I know a lot of schools are against giving students awards in preschool. I think that giving out awards is a good idea, as long as each child receives one, and it is done in moderation.
However, I do not use awards to get students to behave or do better on an assignment or to get them to clean up. I think that if they are interested and encouraged they will do that on their own. Dangling awards in front of students as a way to get them to do something that you want them to do can be counterproductive, meaning that students are only going to do what you want them to do, so that they get something in return, that is why most schools prefer that awards are not used at all.
I do use awards in portfolios, to add color and sometimes as an anecdotal note. A written Anecdotal note is a quick note that the teacher use when observing a student. An Anecdotal Note describes exactly what was observed, which are used for assessments and are documentations and proof that a student can perform a specific task.
Adding them to your curriculum in a new innovative way to enhance portfolios excites students especially when they don’t know they are getting one.
On occasion I’ll send home awards for every child when I want the parent to know that we’ve worked on memorizing a poem or nursery rhyme. I do this as an attention getter for the parent and student, and a great keepsake item.
Sometimes I use awards for name writing, by having the students write their name on an award and then use it in their portfolio as documentation.
I did an end of the school year award ceremony. The idea came to me because one of my little students only missed 7 days for the entire school year, and I thought that was important to celebrate.
Awards can be used in fun ways. Change them to something you are working on. Fill them out and slip them in your student’s backpacks.