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I have attended many professional trainings on how to Increase Student Engagement. In fact, I have compiled a great printable list for you! None work the way candy awards do! Candy awards are my secret weapon in the field of student engagement that works *almost* better than the strategies found in THIS BLOG POST !
Many teachers give end-of-the-year candy awards – those are great. I was giving candy awards daily to increase student engagement and inspire best work.
The little awards were similar to “Brag Tags”. Not only did my students earn the piece of candy, but they also got the paper award to go with it. You know the candy didn’t make it home, but the paper candy award for students did!
When MY HOMESCHOOLED children heard what I was doing in my classroom, they wanted a chance to earn candy too. This works for Sunday School, the co-op class you teach, or right at the kitchen table with your kids!
The candy I used was as follows:
Laffy Taffy – anytime they made ME laugh… which being goofy 4th graders was often!
Dum Dums – Their little award read, “I’m no dum-dum”. This was given anytime they made a connection.
Smarties – These are another option if you prefer not to use Dum Dums.
Star Burst – When they turned in work that SHINED and gave them a BURST of pride.
LifeSavers – When they are helpful to one another or Show kindness
Sweet Tart – for being a Sweet HEART
Gum – for STICKING to a task
You get a printable page with all 6 awards on one page, then each award individually with 6 per page so you can choose which awards you want to use in your setting.
The culture of both my home and classroom changed significantly BECAUSE OF CANDY AWARDS. Kids nominated each other for the awards. I couldn’t so much as giggle or guffaw without passing out a laughy-taffy award. IT WAS AMAZING. I even had kids show me their work and say: Mrs. Gandara I really am BURSTING with PRIDE over this, may I please have a Star Burst? They got the award! Things that happened at recess and lunch when I was not present to witness were reported so the candy awards for students could be appropriately distributed. I ended up making a class helper to cut the awards apart!
I hope this simple way of recognizing the amazing things your students do each day will give you yet another reason to CELEBRATE!
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