For students who are extrinsically motivated, rewards are a great thing. They help keep students engaged and on-task while also giving them the tangible recognition they so desire. But reward ideas for high school can be tricky.
We’ve gathered 30 reward ideas that might be perfect for motivating your high school students! Check out the list below!
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30 High School Reward Ideas
Not sure what to get your high schoolers for rewards? This list of ideas will help!
1 – Jolly Ranchers
Kids love the sweetness of Jolly Ranchers! They’re always a hit with students in high school (and middle and elementary school!).
2 – Stickers
You might think that your high schoolers are too cool for stickers, but we have found that they love them! Everything from basic dinosaur stickers to VSCO stickers for their water bottles, stickers are a hot commodity!
3 – Homework Pass
A homework pass can be a great reward for students who want a night off of homework. Make sure you create or explain the rules about when it can be used.
4 – 20 Minutes of Music/Computer Time
Music and computer time costs nothing but can be a huge motivator for students. Sometimes all they need is a chance to listen to their favorite tunes.
5 – Skip a Subject for the Day Pass
What better reward for work well done than a chance to take a break! Create a skip a subject coupon where students can choose to sit out on the subject you teach for the day.
6 – Croc Jibbitz
If Crocs are a big thing in your area (Texas, we’re looking at you!), consider grabbing some jibbitz that students can earn. These shoe charms work like, well, a charm for getting students motivated!
7 – Snacks Coupons from the Cafeteria
Work with the cafeteria to arrange for free snack coupons for your students. There’s nothing like a free ice cream to make them smile.
8 – Free Time Pass
Who doesn’t want free time?! A free time pass is a great motivator – just be sure to have rules or guidelines about when it can be used.
9 – Free Snacks from Local Restaurants
While it takes a bit of time to contact local restaurants, you can often get free snack or meal coupons. Wendy’s is known for its Frosty coupons while Habit Burger is known to give out free burger coupons. Check restaurants in your area to see if they do something similar.
10 – Pick Your Seat Coupon
It’s all about choice! Give your students a choice as to where they would like to sit during class one day. If you have comfortable sitting areas like couches or bean bags, don’t be surprised if they choose to sit there for class.
11 – Extra Points
For students who are academically motivated, the chance to earn extra points to bring up their grade is a huge reward!
12 – Lunch with the Teacher
If your students love spending time with you, lunch with a teacher is a free and highly-valued reward.
13 – Bags of Chips
Bags or snack packs of chips are always a good call when looking for rewards for high schoolers.
14 – Gum
Packs of gum are always winners and when it comes to high school rewards they’re even more so. If gum is a no-no in your school, try Tic Tacs or mints instead.
15 – Sit in the Teacher’s Seat
There’s just something special about sitting in the teacher’s seat – which makes it a great reward for high schoolers!
16 – Cup of Soup
Packets of soup for the win when it comes to high school rewards! Grab some ramen or soup for easy, inexpensive rewards that your students will love.
17 – Missing Assignment Points
Another cost-free reward that is perfect for high school is a missing assignment points coupon. If students forget to turn in an assignment, this voucher allows them to receive points for it anyway. You may want to set a points limit (up to 20 points, for example) so that they don’t use it for full credit on a huge assignment.
18 – Drink Packets
Drink packets that students can use with the water in their water bottles are also good incentives. They’re usually inexpensive and can be a great pick-me-up when students are having a tough day.
19 – Good Call Pass
Calls home are the norm in elementary school, but in high school those calls usually only mean one thing – trouble. Give students Good Call Home Passes where they can redeem the voucher at any time for a call home that’s filled with nothing but positives.
20 – Hot Chocolate
Hot cocoa mix is a wintertime staple and the chance to win a hot chocolate packet can be a great motivator for some students.
21 – Stress Balls
Even high school students like to use stress balls! Grab a lot of inexpensive ones and use them as rewards.
22 – Earbuds
Wait, what?! Earbuds as a reward?! Yes, indeed! Earbuds from the dollar store or in bulk make great high school incentives!
23 – Lollipops
A bag of lollipops can be a great way to get your students to focus and engage with their lessons.
24 – Movie Day
Let your student pick a movie day! Be sure to give them guidelines about how far in advance they need to schedule it with you and limitations on what can be shown.
25 – Takis
Make sure students have their water bottles at the ready if they opt for a bag of Takis as a treat! These spicy hot corn snacks are all the rage and make even the most nonchalant learners excited.
26 – Pop-Tarts
No matter what flavor you have on hand, Pop-Tarts are a sure reward idea to get your high school students motivated!
27 – Notebooks
Fun and colorful notebooks are also great rewards for high school students!
28 – Fancy Erasers
Students are never too old for fancy erasers! Sets like this give students plenty of options to choose from and can make lessons fun all day long.
29 – Fancy Pencils
Smencils and other fancy pencils are not only cute, they’re also great reward ideas for high schoolers!
30 – Phone Chargers
Grab a pack of inexpensive phone chargers online or at the Dollar Store to store in your reward box for high schoolers. They’re practical and much appreciated!
Remember that the best reward ideas are going to be the ones that you are most excited about. If your students see that you are super excited over a pack of Pop-Tarts, guess what? They’re going to be excited about them too.
You don’t have to spend a lot of (or any!) money on reward ideas for high school. The trick is to just know what makes your students sit up and take notice!
What are your go to rewards for students? Share in the comments below!