One difficult year, I was looking for some sort of way to positively recognize my students who were following school rules, thinking and working hard. I was tired of pointing out the negative behavior!
This just popped into my head! I was uncertain if it would work with middle school. But to my surprise, it was amazing!
Here's how I used it with my partner. I had two sets of students whom we taught for half the day and then rotated. I told my students at the end of class time if they had a exceptional day, they would receive BLING. If not, they could keep walking. The BLING was a platinum (silver) star. DAH! Really? YES! If the day was good but not excellent they would receive a gold star. It was the easiest way to confirm the work and behavior of each student. So, for this example, students could earn two stars per day.
I ran them on colored card stock for each student. At the beginning of the month, I would read the card and pass them out. Do you know students would call me on it, if I DID NOT have their BLING! There are 8 months worth as I figured by May, if these haven't worked by then, what's the use of continuing. However, my students were upset when I ended in April. So, you could use them as an incentive for other activities or not. Students just enjoyed having all the spaces filled and at the end of the month, we would recognize the most stars. Each month has similar wording but the same general ideas of the goals.