Intervention

22 PBIS Reward Ideas to Make PBIS a School-Wide Celebration

Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) has been gaining popularity among schools because of its consistency in teaching students about positive classroom behaviors. Many states now mandate PBIS, and many school districts are also finding success after implementing PBIS practices.

An important part of PBIS is teaching clear behavioral expectations to all students. Once your students have learned and practiced these classroom values, their social and academic growth will improve. 

PBIS Rewards Examples That Can Motivate Your Students 

To help make PBIS a success, schools reward students (and teachers) for their efforts and growth. This may include PBIS rewards ideas for individual students, classrooms, or even entire student bodies. Below are 22 PBIS reward examples to help get your school and students motivated.

PBIS Ideas and Rewards for Students

These individual prizes can be given to students who demonstrate positive behaviors.

1. Breakfast or lunch with the principal

What better way to reward a student for their good behavior than to give them the privilege of hanging out with the school principal? This is a great treat for students, and they get to have a nice meal and spend time with a key member in the school community. You may also consider reading the nomination letter in front of the student or class.

2. Name on the announcements and/or “wall of fame”

Students can listen to their name be announced over the school intercom in the morning or have their photo and name added to a special display in the building. This can even be tied into a “Student(s) of the Month” award.

3. Raffle tickets for fun prizes

Many schools offer positive tickets that teachers hand out to students who are demonstrating their school’s core PBIS values. These tickets can then be put into a bin for a chance to win donated prizes. These can include movie tickets, gift cards, and tickets to events like a sports game.

4. Special field trips

Round up all the PBIS winners for the week (or month) and take them to a special field trip. Some PBIS activities include bowling, laser tag, or putt-putt golf. 

5. VIP privileges

Students get excited to earn special privileges such as premium seating at school events with. Students might get to be line leaders or be the first to leave for lunch. Another option is to have a fancy chair in class that only one person can sit in each day.

6. Classroom freebies

Students who behave well in accordance with their school’s PBIS rules can earn a classroom  freebie, like a free homework pass or the chance to drop their lowest quiz score.

7. Student’s choice

Choice is a powerful element in the classroom. Students can share their choice about what music to listen to during independent work or which story will be heard at story time. 

Classroom PBIS Celebration Ideas and Rewards

These classroom rewards ideas can be given to classes that show exceptionally positive behaviors. A teacher, principal, or any staff member can reward an entire class for making good choices. Here are some PBIS ideas to get you started!

8. Games

Students enjoy rewards that allow them to interact and have some friendly competition. Some classes earn a water balloon fight or a tug-of-war competition entry. Bingo, Jeopardy, and other educational games are classic options as well. 

9. Chill time

Well-behaved classrooms can relax and enjoy some time off. For this reward, teachers can create movie time or give their students an hour of free (but supervised) technology use. Coloring time is another option for younger learners.

10. Classroom of the month

Principals can choose to celebrate one class that’s showing great strides in PBIS accomplishments. This classroom can have a photo on a special display in the school building, including a little bit of information about the teacher and the students.

11. Extra recess

Students love recess, and they’ll always appreciate even more time to move around, hang out with friends, and catch a break from class.

12. Mix-it-up day

This is a day where students can mingle and sit with students they might not usually get to see. At lunch, students can choose their own seats if there are normally grade-based restrictions, and at a school assembly, students can redeem a seat wherever they’d like. 

13. Pajama day

Students can wear their favorite PJs to school. Younger students can bring their favorite stuffed animal as well. This is a great way to lighten up the mood and make students feel more comfortable.

14. Themed dress up days 

Students can pick a theme day of their choice for a fun celebration, whether it’s a hat day, superhero day, or decades day. There are many other options aside from these. Teachers and students will have a great time coming up with creative outfits.

15. Talent show

The student body can take time out of the schedule to support their classmates’ talents. Students can sing songs, act out skits, tell jokes, play instruments, and much more.

16. School competitions

The entire school can participate in tournaments. Classrooms or different grade levels can compete against each other in tug-of-war, dodgeball, and volleyball games. Some schools also have a basketball bracket competition; the entire school can root for their class as they move through these brackets.

PBIS Whole School Reward Ideas and Incentives

When the culture of the school starts to evolve and the student body successfully meets the expectations set for it, it’s time to celebrate everyone. Teachers, staff, and students can work together to decide on these school-wide celebration ideas.

17. Special assembly

Bring in a musical guest for the entire school to enjoy. Fill the auditorium with students and show a movie on the big screen while they snack on some popcorn. There’s no shortage of assembly options, from zoo visitors bringing in some animals for a visit, to touring children’s theater companies putting on a show. You can even take your students on a field trip to a local park, museum, or other place they’ll enjoy.

18. Faculty versus student competitions

Teachers and students can play against each other as others spectate. Popular games include kickball, volleyball, dodgeball, and basketball.

19. Field day

Dedicate a special day to outdoor activities. Students will be active and have fun with mini competitions like three-legged races, hula-hoop contests, or any other games you can think of.

20. School dance

Turn the gym into a dance hall for the last hour of the school day. Crank up the music, and let the students move to the beat and have some fun.

21. Music in the hallways

Play music over the intercom during transition times. While they’re between classes or heading to lunch, students will enjoy hearing their favorite (school-appropriate) tunes.

22. “Shopping” for rewards at a PBIS school store

Speaking of choice, giving students the ability to select their reward gives them an important sense of independence. If you have a school store, you can set up a process where students can collect points for good behavior and spend those points on rewards.

Encourage Students to Work on PBIS with Individual, Classroom and School-Wide Incentives

There are many PBIS celebration ideas that you can try. Whether you settle on individual, classroom-based, or school wide activities, the possibilities are truly endless — students can be recognized for their accomplishments in all sorts of ways! The ultimate goal is to remind and encourage students to keep working hard on their core PBIS values and behavior expectations with school-wide incentives. A little recognition can go a long way to motivate your student body to make good choices and strive to meet expectations!

This article was adapted from a blog post initially developed by the education technology company Classcraft, which was acquired by HMH in 2023. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of HMH.

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