Everybody loves rewards, right?! They’re a way of showing others that we appreciate their hard work and effort and for others to thank us for our endeavors. At VIPKID this is no different and teachers are highly encouraged to introduce a reward system for their students to motivate them with their learning. Attempting to learn a new language is no easy feat and being rewarded for one’s efforts can make all the difference. With Thanksgiving on its way, it’s time for teachers to switch it up a little and incorporate the holiday into their reward system.
VIPKID teachers come from all different backgrounds and cultures and they have their own unique reward systems. Before we take a look at the new Thanksgiving themed reward system, why don’t we check out a few reward systems our awesome teachers are currently using?!
Cupcakes: At first glance this seems as though the teachers bring in freshly baked cupcakes and issue them to students excelling in lessons. Unless Amazon suddenly creates a way to send tangible objects through computer screens, this idea is off the table. The students instead are rewarded with a “piece of cupcake” such as the base, frosting, cherry etc. Then as time goes on, they will slowly use their rewards to build an actual cupcake made from DIY items.
Gold coin loot: Using similar principles as the cupcake system, students are rewarded with gold coins that go into a loot bag. The shininess of the coins is always a big draw and students are motivated to fill up their loot bag – think Pirates of the Caribbean with Johnny Depp! Students can also allude these gold coins to payment, a sort of intelligence currency if you will.
Ice cream: So here’s the scoop (sorry, I had to!): the ice cream reward system is very basic but incredibly beneficial and can easily be made by even the worst DIY savvy teachers. Students are rewarded with a “scoop of ice cream” which is then placed on an ice cream cone. How a teacher chooses to represent this is completely up to them, however the intrinsic idea is still the same. Build your own ice cream! Students can choose what order their scoops are put into and by the end they will have an ice cream cone filled with ice cream scoops of all different colors of the rainbow.
Pizza slices: Hmm, pizza! *Drools a little*. Sorry, where was I?! This reward system is perfect for when you want to recompense a student over a long period of time. This is because as the students earn a slice of pizza, they can then begin to add the toppings to the pizza. This is a great way to teach a little bit about American culture as pizza is a popular American meal and comes in all kinds of varieties and styles. Just a little history fact for you — pizza is commonly believed to have come from Italy but it was actually first invented in the Middle East! The people of this time were cooking flat bread in mud ovens and from there, other parts of the world began to add their own flair.
Pictures & Numbers: In a nutshell, you print out a collage of pictures onto a sheet of paper and cover each picture with a numbered sticky note. When students receive a reward, they get to choose which numbered sticky note they would like to pull off and together with the teacher they look at a picture. From here the teacher can discuss things about the picture, thus giving the student new vocabulary and knowledge outside of the current lesson at hand.
Thanksgiving: Finally, we get to the new Thanksgiving reward system that teachers can integrate into the classroom for their students. Similar to the reward systems explained above, students earn typical dishes that are consumed at Thanksgiving. Think of Mom’s turkey with stuffing, Grandma’s sweet potato pie, Uncle Peter’s casserole, your brother’s cranberry sauce, Dad’s infamous squash soup! (These are not your relatives but I am sure somebody reading this post has family like this!) Most of the students that VIPKID teachers have will be completely new to these dishes, and this is a wonderful way to open them up to American culture.
Just to add on, please remember that this is not an exhaustive list by any means and there are countless reward systems to use. Why not even create your own and tell others about them?! Having a full roster of reward systems will keep students engaged and add another facet to their learning.