Effort or “process” praise includes praising for engagement, perseverance, strategies, and improvement to build a hardy dose of motivation (Dweck, 2007). Using Reinforcers is a practice that supports process praise by providing positive cues in response to a student behavior. It encourages the behavior and makes it more likely to occur in the future. Reinforcers allow teachers to acknowledge and focus on students’ active participation, positive behavior, effort, or contributions to the learning environment at any point during the school day. Reinforcers can be tangible items, such as stickers or small prizes, or intangible motivators, such as verbal praise, social activities or special privileges. Different reinforcers may be used to motivate diverse learners as it is important to the effectiveness of this practice that the reinforcer is personalized for students.
- Prep Work:
- Identify the desired behavior/outcome (prior to the lesson or as it occurs in the lesson).
- Determine what reinforcer will motivate students to increase or repeat the behavior/outcome.
- Gather the necessary resources (tokens, prizes, stickers, etc.) needed for student motivation if tangible reinforcers are to be used.
- Name the expectation (desired behavior/outcome) to students.
- Model the desired behavior/outcome or highlight the student behavior as it happens.
- Reinforce student(s) when the behavior expectation is met and continue to reinforce the behavior as needed.
- Post the reinforcers and token system you are using as a visual reminder to the students.
- Prep Work: