Saturday, May 3, 2014

Spark Student Motivation Saturday

Happy Saturday!!! I'm linking up with Joanne from Head Over Heels for Teaching for Spark Student Motivation Saturdays!
Not sure if anyone else has this September issue, but I always have June fourth graders stuck in my head in September. I think that's why the beginning of the year is so challenging for last memories of teaching a class is full of kiddos who love learning, know the routines, and are completely self-motivated. But I have to kick myself in the pants and remember that we, as awesome teachers, must GET THEM THERE!

So, how do we do it?

Choice is so important. 

I battled one student last year. Over and over and over again during Writing Workshop. He refused to participate in any of my fabulous writing projects. REFUSED. Now, this young man was beyond smart, but lacked motivation. Finally, I gave in. I asked him what he would like to write about. I let him get on a computer to type, like a real writer might do, without drafting or editing or ANYTHING. It was tough for a control freak like myself to let him go do his thang, but he did. He spent the majority of the year working on his NOVEL. Yep. Chapters and characters and a plot full of fantasy. At the end of the year, the novel was not completed, so we put it on a flash drive and he took it home to continue working on. I spoke with his dad recently, and apparently the novel is still in the works. I guess giving up control and trusting the kids can work!

This year, I have a little boy who hates writing. Like, all writing. So, instead of doing our writing pieces, he has asked to research rocks and minerals - his passion. I allowed it, under one condition. He must take notes. And he does. 

So, I suppose there are students who need the structure and guidance their teacher provides and there are some students who need freedom and choice to flourish. 


  1. I completely agree! Choice is one of the biggest motivators for all students, but especially for those who are super challenging. This is a great post. Thank you!

    Fit to be Fourth

  2. Choice! So important, I agree.

    Sarah @ Hoots N' Hollers

  3. Sounds like the scenario of the first child is more than likely gifted. Fits most of the characteristics of a gifted child. In the years that I have been teaching the TAG class, I've had to learn to let go of many of my control issues. We do a lot of choice activities in my room too! :)
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'