Math 3-6

Systems Change
Math 3-6 > Strategies > Self-reinforcement



When students give themselves positive self-statements after reaching a goal, they acknowledge their progress and reward their small successes. Self-reinforcement, when combined with self-monitoring, can actively involve students in their learning, which boosts Motivation and Self-regulation. Encouraging students to evaluate their performance and self-reinforce when they meet or surpass their expectations fosters positive Emotion towards math.

Use It in the Classroom

  • Teachers can work with students to set clear goals, criteria for meeting them, and appropriate reinforcers. While self-statements (e.g., "I met my goal of solving multi-digit multiplication correctly") are preferred and should be tried first, reinforcers can take many forms, including tangible items such as stickers or intangible motivators such as social activities or special privileges. Since every student and class is different, teachers can choose different types of reinforcers and even allow students to choose their own.
  • Design It into Your Product

  • Developers can gamify their products by building in several kinds of reinforcers that the students can choose and award themselves. Having choice for when and how they praise themselves helps students develop Metacognition, Motivation, and confidence.