Sample Token Economy System For Elementary Teachers To Increase On-Task Behavior

The following are step-by-step instructions for a token economy that you could implement in your elementary classroom to increase on-task behavior during reading lessons. This token economy is targeted to reduce behaviors you have may have difficulty with in class, such as socializing and wandering around the room. With this token economy, students will earn points when on-task behaviors are displayed, such as sitting in their seat, or being quiet during the lessons. about Students here”>Students…

This article is about elementary teachers, teachers, student behavior, teaching aid

The following are step-by-step instructions for a token economy that you could implement in your elementary classroom to increase on-task behavior during reading lessons. This token economy is targeted to reduce behaviors you have may have difficulty with in class, such as socializing and wandering around the room. With this token economy, students will earn points when on-task behaviors are displayed, such as sitting in their seat, or being quiet during the lessons. Students will earn points when appropriate behaviors are displayed and will be able to use these points at the end of the week to purchase reinforcing items or activities, such as stickers, books, acting as the line leader, or computer time. At the beginning of the implementation, the students will be provided with a list of targeted behaviors, their point value, and a list of rewards. The following are step-by-step instructions to implement this token economy.

Explain the token economy at the beginning of the week, on a Monday morning, before the inappropriate behaviors have started to occur and so you can implement the economy after you introduce it and before you start your lesson plans.

Write on the chalkboard or on poster board, the following list of behaviors that are targeted for change and their point value. Explain each behavior to the children so that they have a clear understanding what target behaviors you are looking for.

Behavior Point Value
In seat with materials ready at the beginning of class 1
In seat during reading period 1
Quiet during reading lesson 2

Each day, every student has the potential to earn up to 4 points, and 20 points weekly. At the time when the class is scheduled to officially start, every student sitting in their seat with materials ready will earn one point. During reading period, students will receive one point for being in their seat and two points for being quiet during the reading lesson.

A publicly posted chart will be on display on the classroom wall. List the days of the week, the students’ names and check off a point under the appropriate day for each on-task behavior. Include a column for the total points for the end of the week. Example:

Student Name Mon. Tue, Wed. Thurs. Fri. Total
Jane Doe ||| |||| ||| |||| || 16
John Smith |||| || ||| ||| || 14

The reinforcement schedule should be a weekly schedule. Each Friday, the students will have the opportunity to “cash in” their points for rewards. Reward items should be given immediately on Friday afternoon, and reward activities should be scheduled for the following week. Mark the rewarded activities on a calendar with the students’ name(s) beside the date and the activity. Students can use points towards more than one reward. The following “reward menu” is just a sample of possible reward ideas.

Reward Points Needed
Eraser 3
Pencil 5
Pen 7
2 pieces of candy 7
2 stickers 7
Special job 14
10 min. free time with friend 14
10 min. free computer time 20
Run errands for class for the week 20
Listening to the radio with earphones for 15 min. 20
15 min. free video game play 20
Going to the library for free 15 min. 20
Book 20

Rewards should be periodically changed or modified based on student interests and so that students do not get satiated by the rewards. This token system can also be modified to use throughout the day during various lessons/activities.


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