Areas of Impact


Age Group

Middle school


10 minutes 



Core Value Stars

academic strategies, Academic habits , Self Awareness & Growth Mindset, Self-Advocacy, Collaboration & Community Skills

Stars give me an easy way to recognize students for the positive choices they make every day.


These stars provide an instantaneous positive behavior support to recognize and reward students.


At Gateway Middle School we use Core Values Stars to recognize students for the positive choices they make in exhibiting our school’s values. When a student is caught “doing something right,” teachers, administrators or staff write the student’s name on a star and indicate the core value the student exhibited. Students then deposit the stars in classroom or school-wide raffle boxes. Each week students’ names are drawn from the box and they win rewards. These rewards vary from the small --pencils, pens or classroom privilege coupons-- to the grander, such as donated gift cards to favorite local stores. In this way Core Values Stars support Positive Behavior Interventions for all students.


Be sure to copy lots of stars in advance! Also recognize students early and often. Doing so affirms the habits and behaviors that you value in your classroom and school. If you’re the only teacher trying this strategy out, it can still be powerful. The key is to be consistent in naming what students are doing right and rewarding them at the end of the week. Soon your students will remind you to do the raffle! And you need not spend a lot of money on rewards. Privilege tickets in the classroom, such as being a teacher’s assistant or getting additional Preferred Activity Time, go a long way. When in doubt, ask your students for ideas about inexpensive rewards.

Related Content:

NEA Education Policy and Practice Department. Policy Brief 41A: Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports: A Multi-tiered Framework that Works for Every Student. National Education Association. 2014. Web. 

Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports