Sports as Incentive in the Elementary Classroom

Classroom management and academics are the cornerstone of the elementary school classroom. For this reason, knowing ways to encourage and provide incentives is crucial. One way is to have a day in the week when you play a game with the kids who earn it.

We are currently trying something like this we call “Fun Friday.” Basically, all three homeroom classes have the opportunity play a game with me outside at the end of the week. To be part of it, they must have good behavior. This means they have not had any warnings or consequences the entire week It is working very well so far. The usual offenders are even coming to the fence and bragging when they are allowed to participate.

I have done three games so far: soccer, basketball, and dodgeball. So far, dodgeball is the most popular sport. The students always have an inside option to make a craft with another teacher. So far it’s been about 50/50. Not since I started teaching and leading them in dodgeball though. The kids flocked to the court to throw and be thrown at. And of course, having me in there playing as well makes it alluring I imagine.

Dodgeball has actual rules but I recommend your own derivative of them. Better yet, develop them with the classes as much as possible. In this way you forge a connection between yourself and the kids. They anticipate and follow the rules of the game more respectfully when they have a stake in their creation.

Since I assume most know the rules for soccer and basketball, here is a link to just dodgeball rules. Of course there are so any others you can find online.


Having been a public school teacher since 1997, I've gained valuable classroom experience. Sometimes a great tool is a dynamite lesson plan. These posts are from a real teaching journey. I hope they inspire you. Thanks for reading!

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