Do you give incentives? If so what do you give?
I believe motivation should come from within and if and when possible, extrinsic motivation should be eliminated. That being said sometimes kids do need a little outside push. Especially if you are working at a school where kids are mandated to sit for long periods of time and work on things that are truly not age appropriate.
If you do find yourself needing to give incentives here’s an affordable way to do it:
Make a sticker chart with all of their names. (or purchase one in bulk – comes with a set of 12)
Give clear expectations and start with something cheap and easy to attain. For example: When you get 5 stickers you can choose a prize. (Something cheap like a variety of small erasers.) When you get 15 stickers you can choose a prize. (Something a little better like bouncy balls.) When you get 30 stickers you choose a prize. (Something nice like fancy pencils/pens ) etc.
The idea is to start small so kids reach their first goal quickly. Then build on from there, delaying gratification each time. Since they have to work harder for each step, the prizes should also get nicer.