Most the years I’ve taught I’ve been able to produce results in my students’ motivation. This year it has been especially challenging. Maybe it’s because the test and the academics thereof have become the primary focus of school. Perhaps this has understandably burned out student motivation. In doing so it’s given way to days consisting of “A, B, C, or D” answers. I’ve been trying some new things this year that are working to get buy-in and I wanted to share them with you. Check this out:
- To go along with your assessment strategies, have them grade each other’s papers. This will add peer pressure and praise to the mix. It can help them realize what they do is observed by others.
- Give them “pseudo” assessments that look like the final standardized test in May. This will ease their nerves and help them see that success on the test can be attained.
- Send a note home with the score on one of these tests. Let parents know how their kids are doing but if you do so, make sure you have suggestions for parents on how to improve their child’s score.
- Have a lot of ongoing student recognition. Tomorrow I am allowing all the students who got 80-100% to have lunch with me in the classroom. These kids need to be rewarded for their student academic achievement and of course, this will probably rub off on some of the kids who scored below 80%.
I firmly believe that kids in elementary learning as well as higher will do better when they have buy-in. Just like a company offers stock options to employees to keep them productive, so teachers should seek buy-in from their students. Remember this from my experience and probably yours too about work in general:
To get results from students or workers, you must have their “buy-in.”