Here is another simple idea that was inspired by the book Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to be persuasive by Robert Cialdini.
They did a study that looked at incentive programs. They had a car wash business give out two different loyalty cards. In one card, after 8 car washes, the person received a free car wash. For the other card, the person had to have 10 car washes, but the first two spots were already stamped.
Both groups had to actually do the same number of car washes to receive the free one. Which group had more car washes? The group that started with two credits.
How can you use this idea in the classroom? If you have an incentive program for completing homework or something else, start the kids with a credit. You can have them do the same amount of work to earn their reward, but by starting them with a credit, they will want to complete what they have already “started.”