Though most schools have a range of reward systems to motivate their students they do not work for all children. Some will require their own individual reward system. This usually is either to provide an alternative reward; e.g. time on the computer or outside playing a game; or to provide reward over a shorter time scale; e.g. at the end of a task or session. It is important that these children get their rewards when they are earned and as soon as possible. It is really important that the child is reminded that the reward links to the target achieved i.e. the desired behaviour change.
Differentiated Reward systems
For children who can become extremely challenging, when they have lost the possibility of a reward, it is better to have previously agreed alternative rewards and to have this visually displayed on a differentiated reward system. These systems give different rewards for partial compliance or achievement of the target. When using differentiated systems ensure that each reward is different rather than, for example, less time on the same reward activity. Most children are poor at assessing the length of time and will learn little from the time difference. The children should recognise that the lower rewards are 'consolation prizes' for recovering to do the right thing after a period when they demonstrated the wrong behaviour.
Use Child's Interests
Children are motivated by different interests, and reward charts are more likely to be accepted when designed to be visually appealing. Younger students may like reward systems featuring superheroes or Disney film characters. Older students may prefer charts void of any decoration but it is still important to use bold colours and lines to make it look interesting. Involving the student in the design and layout of a reward chart can be useful to increase their ownership of it.