As we are discussing Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs), the heart of the curriculum, I want to share a few more specifics about motivating students. Because we want our students to have a greater appreciation for literacy and all it entails, we need to constantly work on motivating them to develop that attitude, and not with EXtrinsic motivators as they only work for a minute.
The previous post suggested that teachers' attitudes about students, teaching, and the content are main ingredients in promoting the value of learning. Indeed, a teacher's attitude lays the groundwork. I remember that if I was the happy mom at home, hubby and kids were happy. But if I was grouchy, hubby was cantankerous, and the boys were down right vile!! I soon learned that the same situation, time 5, existed at school. That's why I fought to hang on to even a thread of a good mood - at home and school. I didn't want a bad day to get worse if I could help it.
- CHOICE ~ Do we promote choice in reading and writing topics in our classes?
- Is EVERYTHING prescribed?
- "Students, you must read a book that is at least 250 pages; it must be on this topic; and you MUST create a diorama that has at least 50 of the 60 requirements listed on the rubric." THAT makes me love reading!
- CHALLENGE ~ Are students allowed to "modify tasks so the difficulty and interest levels are challenging?"
- "Ms. Needlenose, may I FILM a scene from the book?"
- "ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Just do what the assignment says and DRAW it, okay?"
- CONTROL ~ Do you "show students how they can control their own learning?"
- That usually means modeling first, guiding them next, working with them until you can release the controls over to them.
- The "I do it; WE do it, WE do it, WE do it, WE do it; YOU do it!" model!
- COLLABORATION ~ Do you allow students to collaborate ...
- ... in groups of 2, 3, or 4?
- ... through flexible grouping?
- CONSTRUCTING MEANING ~ Do you give students the tools they need to construct meaning from text?
- Comprehension strategies
- Metacognitive strategies
- Writing to learn strategies
- CONSEQUENCES of the TASK ~ Do you include consequences to build "responsibility, ownership, and self regulation?"
- If you do ... "rockets' red glare will burst through the air!!!"
- If you don't ... "the world will end as we know it."