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Marble Jar Reward System

This tool encourages on-task behavior. With the Marble Jar, teachers can frequently and easily reward desired behavior. Each time students exhibit a desired behavior, the teacher places a marble in the jar. Use marbles to support the behaviors that need the most attention. Once the jar is filled, the class earns a group reward. The Marble Jar works best when used consistently, and when students understand expectations and what behaviors earn marbles.

How to use

1. Set up

Place an empty jar on the teacher’s desk or in the front of the room and explain the procedure and expectations to the class.  Inform the group that a marble will go in a jar each time the class or an individual displays a desired behavior.  Base the size of the jar on the needs of the class.  For example, smaller jars can be filled up quicker and the reward would be rather simple, like working with a friend during class.  Students can work toward a more complex reward, such as an ice cream party, by filling up a larger jar.

2. Fill up

Add a marble each time a desired behavior is displayed. Name and praise the behavior. It’s important to regularly count both individual and group contributions.

3. Reward

Base the size of the reward on the size of the jar.  Be sure that the students understand why they received the reward so that the desired behavior continues.

When to use

With the Marble Jar, teachers can frequently and easily reward desired behavior. Use the Marble Jar at any time during a lesson to encourage desirable behaviors, such as:
• A thoughtful response to a question
• Raising hand before speaking
• Quickly, independently, and quietly beginning the assignment or task
• Responding to attention signal in a set time frame


Points Marble Jar

The class can earn a set amount of marbles based on specific behaviors.  For example, focused whole class work is rewarded with ten marbles or each group that finishes their assignment in the amount of time provided gets five marbles in the jar. However, if the whole class is being disruptive or not following directions, marbles can be taken away from the jar.

Tiered Marble Jar

Place three stickers at three different levels on the Marble Jar.  Reward desired behaviors with a marble. When the class reaches the first (lowest) sticker, they earn a simple reward, like five extra minutes of recess or music during independent work. Once the class reaches the middle sticker, a bigger prize is given. When the final (highest) sticker is reached, the biggest prize will be given.

Bonus Marbles

Place Bonus Marbles in a small dish beside the Marble Jar at the start of the day. At the end of the day, the teacher and the class discuss the day’s behavior and decide if the students earned all, or any, of the bonus marbles.

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