Work Smart Not Hard

Hello Rachel,

What a long day huh? Getting ready to bring your kids to soccer practice tonight, you have a load of laundry, a pile of dishes and have no idea what is for dinner still left on your to-do list… and…  you just want sleep.

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Thank you for reaching out to me for help! I want to help you with your questions on how to tailor to the child using the rewards you have.



Let’s take what you know about rewards from the last 2 conversations and make your life easier. Let’s work smart, not hard, ok? (*and inexpensive, not expensive)

This is your checklist:

  1. Choose whichever reward you want

Pretty easy huh? (*Yes I know. Not correct as a list is 2 or more- usually 3 or more. But I wanted a smile out of you. So much stress… relaaaax).

The reward you choose for the day should fit all kids. I talked about using rewards that are gender, age, and interest neutral. That is because you use the child’s motivation to tailor it. You could use emoji’s, easter eggs, stackable numbers, etc. It doesn’t really matter the prop, as its neutral.

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Here is the formula I use to do what I call streamlining.

You are going to identify what the goal for your child is. This is your focus area of the lesson. This does not replace the lesson objective, but it does make the lesson more student-specific. For example, I have students who come in already knowing all the material and vocabulary. The lesson objective is to teach the vocabulary. Well, that lesson is a bit a waste of time then. So I may focus on pronunciation.

Some other areas you may focus on:

Does he have a hard time staying focused?

Can he not remember vocabulary very well?

Do you need to help him speed up his reading?

What is your child’s goal in the classroom?

When they do one of the things above they are struggling with (or whichever you chose for them) that is when you will give the reward.

Next, you have spent time with this child. What have you found were his interests?

  • Sound effects?
  • Dressing up?
  • Disney Princess’?
  • Football (soccer)?
  • Movement (jumping, sitting, running)?
  • Singing?
  • Deserts?

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Here is a video explaining how to combine the reward and goals


I wanted to also cover one other area. What if you have never met the student coming into class? And there are zero teacher notes, so essentially you are going in blind?

Every student I have can usually fall into one of these catagories for goals:

Pronunciation, reading, receptive comprehension or expressive English challenges.

Here are quick things you can test to see what gets them looking closer or more interested in your lessons: props, sound effects, questions, using the chatbox

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Here is a case study that may help you with a brand new studen you have never taught before:

Child: 12 year old boy, Carl who speaks great English, advanced for level 3

Reward: Emojis

Goal: Reading

Motivation: Writing in the chat box

How to reward him: Each time he reads the slide 80% or better you remove an emoji and the boy answers the question under the emoji in the chatbox.



Hope that was helpful to you in helping you to tailor the rewards.



Teacher Rebecca


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