Students did better on tests and got better grades when they were rewarded before taking the assessment. The students also had to write briefly about what they planned to do with the rewards (older kids got money and younger kids got trophies). The paper posits that students did better because they were mentally holding themselves accountable for the reward they already received.
Even though this study looked primarily at extrinsic motivators for learning, I think I can get some great ideas for classroom management next
I hated that system. It felt manipulative. Students would often lose focus as they tried to point out to me that they had earned the point (resulting in the new expectation that points wouldn't be requested). But the system did seem to focus them on thinking about appropriate behavior in the classroom and that was what we needed.
I think a system that rewards first and asks questions later can create that same focus. I really like the idea of giving my students something (a pizza party, a few minutes to just talk, baked goods) and saying this is because I know you are going to do great things in here. That sort of system feels less like a bribe and more like a relationship. Any other ideas on specifics for this way of rewarding students?