I play a number of games in my classroom, or at minimum incorporate numerous game-like activities, and as a result, I do not use or give my students rewards for "winning." However, recently I have been wondering if using rewards on the occasion would be beneficial. Here are the reasons I have for not using rewards in the classroom:
- I want my students to partake in my classroom activities or games with the understanding that the reward is solidifying and learning the material, while being happily engaged in class.
- I would prefer that the activity is about the information and not the competition (although, here I must add that plenty of the games or game-like activities that I use are not super competitive).
- I don't want students to play/participate only because they are expecting a reward at the end.
- I don't want a student to hesitate to participate for fear of making his/her team lose out on a reward.
- I personally don't want the pressure of determining, keeping track of, and paying for the rewards.
- I want my students to learn to take joy in the classroom activities without needing an extrinsic motivator to make it worth their while.
What about you? Do you use rewards in your language classroom? What are the pros and cons in your opinion?