The Ticket Reward System For Classrooms Students Love

This post outlines how to easily implement a ticket reward system for classrooms, with a focus on elementary settings. 

A ticket reward system is a management strategy that involves granting reward tickets to students in response to observing positive and appropriate actions.

Though there seems to be an endless number of classroom management plans and strategies that you can test out with your elementary kids, the ticket reward system is simple, efficient, and at its core promotes positive reinforcement instead of punishment. 

Keep reading to discover how to establish this system in your own elementary classroom.

Related: To set a strong foundation for your ticket reward system, consider adopting all or some of the components of the C.H.A.M.P.S Classroom Management plan.

How to Implement a Ticket Reward System In Your Classroom

Step 1: Purchase Coupons to Use With Your Ticket Reward System.

First you’ll need to purchase a double roll of raffle tickets/coupons. They’re relatively inexpensive, and you’ll receive about 2,000 tickets per roll.

Step 2: Decide which positive behaviors and actions you’ll reinforce. 

For which behaviors and actions will learners earn tickets? 

Here are a few suggestions…

  • Being prepared and ready for the lesson
  • Submission of homework on time
  • Swiftly starting “morning work” or “bell work” without prompting
  • Lining up after recess quickly and appropriately 
  • Following instructions the first time
  • Active participation in activities/lessons
  • When working with others, maintaining an appropriate voice level
  • Putting away materials neatly without teacher prompting
  • Playing fairly at recess
  • Not participating in excess chat during learning time
  • Remaining seated and quiet during an assembly
  • Using class time wisely
  • Persevering through a challenge without complaining
  • Balanced group collaboration
  • Walking in line quietly
  • Entering classroom quietly
  • Keeping desk tidy/organized
  • Transitioning between activities without distracting others
  • High marks on assignments
  • Thoroughly reviewing assignments before submitting
  • Giving tickets for teams winning classroom games and activities.

The actions and behaviors you choose will depend on your class’ behavioral goals. Include actions that align with your procedures, routines, and rules. 

Step 3: Brainstorm Rewards.  

What types of rewards will you have? See our list of fun rewards and coupons. (coming soon)

After deciding, assign a ticket value to the prizes. For example, you may decide that each reward is worth 3 tickets. 

Step 4: Determine When and How Students Will Exchange Tickets for Prizes.

Consider the needs of your class as you decide when to allow students to exchange tickets for prizes.

Every Friday at the end of the day? Once a month? How will the process work?

There are two simple options: 

  • Anyone with tickets “pays” to collect a prize. It’s essentially a Ticket Economy type of reward system that uses tickets inside of “money”. OR
  • You select 3 to 5 rewards to raffle off. The more tickets they enter into the raffle, the better chance they have of winning one of the prizes. Discard tickets not drawn. 

The second option is more inclusive to those learners who struggle to earn a significant amount of tickets.

Step 5: Discuss With Students How They Can Earn Tickets.

Review the entire ticket reward system for classrooms with learners. Explain the specific actions and behaviors that could earn them coupons.

Within your discussion, be sure to mention the following key points…

  • The teacher is able to give tickets to learners anytime she/he observes certain behaviors. 
  • To claim the ticket, learners must write their names on the tickets as soon as possible. Then they’ll immediately get back to work.
  • Students are responsible for keeping track of their tickets. (Provide snack-sized Ziplock™ bags to help them keep coupons organized, if you wish.)
  • Highlight on the school calendar what dates prizes will be exchanged. Whether you’ll have students “buy” prizes or win them in a raffle, explain the process so that they know what to expect. 

Step 6: Start Using the Ticket Reward System.

Now it’s time to implement the system. 

Ideally, you’ll want to begin the ticket reward system in your classroom at the start of the school year or semester. 

Consistency with distributing reward tickets in addition to exchanging those coupons for prizes within an established time frame are key elements for success. 

Ticket Reward System Frequently Asked Questions

1. What if I have major discipline issues with a few students?

While the objective of the ticket reward system for classrooms is to reinforce positive behaviors, no system will eliminate 100% of your discipline problems.

Remain in constant contact with guardians of students who are challenging. Also keep good documentation of all communication.                                                       

2. How many tickets may kids earn in a day?

There is no limit to how many coupons learners may earn in a day or week’s time.   

For those who struggle to earn, consider sometimes distributing tickets to the whole class for a job well done with a certain activity or lesson.    

3. Is there an easy way to incorporate whole class prizes?

To work smarter, you could simply award a whole class award for performing a specific activity or lesson well.

The given prize doesn’t have to be dependent on students’ possessing any tickets at all. For ideas, take a look at our student-approved list of whole class rewards

4. What are the advantages of using a ticket reward system in my classroom?

  • There is a strong focus on positive reinforcement.
  • Students are not negatively affected by others’ poor choices. They earn tickets based on their behavior.
  • There is no need for you (or students) to keep track of time-consuming classroom management forms.
  • You have flexibility in the types of awards you offer.
  • Each day is a new opportunity for students to turn over a new leaf. Every day, learners have the potential to earn tickets.

Wrapping Up: Ticket Reward System For Classrooms

If you’re looking for a classroom management plan that focuses on positive reinforcement instead of punishment, then the ticket reward system is definitely worth a try.

You’ll extrinsically motivate your elementary kids to choose appropriate behaviors, and they’ll earn rewards for doing so!