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Ask the ‘TASC is a PBIS advice column from the RSE-TASC Specialists

Question: What are some ideas for no- or low-cost acknowledgements for students who are demonstrating desired behaviors?

Response 1:

Dale Langley,

Behavior Specialist

Finding inexpensive or free acknowledgments and rewards is a very common need among our schools. A quick google search of “PBIS rewards” or “free student acknowledgement ideas” will provide you with a TON of ideas. I entered those search words and found the following websites with ideas for no- and low-cost acknowledgements:

Depending on your specific needs, you should clarify your search terms. For example, add “high school” or “schoolwide celebrations” or “staff acknowledgements” to your search terms to find additional ideas.

Response 2:

Andrew Ecker,

Special Education School Improvement Specialist

We all want to increase the likelihood that our students will exhibit, and re-exhibit, appropriate behaviors.  Tangible acknowledgements are effective at achieving this when they are explicitly connected to specific verbal praise that immediately follows the desired behavior.  It is this combination that increases the likelihood of repeat desired behaviors, not just rewards on their own.  I’d survey all students, families, and staff to see (a) what would motivate students, (b) what families believe are appropriate, and (c) what staff believe are appropriate and are relatively easy to distribute.  Rewards are helpful, but remember, timely, specific verbal praise is the foundation of students increasing their positive behaviors.

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