with our 100 Days of Kindness or Kindness Scavenger Hunt and our Monthly Kindness Challenge.
We can play kindness games like our Kind or Trash Game, our Tic Tac Toe Kindness, and our Includer Bingo.
Related: 10 Simple Ways to Teach SEL
But we can also find fun ways to reward kindness when we see it. And one extra delicious way to do that is with our You’re So Sweet Ingredients.
How to Use the You’re So Sweet Ingredients to Reward Kindness
1. Decide which treat you want to make first and print out the ingredients on cardstock. Print in color or black and white (download below).
2. Cut apart the ingredients strips and keep them together in a clip or zipped baggie.
3. As your class/group/students/kids/troop do something kind and show kindness, talk about how sweet it was of them, and put an ingredient strip in a jar.
4. When they’ve gotten all the ingredients needed, then make the treat or buy the treat for them and enjoy!
5. Connect their sweetness and kindness with eating the treat.
Remind them we don’t need praise or rewards or treats to be kind, but when we’re kind, kindness often comes back to us.
Download the You’re So Sweet Ingredients here to “Reward” Kindness
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