Easy (and free!) ways to reward students’ IXL achievements

Although we wish all students would be intrinsically motivated to complete their schoolwork, the reality is that some learners need a little extra incentive. As a teacher, I spent much time and effort trying to come up with creative ways to keep my students motivated—and I found that a ticket system was a great motivator for students of all ages! Here are some tried and true ideas for using tickets to reward students for their IXL achievements and motivate them to keep making progress:

Buy or create tickets

  • Buy a roll of raffle tickets, or get creative and design your own paper tickets!

Determine how students will earn tickets  

  • If you have a class-wide goal of achieving proficiency (SmartScore of 80) on IXL skills, you can give 1 ticket for any student who goes above that goal and reaches a 90, and 2 tickets if they reach mastery (100). This encourages students to put forth a little extra effort!
  • Give tickets to students for working on skills from their personalized Recommendations wall.  One suggestion could be to give 2 tickets for every “Work it Out” skill practiced to proficiency.
  • Using the Student Action Plan from the IXL Real-Time Diagnostic as a checklist, students who reach proficiency on their Diagnostic recommended skills could receive 2 tickets per skill.
  • If you require students to spend a certain amount of time on IXL each week, you could give tickets to the students who exceed that amount, or to the 3 students who spent the most time on IXL. (Use the Students Quickview report to sort students by time spent on IXL).

Reward students for their tickets

You can have students enter their tickets into a bi-weekly or monthly raffle, where several tickets are pulled, and the winners can choose their prize from a list of options. Or, allow students to trade in their tickets for prizes and make each prize “cost” a certain number of tickets. 

You can get cheap prizes at your local dollar store, or come up with ideas like these that won’t cost you a dime!

  • Sit in the teacher’s comfy chair for the day  
  • Choose a song the class listens to at the end of the day for two weeks
  • Extra art or reading time
  • Switch seats with another student for a day or week
  • Wear a costume to school for a day  
  • Bring in their pillow or stuffed animal for a week
  • Choose their classroom job for the week
  • Be the Teacher’s Helper or Principal’s Apprentice for half an hour.
  • Listen to music on their headphones during quiet time
  • Be first in line to recess and lunch for the day
  • Get a “Homework Extension Pass” (this still requires the student to complete the assignment, but they get extra time to turn it in)
  • If your school has an existing rewards system, you can use the tickets they earn from their IXL achievements in coordination with that system

For more great ideas about using IXL in the classroom, check out strategies from IXL’s Elite 100 teachers!