By offering your students positive reinforcement in the classroom, you increase the likelihood that the students will repeat certain behaviors. Timing and delivery is key in reinforcing desired behaviors. The reinforcement must be age-appropriate, at student level functioning, genuine and awarded immediately after the target behavior to be effective.

Examples of Positive Reinforcement

You should vary your positive reinforcement methods to keep your students motivated. Natural consequences are a direct result of a chosen behavior, can be very effective at providing reinforcement and require little or no effort from you. For instance, if a student offers to help a fellow student with his homework, he may get a reciprocal play invite during recess. Use social reinforcers like praise, smiles, compliments, nods and high fives. Activity reinforcers, such as games with friends, free time and computer time, can be very effective. Tangible reinforcers like stickers and certificates work well. Tokens or points can be used to motivate students to work toward a goal or prize.