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Students only need a 7 minute sensory break to recalibrate for learning

Getting Started

Here are some considerations when starting up a sensory space:

Doing this project on your own or with a team?

The Pilot CongratOmat resulted in:

A 23% reduction in discipline referrals







A School-wide Reinforcement System

Inspired by the Art-O-Mat artist movement, the CongratOmat is a building-wide reinforcement system fashioned from a recycled vending machine.  Broken vending machines were found in the district and repurposed as showcases for reinforcement of the building's character education system, Rachel's Challenge.  Here's how it works:

Create a CongratOmat to last the year for about $100

Why Do it?


Here is why the CongratOmat is effective:

What the Preliminary Data Shows: 


See the data from a Middle School 3 week pilot:

Make a CongratOmat:


Use the below tips and printables to construct your program: 

Explain the System

Have a staff meeting with the above proposal form.  Generate buzz by placing the machine before you explain the system to students.  This will promote student inquiries to teachers and staff buy in.  Send a teacher letter with reminders of how to use the system.  

Give teachers stickers and tickets.  Each student is responsible for turning their ticket into the main office.  Lost tickets are the responsiblity of the student.  When awarded, students also get to wear a CongratOmat sticker.  

Distribute Materials


Draw a ticket for each grade on a regular basis (daily, weekly, bi-weekly).  Call the students down over the announcements and read their positive behavior to the school.

Progress Monitor

Progress monitor your discipline referrals to determine if your system is effective. Compare numbers of referrals before and after the CongratOmat.

Get a Machine 

Vending machines are becoming outdated and often cannot be sold for scrap due to contracts with the machine and a school.  If the machine can be lent or gifted to the school instead of sitting in a warehouse, a CongratOmat is a perfect repurposing.  We obtained both of our vending machines for free.

The Basics 


See the below free printable posters for the basics of CongratOmat intervention start-up:

To address the frequent surge of disciplinary referrals that outlay the last several weeks of school, the CongratOmat was unveiled in May.  


Generativity was built by placing the machine in the lobby with a sign reading "Future Site of Something Awesome!"


As the machine was filled with prizes, the following sign generated continued student buzz:

Instead of making an immediate announcement of what the machine was for and how it worked, student inquiries to their teachers of how to earn the prizes built interest.  


Teachers were explained the program at a staff meeting and were given a packet of stickers, tickets, as well as the teacher letter below explaining the program.


Student names were drawn from each grade daily until the conclusion of the year.  Those students were given the opportunity to choose a CongratOmat prize from the machine (which was unplugged and inoperable until staff accessed it). 

2010 - present

2010 - present

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