Junior high children are a mystery to their parents and their teachers. This is because they do not know who they are. One day they are crying over a broken doll and the next day they are crying over a broken heart.
According to Education.com, http://bit.ly/1jWbUUP, “parents, teachers, and even young adolescents themselves often refer to the roller coaster of emotions that accompany the middle grade years as difficult to understand and impossible to predict.”
In the classroom, it can be difficult to reward them. A teacher needs to walk a fine line. It took me years of experimenting with eleven and twelve year old to discover that they like stickers and stamps. Yes, they like stickers and stamps.
Be creative, because if you pick the wrong stickers and stamps, the kids will accuse you of treating them like babies.
Look to current trends for the stickers like the ones available at Amazon for the movie Frozen, http://amzn.to/1cyrxSJ. I also purchased some stickers from local sports teams’ stores. The kids love those.
I selected a stamp that had our school mascot on it, as well as some holiday stamps. Hearts, shamrocks, and footballs were popular in my classroom.
The first time I used a stamp as a reward, I selected the class leader to go around the room and stamp the papers. There is always a strong student or leader in a class. If you have them on board, then you are set.
Teachers of younger students use stamp and sticker rewards all the time, but for a long time I was the only teacher at my school using them at the junior high level. I was actually mocked by another teacher.
I am sure the time will come when the stamps and stickers get old to the students, but for right now they work in my classroom.