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Provo City School District

Lakeview Elementary School

Strategies to Build or Eliminate Habitual Behavior

Strategy 3: Rewards

This strategy seems like a no-brainer. We give ourselves rewards all the time to mark our good work, but when trying to make something a habit a reward may do the opposite because it suggests to our minds that this reward marks the end of that behavior.

Effective rewards in forming long-lasting habits work well in two ways:

  1. The reward or rewards are tied to intrinsic feelings (i.e. this object reminds me of how good it feels to keep my habit)
  2. It contributes to continuing your habit.

Here are some examples of how a reward could contribute to continuing a habit: -If you want a student to write more in class, their reward could be a special pencil that had their favorite superhero/Disney princess/book character on it. They will be reminded of how hard they worked on this skill and may be excited to write more. -If you have a student who had a goal to read more, then their reward could be access to a desired book which keeps their reading habit going.


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