6 Great Ways to Reward Your Middle School Students

Great Ways to Reward Your Middle School Students

Whether you’re a teacher working in a traditional classroom setting, conducting classes via Zoom, or a parent who is homeschooling your children, you know that keeping students motivated can make a huge difference in the way they perform academically.

Telling your students that they’re doing a good job can encourage them to continue doing well in class, but there are some creative ways to show them that you notice their hard work and the progress they’ve made. If you have middle school students, your motivational tactics will likely require a mixture of prizes and memorable gifts.

Rewarding Student Achievement

It’s important to let students know that their academic diligence doesn’t go unnoticed.  Affirming a student’s achievement is an essential aspect of effective classroom management. Teachers can reward students for a variety of accomplishments and provide students with a tangible reminder of their accomplishments, including an upcoming transition from middle school to high school. This can foster a positive and supportive learning environment.

Here are five ways to reward your middle school students for a job well done.

1.  A Handwritten Note

This simple gesture will stay on your middle schooler’s mind for years to come. Instead of simply emailing your student to let them know you’re proud of them, give them a note written by hand to express your gratitude for their hard work and diligence. If you’re homeschooling, you can give a handwritten note each semester and put them in a scrapbook for safekeeping.

2.  Lunch or Dinner On You

Give your middle schooler a tasty treat as a reward to congratulate them on their academic success. You can purchase a gift card for a popular fast food restaurant and send it to your student for making a good grade on a test or turning in an informative and well-researched report. If you’re homeschooling, you can finish up the school day early and take your student to their favorite restaurant as a reward.

3. Custom Badges

Custom badges are a powerful tool for motivating and engaging students in the classroom. By providing students with a tangible and visible reward for their accomplishments, teachers can help to create a sense of accomplishment and pride, and can also serve as a reminder of the progress that students have made. This can be done by awarding a custom badges from 4inlanyards for reaching specific milestones, such as completing a project or earning a high grade on a test.  It may be to recognize student participation in school events or clubs, or to acknowledge leadership roles or other contributions that students make to the school community.

4.  Tickets to a Local Sporting Event

If your middle schooler has spent most of the school year at home learning virtually, tickets to a local sports game are a great way to provide an outing they’ll enjoy. Find out when your local basketball, football, or baseball team is playing and purchase tickets as a surprise for your student. Or, you can promise the tickets at the start of the school year to motivate your students to work hard and make the best grades possible throughout the year. If you can, arrange for the student to take pictures with their favorite athlete or receive a signed jersey or ball from the team so they’ll have a souvenir to remember this special day.

5.  A Trophy or Award

Even though some middle-schoolers may not show it, they may be excited to receive a trophy as a reminder that they’ve worked hard and accomplished their academic goals for the year. You can present the trophy with your student’s name engraved on the front of the trophy along with the reason for the award, i.e. perfect attendance or highest grade point average in a particular subject. Be sure to include the month and date on the trophy to serve as a way for the student to remember how well they did that school year. Visit your local trophy store to choose creative designs for the trophy or to purchase a wall plaque or desk placard for your student depending on their style.

6.  An Appreciation Video

Middle schoolers will likely appreciate a video compilation of all their accomplishments throughout the semester or the school year. You can present the video to them as a gift at a virtual honors ceremony. Or, you can create a video for one of your children to congratulate for doing great things during the year while you homeschooled them or supervised their virtual schooling. You can add your student’s favorite songs and even edit some of the pictures in the video to feature the student’s favorite colors or video game characters. End the video with a message telling the student how proud you are and how you’re looking forward to seeing great things from them in the coming year.

Motivating Students

There are many times throughout the school year a students can be recognized for their achievements, such as;

  • Awarding badges for specific milestones
  • Creating a sense of community and belonging.
  • Recognizing student progress over time
  • Creating a sense of competition
  • Creating a sense of achievement


These are just a few of the ideas you can use to motivate your students and reward them for their hard work. Congratulating your students should be a year-round practice but rewards are especially important with all the other challenges children face in school. Whether your students are homeschooled, attending school in person, or virtually, they’ll likely be elated that you noticed them and want to encourage them to excel academically.

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