Get Results with Stickers

Whoever invented stickers was a genius! They are simple, yet so effective, up till now I have never met a child who couldn’t be motivated to work harder with the promise of a shiny sticker. Stickers can make a teacher’s life so much easier (and extremely popular). As a reward they are healthier than sweets, cheaper than prizes and more memorable than a pat on the back. As we all know the carrot is more effective than the stick and in numerous hadith the Prophet (saw) encourages us to treat children in a positive and kind manner:

Anas bin Malik narrated that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said, “Be kind to your children, and perfect their manners.” Sunan Ibn Majah

Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (saw) as saying “The best women who ride the camels are the pious women of the Quraish; they treat with affection children in their childhood and keep a strict watch on the wealth of their spouses.” Sahih Muslim

Jabir bin Abdullah narrated that the Messenger of Allah said, “Every good is charity. Indeed among the good is to meet your brother with a smiling face, and to pour what is left in your bucket into the vessel of your brother.” Jami` at-Tirmidhi

There are numerous ways you can use stickers to encourage good behaviour or motivate your kids to work. Here are some of the sticker strategies I have used as a parent and teacher.

1.Instant rewards

For test results, good work, good behaviour. Kids and teachers get bored quickly so have a variety of stickers in your draw: big, mini, smelly, glittery, personalised with your name etc.

2.Marking, feedback, setting targets

For each of my English classes I would have set targets, so I designed stickers for each target in each year group i.e. use semi-colons correctly. When I would mark their books I would have my target stickers and rather than having to repeatedly write the same targets, I would just choose the appropriate sticker. It would save so much time. You can do the same for positive feedback and use colourful clipart when designing your stickers. Your school should be willing to pay for the printing, and you can share the time saving idea with the rest of your department.

3. Whole class reward chart

This works very well in Primary and Junior schools. You can buy whole class charts online. The way it works is that students earn their sticker with their good behaviour. To harness the full potential of your stickers, you need to set targets for your students before you start dishing them out, tell your students exactly what they need to do to earn their stickers and show them the prize that they will get at the end of the month or term. Never take stickers off the chart, that’s unfair and a bit mean! Homeschoolers can make their own version to help keep their kids on track for each subject they are teaching.

4.Personalised reward sticker charts

I’ve used the principle of the reward chart in our Juz amma tree and Ramadan chart. Kids earn stickers each time they memorise a surah or do a good action during Ramadan. Set them a target and inshallah once they achieve it give them a reward. Recently, I redesigned our Islamic Behaviour Chart and Salah Chart, the charts have a gloss finish so you can write your child’s targets with a wipeable pen and set them new targets each week. The stickers are also reusable so the charts inshallah can be used for a few months.

Farhat Amin has been involved in Islamic teaching and parenting for over 15 years. She home-schooled her children for a few years and subsequently became the deputy head of the Islamic school they attended. Over the last five years she has worked as an English teacher at her local high school. Five years ago she started The Muslim Sticker Company, she felt there was a need for positive islamic parenting resources. She has created colourful stickers ,Islamic badges, sticker activity books and Eid decorations to help Muslim parents inspire their kids to follow Islam.

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