Student recognition programs create a positive atmosphere in the classroom no matter what the grade level. Students receive a motivational boost when their efforts are recognized. Many student recognition activities are inexpensive or free. Whether the child excels academically or as a good classroom citizen, take time to recognize and show appreciation for the act.
Student of the Week
A student of the week project allows all of the students to receive recognition. Each week a student is selected for the honor. One simple idea to highlight the student is to create a student of the week bulletin board. Post pictures and information of the child that she brings from home. Give the student special honors for the week such as leading the line or selecting stories to read. The child also usually gets a chance to have a special sharing time when she shares some of her favorite items.
The high-five award gives the students a chance to recognize one another. You need lots of hand cutouts for the recognition program. When a student wants to recognize someone else, he uses one of the hand cutouts. He writes the other student's name on the hand along with a reason for giving the high-five award. Example reasons for giving a high five include helping out with a task, being a good friend or lending a pencil. Choose a day of the week to read all of the high-five awards so the whole class hears them. Give the hands to the recipient or hang them on a bulletin board to keep on display.
A student breakfast honors the students who deserve extra recognition. Set specific criteria to earn an invitation to the breakfast. Another option is to hold a monthly breakfast to invite new kids each time. This includes all of the students rather than singling out the top students. Something as simple as doughnuts and muffins works for the breakfast. Invite the principal to the breakfasts to make it more special for the students.
Notes sent home to the parents are often associated with getting into trouble. Change that stereotype by sending home positive notes when a child does something worth recognizing. The parents get a refreshing positive note home and the students feel good about their accomplishments. A simple handwritten note is sufficient. Keep a stack of decorative paper or blank cards to use for the purpose.