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Tuesday, April 13, 2010


I've implemented a new reward system in Little Beans. Basically, the mechanic is simple. Based on a set of criteria such as:
  1. following the 5 golden rules
  2. doing schoolwork or homework on time
  3. respecting friends and teachers in school,

the children will be given ink stamps in his/her Good Behaviour Chart card. Upon accumulation of stamps, they can redeem for many interesting things from the school. The minimum stamps are 10, can can be as high as 100. Number of stamps depends on the value of the gift. This redemption happens once a month.

The main objective is to reward good behaviour and positive traits. This forms as a strong motivation for the children to remember, especially the 5 golden rules which are:

  • eyes on teacher
  • hands to self
  • walking feet
  • indoor voice
  • care for materials

So far, it has worked well for the majority of the children. The stamps or even lack of them helped teachers to remind the children of their responsibilities in school. But, it can be demotivating for those who somehow cannot collect enough stamps.

There must be a fine balance as it can be subjective at times. How do you define good behaviour? What about the child who tried very hard, and yet did not get full marks in her spelling? I would still give her the stamp if she has done her very best!

As teachers, we must always look for positive reinforcement, and try to reward the children whenever possible. Let them feel good about themselves, then they will be motivated to do even better.

The first round of redemption happened on April 1, and only a handful of children had the chance to redeem because the programme was only 2 weeks old then. They were excited about their gifts, but at the same time, it was rather heart-wrenching to see some trying to control their tears when they couldn't get anything. But the redemption on May 2 should be better- after all it will be based on a period of one month, which gives the children more time to collect the stamps ... teachers too are more lenient with the stamps plus the fact that the minimum requirement is just 10 stamps!

I hope to see more happy faces in May ... and eventually, I hope that I can do away with this system so that the children are intrinsically motivated, and not because of the gifts, no matter how exciting!

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