Reward Ideas for Intrinsic Motivation

Why use rewards in the classroom?

It is important to use rewards in the classroom. It is hard to stay motivated if you do not have something to work for or a reason for working. In the workforce, our reward is money. Students don’t have this luxury.

Rewards encourage students to put forth their best effort.

What is intrinsic motivation?

Intrinsic and external motivation are very different. These different motivations are rewarding in different ways.

I like to think of external motivation as getting something physical in return for your efforts. Whereas internal motivation comes more on the inside. You have pride in your work and want to improve for you.

An example of external motivation would be receiving a toy for good behavior.

Reward Ideas to Encourage Intrinsic Motivation

As mentioned before, intrinsic motivation is when you want to improve to better yourself. You may not gain anything from it, other than pride.

Many educators aim for students to have intrinsic motivation, but it is easier said than done. It is difficult to come up with ideas that encourage students to want to improve on their own.

Reward Ideas:

  • Get to use notes on assignments
  • Sneak peek at a question on an assessment
  • Celebrate work
  • Student choice
  • Work as a group or with a partner

What rewards do you use in your classroom? Are they setting your students up to be lifelong learners?

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