Friday, May 10, 2013

Fun Friday - Motivating Students (and teachers!)

Ah...summer. We teachers can appreciate this time more than most. But don't break out your swimsuit yet. We still have a few weeks to go (those of you who are almost done, I'm jealous!). With the countdown happening and students ready to get out, how do you keep your students motivated? (I would honestly love to hear what you do, leave me a comment!).

This year my kiddos needed a little extra encouragement. We sat down and created this:

The kids came up with the entire agreement during a sit-down meeting. Our goal is to focus and encourage those who are doing well, and it's working! This week's reward was a picnic lunch (our school has a courtyard) but with the spring time rain where we are it was decided that a classroom lunch plus movie (The Lion King) would be perfect. 76% of my kiddos were successful this week. The assistant principal liked the idea because it reinforces good behavior, plus it will motivate some of the less than perfect behaviors that we see at this time of the year. Next week we will work towards a kickball game and maybe another lunch to finish our movie.

And finally, a Mother's Day moment. Once the kiddos enter middle school it seems like the cute projects go away and kids are left on their own to remember events like Mother's Day...hello, amazing mom's out there, should be easy right? Ha! So I encourage my students to do a simple gift, a gift of writing! (please refer to post #1 when I said that I'm not a writer to appreciate my overplanning of this event). It's a simple project that takes them two writing periods. They write a poem or a letter to their mom, or another woman in their family that is important (aunt, guardian, grandmother, etc). We print them in color and the kiddos are charged with delivering them during the weekend. It's small but I hope meaningful! And on that note, a bit of encouragement for you my readers (I'm assuming there are a few of you...maybe...sometimes) from my Dayspring Daybrightener calendar:

You are a gift to this big world of ours. God knew we'd need you. God knew you'd dazzle us all. Deidra Riggs

Go forth on this Mother's Day weekend and be dazzling! 

(calendars and more can be found at - they are a great company, I'm promoting them on my own, they have great things!)


  1. I love your Mother's day gift idea for your kids. That's exactly the kind of gift I would want each year from my children when they're older!! :)

  2. We did an amazing poetry unit that used and then I try to wrap it up with them writing something like this for their mom's. They feel confident as poets by that point and are eager to be creative and share their feelings. I never know who actually gives them to their mom but I hope that it's appreciated :)