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8 Ways to do Classroom Celebrations without Food or Toys

Celebrations (or rewards) are a great way to inspire students and build a classroom community. In my classroom, I love do celebrations with my students to show them that I am proud of them working hard. I also love the excitement on my students faces when they have earned a reward. I have come up with a list of ways to celebrate that are fun, but do not involve buying toys or food. (And some of them are even having them practice their skills).

1. Flashlight Quiet Reading

Yes, reading quietly is a reward! On Fridays, if my students have been building their reading stamina and working hard during reading workshop, then they get to read with a flashlight. Several of my rewards involve flashlights. I found super cheap Finger Flashlight at Amazon.

2. Dance Party

I do not only use GoNoodle for movement breaks, we also use it for a Dance Party! This week, we had our Reading and Math Night 93% of our class came. So, we had a 30 minute Dance Party to start the day to celebrate having so many families attend.

3. Using Smelly Markers during centers

Who does not love Smelly Markers? If my students are working hard during literacy centers or math centers. Or they are just having a great day in general, I will break out the smelly markers and let them use them. I have my own separate batch for the students, to keep my personal markers nice.

4. Play an educational game as whole class.

We love playing board races with sight words. I have turned my math centers into digital centers. Instead of doing the math lesson I had plan, as a reward we will play a math game as a whole class. All I do is put up a powerpoint practicing the skills we are working on.

5. Play in the snow with your students or do a weather walk

This past week, it was snowing and not all of my students had snow pants, so I could not let them go on the playground. However, they were so good all morning and they were so excited by the snow, that we went for a walk in the snow. It was so peaceful and magical.

6. Sit with Your Students at Lunch

I love surprising my students at lunch and sitting with them. It is a great way to build relationships and make a connection with your students. As busy as we all are and we do need a break, it means so much to our students to spend time outside of the classroom with them.

7. Play the Floor is Lava

My students love this and it has become an inside joke with us. When we are outside I will randomly call "The Floor is Lava". We all get to laugh together as we try to get off of the wood chips.

8. Bitmoji Stickers (or smelly stickers)

My students LOVE earning Bitmoji stickers (or smelly stickers). Steps to making Bitmoji stickers:

1. Add Bitmoji google extension to Chrome, Google "Bitmoji extension" Then, Click "add"

2. Buy Avery Square labels on Amazon Click Here

4. Then drag and drop them into each square

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