I had my senior assembly this week and I really wanted to acknowledge the progress my students are making and reward their efforts. You wouldn't imagine some of the things these children encounter on a daily basis. I make an effort to congratulate them more than scold them. I like to believe I have created bonds with my students and showed them the importance of an education.
Here are some incentives I gave out to the students accepted to college. They are "kissing" high school goodbye! The top 20 GPA students received mini oreo's because they are "smart cookies." Everyone received a certificate and you would think I gave them a million bucks. To be praised and acknowledged in front of their peers excited them. I'm also grateful it lit the fire under the other students who are moving a bit slow.
Make sure you acknowledge the "good" around you.
Good behavior that is acknowledged creates an environment of those reoccurring behaviors :)