Rewarding students for doing what they are supposed to do in the first place compounds their understanding of the world around them that it owes them ‘treats’ for every little action. It is like the participant ribbon at the Track & Field events; every student is a winner; well, no they’re not. We don’t all get Gold, Silver and Bronze; there are only three spots on the podium.
Students: “Mrs Frizzle gives us a choice from the prize box if we get 10/10 on our spelling. What are you going to give us?”
Me: “Education. The reward of you being proud of yourself that you learned your words and the consequences are that you achieved well; pride in your personal achievements. Education.”
Explain to your students that life is not about, ‘What are you going to give me?’, but reflecting on how you win internally - personally. Do something because it is expected, the rules, the routines, the law in place to keep our society, our home, our school safe, functioning and healthy for everyone - together.
Homogeneous school days are the only time in your children’s lives that they will be with the same aged people.
I know a situation in which the students get an extra play time if they sit quietly and still during their twice weekly, 45-minute assembly. I disagree with this arrangement two-fold. The ‘reward’ processes; just sit nicely because that is the expectation for all students and helps for all to hear, see and learn.
Aside from my disagreement with the reward; no one student should be expected to sit on a hard, cold wood, gym floor for 45 minutes. This is unnatural for the best of us. I'd; have them jump up throughout the assembly singing and dancing and moving.