time frame

Step 1: Pick a time frame 

Start by choosing how often your student needs their behaviors reinforced– is it immediately? Daily? Weekly? When a sheet is filled up? Once you know that, you are ready to pick a time frame for your behavior contract!

 Immediate: Five stars and a reward

  • The youngest/lowest students need rewards right away. They can’t wait until the end of a da5 starsy or a week. They do best with 5 stars and a reward contracts.
  • I print out a copy of my contract and put it in a plastic sheet protector. Depending on how low the student is I either put a picture of what they can earn or the actual item on the top of the contract.
  • As we work together, I give them a star for every good behavior. The instant they hit five stars, I give them a treat/high five/break/whatever their reward is.
  • These are VERY teacher time intensive. As soon as kids can handle it, move them on.


Varied: Fill up a chart

  • chartGive a child a chart. When they fill up the whole chart, give them a prize from a prize bin or other reward.
  • These are often the easiest to use. I have seen teachers use them for independent reading (you get a sticker every day for independent reading if you read), speech pathologists use them to reward good behavior in speech groups, and counselors use them to reward good attendance.
  • While you can spend money buying the charts at Lakeshore, you can also print some from Stickers and Charts that are super cute.


Daily contracts

daily contract 2

  • These are the most commonly used contracts for behavior at an elementary school level.
  • Basically, you keep track of the kid’s behavior during the day and they get a daily reward based on their behavior that day.
  • Daily contracts are ideal for kids who can handle waiting to the end of a day for a reward but can’t handle waiting until a chart is full or until Friday.
  • Choose how often during the day you want to check on their behavior– after every activity? Before lunch, before recess, and at the end of school? Just once a day? For these to work you actually have to check in with the child about their behavior at each time written on the contract.
  • With follow through (multiple check ins per day, consistent rewards), daily contracts work wonders but without it, they are a waste of your and the student’s time.


Weekly contracts

  • star chartOlder and higher functioning students often only need a reward once a week.
  • There are a few ways to do this. In my groups, I keep track of stars for good behavior over the course of a week. On Fridays, we count their stars and they get classroom money to spend. Other teachers have a weekly behavior contract for individual students. They keep the contract in the student’s homework folder or on their desk for the week. On Friday, the student adds up their positive behavior points and gets a reward.
  • Some students need to have their contract right in front of them at all times and others are cool just seeing it once a day.

weekly contract 2

Go back to  behavior contract resources

Go to the next step: Choose how often to check in