Punch Cards – Amazing Motivator

This year I was looking for a new way to motivate my students who were unmotivated to study and turn in their homework consistently.  I have used a clip system for the last few years but it wasn’t helping to curve behavior in these particular areas.   I also wanted to reward my students who consistently did their best.  I feel that these students often are forgotten, which is really sad because they definitely deserve to be  recognized for their handwork and achievements!

After talking with friends and looking online, I discovered incentive punch cards.  I saw the ones that were available and none of them really fit my specific needs.  So as any good teacher does, I made my own.

This is how it works:  Students are given punch cards which they store in a safe place.  When they earn an achievment, they bring their punch card to me and I use my “special” hole puncher to punch their card.  When their card is completely full, I collect the card and the child gets to choose from one of three prizes.

The three prizes students gets get to choose from are:

  • sitting in the special chair for the day
  • homework pass
  • draw out of the large prize bin

Then the child is given a new punch card to start all over again to earn another prize.  I love this system because students tangibly see their progress as their punch card fills up.  They also get to see other students earn rewards which is a huge motivator.  If I know a student is uninterested in any of the prizes I have preselected, then I will make a unique incentive for him/her.  For example, time on the computer, teacher’s helper, lunch in the classroom, etc.

Please check out this awesome freebie and see if it works in your classroom. There are over 10 punch cards available to choose from.  I primarily used the spelling and homework punch cards.  After I was finished grading spelling tests on Friday, I would call students over to punch their cards.  It took less than two minutes.  For homework, my students turned in their completed homework packets each Friday so I would check them over the week and punch cards on Monday.  It is so quick and easy, and I am so happy that I implemented them in my classroom!