Incentive Chart Template

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

Teaching students how to behave well in class is an important, though challenging, aspect of every teacher's job. This lesson offers a template of an incentive chart you can use to encourage students in improving their behavior.

Using Incentive Charts for Teaching

When you are teaching students, you might struggle with behavior problems. Sometimes, this might mean you have individual students are disruptive in class, making learning hard for all in the classroom. Other times, you might struggle with behavior management on a whole-class level.

When you are trying to modify students' behavior, it can be really helpful to use an incentive chart. Essentially, an incentive chart offers up an incentive, or reward, that students are working toward by showing particular behaviors over time. The idea behind an incentive chart is that once students become habituated toward displaying the desired behavior, they will start doing it in the absence of an incentive.

When you create an incentive chart, it is important to keep a few key points in mind. First, be clear and specific about what the desired behaviors are and how you will know when kids are displaying them. Second, choose an incentive that will be meaningful to all of the students involved. Third, make sure to catch kids showing the desired behavior as frequently as possible, particularly when you begin.

Incentive Chart Template

There are many ways you can create an effective incentive chart, but the template offered here will provide you with a good starting point to work with. At a minimum, be sure to include a clear heading, state the purpose or goal of the chart, define the incentive, and create a means by which you can track the behaviors.


A good incentive chart should have a heading that anyone can read and use to understand the basic nature of what they are looking at. For instance:

  • Room 103's Acts of Kindness Chart
  • James' Smooth Transitions Chart

Goal or Purpose

Next, make sure you define the underlying purpose of the chart. Be clear and specific, so that there can be no doubt in anyone's mind as to whether or not the chart is achieving its purpose. For example:

  • The purpose of this chart is to help the students in Room 103 say and do kind things for and to each other on a regular basis.
  • This chart will help James make efficient and effective transitions over the course of the school day.

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