The Classroom Shop: Where Big Points Meet Big Achievements

The Classroom Shop
 The quest for strategies that genuinely engage and motivate students is never-ending. The classroom shop is a new way of getting rewards that combines the excitement of large numbers with the freedom to choose. Where we inject some excitement into our teaching routines.

The goal is to give classroom points and rewards a boost. To make this process easier and smoother, I made a simple tool to keep track of points in a classroom shop.

Classroom Shop: the appeal of big points

Our classroom shop goes beyond the traditional reward system, offering a diverse array of incentives tailored to capture every student’s interest. From leading a group activity to renting the best soft chair in the room, and so on.

A long time ago, I learned that kids love big numbers. Imagine how happy students feel when they see that they got 20 points instead of just one or two. I’ve even heard students comment in the school yard ‘Ha, she gave me one dojo, just one, I’m not doing it again’ and the other student reply’ What’s one dojo? Nothing!’. There’s a unique kind of excitement that bubbles up when students are rewarded with 20, 30, 50, or even a 100 points for their efforts. This excitement is a powerful motivator, making the act of earning points feel like a grand adventure.
 

More than just rewards: teaching valuable skills

The classroom shop is more than just an amusing distraction. It’s a real-life application that teaches budgeting, saving, and strategic thinking. Students learn to weigh their options, save for larger rewards, and make choices that reflect their priorities. It’s about teaching life skills in a way that they can relate to.

The classroom shop itself is the heart of the class shop revolution, a carefully selected assortment of perks that go beyond the every day, giving students a variety of desirable luxuries and privileges. The privilege of sitting in the class rocking chair for half a lesson to the chance to lead a class project are some of the rewards that are carefully selected to match the students’ needs and desires.

The important thing is to make the rewards bigger. In a normal system, it might cost 50 points, but now in my classroom shop it costs 500 points. This makes rewards and achievements seem bigger and more important.

Below is a sample list of items for your classroom shop and a chart with some ideas for how students can earn their points. The posters are editable but not the background, but there are six styles to choose from. 

Classroom Shop Posters

The significance of timing: harmonising rewards with routine

It is imperative to ensure that the classroom shop has specific opening times. Not too often but not too far apart. Opening the shop weekly, fortnightly or monthly, especially on Friday afternoons for the last 30 mins, makes the end of the week a time for celebration and reflection.

If you are a subject teacher who sees each class only once a week for 90 minutes or so, it’s best to only open the shop every 4 to 5 weeks. If students keep asking for the classroom shop to open, I add another week before I open it. That soon ends the incessant request – “May we have Shop?”‘

At the end of a hard week, students can celebrate their accomplishments and spend their rewards. I do have one caveat, however – all tasks and homework must be completed in order to participate in the classroom shop period.

Students who have done all their work in the last week, fortnight, or month can choose from many different activities. They can also buy things in the classroom shop.

 

Why the classroom shop needs our points tracker

Now let’s talk about how to gather and keep track of these points. The ClassDojo App is a great tool because it’s easy to use and quick to set up, but it does have its limits, especially its limit of 1 to 5 points per reward. It’s fine if you only award small points, but it doesn’t work for me and my students. It can be quite tiresome to repeatedly click on the student’s name and then click on the skill to add 5 points, then repeat those two steps repeatedly to obtain a larger number. You end up writing it down on paper, then you lose it, and so on.
 
To fully embrace the Classroom Shop philosophy of large numbers, you may need to come up with new ideas. Enter our Classroom Shop Points Tracker.
 
This Excel tool lets you add or subtract big numbers of points with one click. The updated numbers are shown on the screen in the classroom or just your device if you want to keep it private. It’s the perfect fusion of modern tech and classroom excitement.
Classroom shop points tracker

Why the classroom shop works

The classroom shop creates a buzz and a lot of learning in the classroom. Large numbered points and a diverse range of personalised rewards can help get knowledge across and foster inspiration.

Scheduling Classroom Shop openings to once a week or fortnight teaches persistence, organisation, and accountability. Students learn to prioritise their tasks and work hard on their assignments. This method helps students plan ahead, decide what they want to earn, and understand the consequences of their choices. They can choose to save for a bigger reward or spend points on things they want right away.

It’s through this structured framework that students grasp the concept of delayed gratification and the value of working towards a goal. The anticipation of the shop’s opening becomes a motivating factor, pushing them to stay focused and on task during class time.

Isn’t that what matters most? Let’s keep the points flowing, the rewards meaningful, and our classrooms buzzing with the energy of eager learners. Here’s to making education not just effective, but downright delightful!

 

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