Create a List

List Name

Rename this List
Save to
Back to the Top Teaching Blog
May 8, 2018

Reward Students With the Pineapple Award

By Mary Blow
Grades PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–12

    The most prestigious award my sixth-grade students can aspire to receive is the Pineapple Award. I have no idea who came up with the pineapple quote that floods the Internet, but I am eternally grateful as it perfectly captures my goal: motivate students to be positive, productive members of a community.

    The pineapple award acknowledges students of outstanding character. Each month, I take 10 minutes at the beginning of class to bestow one student with the honorable pineapple award: a certificate and a trophy: a real pineapple.

    A special thanks goes out to Trinh Force at Sunshine and Mudpies Photography (my gifted and talented niece!), who custom-made the pineapple clipart used to create the award. Force graciously granted permission for you to use it in your classroom.

    Before I hand out the award, I review the following criteria:

    Stand Tall

    Pineapple award-winning students "stand tall" and are proud of their work. We all have those students in our class — those who are so capable, yet produce mediocre work. The Pineapple Award celebrates the worker bees who proudly stand behind their work. It is not based on academics. However, these students, because of their work ethic, are academically successful. They are risk-takers, not afraid to make mistakes. They keep trying, making corrections and viewing mistakes as an opportunity to learn and grow. These students have a growth mindset, qualities of innovative members of our society.

    Wear a Crown

    The crown-bearing students respect classroom rules. There is a library of excuses explaining why students are late for class or why they don’t hand their work in on time. My youths understand that being absent is not a reason to avoid work, and they certainly don’t blame poor unsuspecting family members or consume valuable class time with elaborate adventure stories. Instead, they take responsibility and follow up with teachers. I don’t expect perfection. After all, they are middle schoolers, so if a student is absent, loses an assignment, arrives late to class, or has a bad day, the honorable pineapple communicates a recovery plan. Crowned pineapples respect rules and make earnest attempts at problem-solving, demonstrating qualities of a responsible, productive leader.

    Be Sweet on the Inside

    Pineapples are kind-hearted and don’t succumb to negative peer pressure. As tweens strive for social acceptance, bullying and drama can become an epidemic and distract many students from learning. Sweet pineapples avoid cliques and drama. They expand beyond their social circles to offer friendship to others. During group work, they readily collaborate with any student, ensuring no one is left behind. Their positive attitude turns frowns into smiles. Without hesitation, this type of student would invite a new student to sit at their lunch table. They are compassionate and strive to understand others in our community.

    I take pictures and post them on the pineapple bulletin board in the middle school hallway. My pineapples excitedly receive the award and fruity trophies, proudly displaying them on their desks throughout the day.

    It is a little late in the year to start giving out Pineapple Awards on a monthly basis; however, you might want to consider shining the spotlight on one particular student during end-of-year awards. Or, you can use the resources provided to plan ahead for next year.

    The most prestigious award my sixth-grade students can aspire to receive is the Pineapple Award. I have no idea who came up with the pineapple quote that floods the Internet, but I am eternally grateful as it perfectly captures my goal: motivate students to be positive, productive members of a community.

    The pineapple award acknowledges students of outstanding character. Each month, I take 10 minutes at the beginning of class to bestow one student with the honorable pineapple award: a certificate and a trophy: a real pineapple.

    A special thanks goes out to Trinh Force at Sunshine and Mudpies Photography (my gifted and talented niece!), who custom-made the pineapple clipart used to create the award. Force graciously granted permission for you to use it in your classroom.

    Before I hand out the award, I review the following criteria:

    Stand Tall

    Pineapple award-winning students "stand tall" and are proud of their work. We all have those students in our class — those who are so capable, yet produce mediocre work. The Pineapple Award celebrates the worker bees who proudly stand behind their work. It is not based on academics. However, these students, because of their work ethic, are academically successful. They are risk-takers, not afraid to make mistakes. They keep trying, making corrections and viewing mistakes as an opportunity to learn and grow. These students have a growth mindset, qualities of innovative members of our society.

    Wear a Crown

    The crown-bearing students respect classroom rules. There is a library of excuses explaining why students are late for class or why they don’t hand their work in on time. My youths understand that being absent is not a reason to avoid work, and they certainly don’t blame poor unsuspecting family members or consume valuable class time with elaborate adventure stories. Instead, they take responsibility and follow up with teachers. I don’t expect perfection. After all, they are middle schoolers, so if a student is absent, loses an assignment, arrives late to class, or has a bad day, the honorable pineapple communicates a recovery plan. Crowned pineapples respect rules and make earnest attempts at problem-solving, demonstrating qualities of a responsible, productive leader.

    Be Sweet on the Inside

    Pineapples are kind-hearted and don’t succumb to negative peer pressure. As tweens strive for social acceptance, bullying and drama can become an epidemic and distract many students from learning. Sweet pineapples avoid cliques and drama. They expand beyond their social circles to offer friendship to others. During group work, they readily collaborate with any student, ensuring no one is left behind. Their positive attitude turns frowns into smiles. Without hesitation, this type of student would invite a new student to sit at their lunch table. They are compassionate and strive to understand others in our community.

    I take pictures and post them on the pineapple bulletin board in the middle school hallway. My pineapples excitedly receive the award and fruity trophies, proudly displaying them on their desks throughout the day.

    It is a little late in the year to start giving out Pineapple Awards on a monthly basis; however, you might want to consider shining the spotlight on one particular student during end-of-year awards. Or, you can use the resources provided to plan ahead for next year.

Comments

Share your ideas about this article

Mary's Most Recent Posts
Blog Post
Writing Journals: Exploring Mood

In this journaling activity we explore how the setting contributes to the development of mood. Additional journaling activities are shared as well.

By Mary Blow
January 10, 2017
Blog Post
Plotting With the Grinch

'Tis the season to be Grinchy! Dust off your classroom copy of How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. Seuss and join us with this “wonderful, awful idea,” of reviewing the elements of plot with your students.

By Mary Blow
December 13, 2016
Blog Post
8 Library Makeover Ideas

Read on for eight ideas to update and modernize your classroom library with the goal of motivating your middle schoolers to read, while creating a personal space where they feel at home.

By Mary Blow
November 16, 2016
Blog Post
Veterans Day: Exploring Symbolism in a Military Ceremony

This Veterans Day, I wanted to create a missing in action/prisoners of war table that is included in many military commemorations. After we explore the symbolism of the ceremonial table we jump into analyzing symbolism in literature.

By Mary Blow
October 19, 2016
Blog Post
Engage Readers and Increase Comprehension: Annotate Text

Teaching my students to become engaged readers was not easy. I am excited to share the annotation lesson that helped my sixth graders comprehend informational texts. Included is a FREE Science World article to use in your classroom.

By Mary Blow
September 20, 2016

Susan Cheyney

GRADES: 1-2
About Us