Professional Development

February 27, 2016

Simple Punch Cards for Positive Behavior Support

Positive behavior reinforcement is always something I strived to improve in my classroom. It always seemed like I was whipping out an old trick from a seasoned teacher to try.  Sometimes a new, simple concept to reward behavior was just what I needed to get my students back on track after a long weekend or sugar filled holiday.

I want to share with you how I used punch cards in my classroom with my little learners. A dear teacher friend shared this tip with me over 5 years ago!

Using simple punch cards for positive behavior support in the classroom

How we used them:

In our classroom I used a clip chart for the most part. When students would move their clip up at all, they would earn a punch in their punch card.

Another way I have seen teachers do it is to spot them making great choices and then give them a punch in their card right then. It all depends on what your students need. Maybe they do need immediate reward or maybe they can wait until the end of the day.

Once the punch card was full, they earned:

  • a trip to the treasure box
  • lunch with the teacher
  • the ability to put our read aloud books in their book bins for the week

Whatever reward works for you!

I have also used this in behavior plans with students. We would break it down and instead of rewarding them for having the card full, they would earn a reward for every set of 5 punches.

Using simple punch cards for positive behavior support in the classroom

Why I loved them:

1. They were easy to use

2. Student led and monitored. With my 1st grade students, I would assign a student to this job weekly and they were in charge of punching cards at the end of the day. They LOVED it because they played teacher!
Using simple punch cards for positive behavior support in the classroom

Using simple punch cards for positive behavior support in the classroom 3. The students always kept me accountable

4. The students were motivated and knew what it felt like to work hard to earn something they wanted

Want to give them a try? Grab this FREE punch card! I love to copy them on a different colored cardstock for each month. There are 20 stars on each card—enough to cover 4 weeks of school days if you want to do a monthly system.Punch Card FREEBIE for positive behavior support

click the image above to grab the FREEBIE

Looking for more positive behavior reinforcement ideas? Check out this post HERE.

You may also want to follow my Classroom Management Pinterest board for more great ideas!

One simple classroom management tip is to use simple punch cards for positive behavior. This idea will motivate your elementary students to make right choices throughout the day. Don't forget to grab the FREEBIE at the end after reading all about this strategy! #ClassroomManagement #Freebie

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Happy Teaching,



Want to use the latest research to boost your readers during small groups? This FREE guide is packed with engaging ideas to help them grow!

Hi, I'm Amanda

I’m a K-1 teacher who is passionate about making lessons your students love and that are easy to implement for teachers.  Helping teachers like you navigate their way through their literacy block brings me great joy. I am a lifelong learner who loves staying on top of current literacy learning and practices. Here, you’ll find the tools you need to move your K-2 students forward!


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44 Responses

    1. Hi Amanda! I always did community supplies so they went in a part of the table caddy. We never once had one lost in all of the years that I taught! 🙂

      1. Thank you! I am starting this in Decemeber, now that my kindergarteners know the rules/expectations. I think it’s a great way to reward those kids that are always “shining”! I like the caddy idea too, that was one of my hesitations- where to put them! Solved!
        Much thanks,

      2. I was wondering the same thing. Thank you for your insights and ideas! I love the free printable. I hope this helps me to better my management skills in the classroom. I will use this with my kinders this year! (:

  1. I am curious what your kiddos did with a full punch card. I was going to have my firsties trade them in for some sort of coupon. any ideas?

    1. Thanks a lot!
      I really want to say that you guys are different from the teachers I see when I go to my teaching practice placements. whenever I go there they stare at me and say “What are you doing here? you need to change your major if you can” like seriously in my fourth year, so close to graduate. I love teaching but those teachers are driving me CRAZY they make me feel bad sometimes, they don’t seem that they are enjoying teaching at all and this is the problem. However, you guys admit that there are problems but you look for solution, so thanks a lot for being here and sharing these wonderful ideas 🙂

  2. I love this! I did something similar with die cut stars and a star puncher long ago but this one is nicer! I’m going to use it along with the Whole Brain “Level Up” positive behavior system (each color is a different level). I did the Level Up (I can’t remember the official name Whole Brain gives it but that’s what we called it in our classroom) this past year but I gave star punches on regular index cards with different color markers on each card.

    I really like your stuff on Pinterest! Keep it coming!

  3. Hi Amanda,

    I subscribed to receive the punch card printable but have yet to receive it 🙁 Im eager to use it as a Homework punch card for my 3rd grade kiddos! Is it editable?

    1. Hi Jourdan! The punch card was a download that happened automatically. After you clicked “Confirm your Subscription”, then the file automatically downloaded for you. Check your downloads folder. 🙂 Unfortunately, it is not editable. Let me know if you have any more questions!

  4. I love the idea of having it be a classroom job to punch cards each week. I’m wondering though, where do you store the cards and when do they get punched? How do you keep track of who gets a punch if they’re not punched right away? Thanks!

    1. Hi Michele! We kept them in our table tubs in the middle of the table. We used a clip chart and if kids were on green or higher, they got a punch at the end of the day. Now, there were other circumstances where I was in charge of a child’s clip card and then we would talk together and set goals that led to punches. At the end of the day, punches were given out. 🙂

  5. Hi! I am trying to download your punch card freebie. It had me sign in to join your newletter but I don’t see it anywhere. Can you help me?!!

    1. Hi Melissa! After you click “confirm” in the email, then it automatically downloads for you! Check your downloads folder. 🙂

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  7. Hi! Thank you for sharing the behavior punch cards online. Would it be possible to make them editable so I can type in the name of each student? It would really help to have that option.


  8. I am having trouble accessing the free star punch cards. I’ve grabbed them before and want to use them again in my classroom, but for some reasons not working today! Thank you for your help!

  9. I began using these with my middle school students. I told them at the beginning of the semester they needed to keep track of their cards and keep them in their books as a book marker or paper clip it into their notebooks. I stressed they were responsible for these cards, and if they forgot to bring them, they would not earn a punch that day.
    Ugh! I have a handful that have lost them already…week 3! Any ideas! I really want to teach them responsibility! I think they should be able to hold onto a punch card!

    1. I wish I had more ideas, but with my kindergarten and first grade classes, I just kept them in their table bins in the middle of their desks. Do you have a common place you could keep them all maybe?

    1. Hi Clare! Did you sign up with your email address? Let me know if you still aren’t getting it with that! 🙂

    1. HI Alison! I’m so sorry! Have you gotten the confirmation email at all? I know sometimes school servers block it. 🙂 Send me an email and I’ll get them to you!

  10. Hi, Amanda! I signed up for the free punch cards but did not receive any emails. Would you be able to send them directly to my email? Thank you so much! This looks like a wonderful resource!

    1. Hi Tina! It looks like your email keeps bouncing back. I did try emailing you again so let me know if you don’t see it soon! 🙂

  11. I want to thank you for the SUPER STAR punch chard. So many times we find ourselves pointing out the negatives and not the positives. I have a student that has been working for Student of the Month and we will be using this to point out all of the good things he has done right to work toward his goal!
    Thank You!

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