How token collectors and accessories can be used in schools

Plastic tokens are extremely versatile and offer schools many uses, whether it’s supporting a token economy, being presented as a reward, or acting as currency for dining halls and school events.

While you might have decided on a use for your tokens, you may not yet know how best to collect and store them. Here, we show you how our collection boxes, tubes and trays are perfect for keeping track of tokens and putting them on full display for your pupils.

Collectors for house point systems

Implemented throughout many primary schools, the house point system separates pupils into different ‘houses’ and lets them compete to win points for the house they’ve been assigned to. The house that wins the most points gets some kind of reward.

Because the system is operated over a period of time—perhaps a term or an entire school year—the tokens need to be collected and displayed so pupils can see the fruits of their labours. This is a good way to motivate the children and spark friendly competition between them.

Choosing a collector for a house point system means thinking about how long the system will run, as your collector needs to be large enough to hold all the tokens you’ll award during that time. Otherwise, your choice mainly comes down to how you’d prefer the collector to look.

As house point systems rely on some element of competition, why not consider using our house point token set with our floor-standing plinth box?

This collection box fits all sizes of tokens and is available in up to six compartments. As it’s floor-standing, it can be placed in a prominent area of the classroom or out in a corridor in full view, so the children can easily monitor how many tokens their house has accumulated.

Collectors for reward systems

Many teachers use tokens as ‘merit points’, which they award to pupils who they feel have demonstrated good behaviour or done something well. The idea is that the tokens promote positive behaviour and help the children take pride in their achievements.

How you operate your reward system is up to you—the most important thing is making sure you can keep track of the tokens you’ve given out. During busy times, it can be all too easy to forget which pupil or class has received which token, and once that happens the rewards can begin to lose their value and become less meaningful.

With reward systems, you have a number of options when it comes to collectors.

If you’re awarding tokens to pupils in a single class, you might find our classroom starter set useful. Small enough to be placed on a desk or tabletop, the set comes with four collection tubes and 250 tokens in blue, green, yellow and red.

If your system extends through the entire school, our whole school starter set is the ideal collector. A larger, floor-standing model, the set provides 8,000 coloured tokens to give out and display.

Many schools use classroom sets alongside a whole school set (or medium school set), awarding tokens in the classroom then distributing them each week to the whole school.

One great advantage of these collection tubes is the opportunity they afford you to link the visual accumulation of tokens to the pupils’ maths lessons around data and how it can be presented in bar graphs and charts.

Collectors for 'voting and pupil' voice activities

Including children in decisions made around matters that affect them and their school has become increasingly important. The term ‘pupil voice’ is used to describe the process of consulting and listening to pupils and taking into account their thoughts and views.

Pupil voice has been found to benefit children in a number of ways, not least in how it increases their confidence and self-respect and better engages them in what they’re learning in school.

One way of letting pupils influence the running of their school is to allow them to vote. Perhaps you have some options for an upcoming school trip and you want the pupils to choose the one they prefer. Or maybe you’re implementing a new reward system and you want the children to select which rewards they’d most like to work towards.

At TokensFor, we’ve put together a token and collector set specifically for this purpose. Our pupil voice voting set consists of two side-by-side collection boxes and 1,000 tokens in whichever colour you decide. Everything your pupils need to have their say!

Collectors for the assessment for learning (AFL) approach

Assessment for learning (AFL) involves helping pupils examine their own learning processes and understand how to adapt them to reach the ultimate end goal for their education.

Teachers set tasks designed to provide feedback that pupils can use to assess themselves in a way they can communicate. Pupils get involved in setting and working towards targets and, as such, take more responsibility for their own learning.

Using tokens and collectors can really supplement this approach. For example, you could set up a collector divided into levels of difficulty and ask the pupil to place a token in the box that best represents how challenging they found your tasks. That would form the basis of a discussion and allow you to guide the pupil in assessing their own work.

The visual nature of the token and collector system means pupils can follow their progress over time. The system also provides you with vital information you can use to plan your tasks. So why not use our standard collection box to support your AFL teaching?

Collectors for mealtimes and school events

Lots of schools use our tokens as a method of payment in the dining hall, or as an alternative to cash when holding events such as summer fairs, concerts, firework displays and fundraisers. They’re a useful way of recording what has been bought and avoiding the issues that come with cash changing hands.

Our stackable token collection trays are great for counting tokens and keeping them organised and close to hand. You can also use the trays (or our carry cases) to put the tokens tidily away in storage when you don’t need them.