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The students at Sunset View Elementary are offered “success” when they work hard in the reading and math lab.

Success is one of the major motivators for U.S. adults, and success can encourage adults to work harder and try things they did not know they could do. Adults strive for success. So if adults are motivated by success, what is a big motivator for children? Sweets, of course! However, the teachers in the reading and math lab at Sunset View Elementary are taking a different approach to motivating children.

As students work hard, and show effort in reading and math they are awarded with ‘success’. One ‘success’ equals one gummy bear, skittle or sticker. While, to adults one gummy bear might not be all that motivating – the students are fiercely diligent when success is on the line.

Instead of calling gummy bears or skittles ‘candy’ or ‘treats’ they call it success. Changing the mindset of these children. Showing them that they can be successful.

Now, one might think, why change the name of the treats? Why not just call it a reward? Changing the name of the sweets encourages the students to think about it differently. Hearing the students vocally say “I want to earn success today!” and “I love success” really helps them understand their potential and what it takes to succeed. The students are typically rewarded with one or two pieces of success a day, as to not overload them with sugar.

“It becomes exciting!” Sally Stosich, a teacher in the lab says, “instead of just doing the same thing…it becomes a game!” she continues.

These ‘success’ treats help the students way of thinking adapt to the thought that if they work hard, study hard and participate in class they will be successful. Adults are motivated by success and now the students at Sunset View Elementary are motivated by success as well.

Paige Simpson
  • Paige Simpson