Saturday, September 13, 2014

Spark Student Motivation Saturday

I am attempting my first link-up ever--Spark Student Motivation with Head Over Heels for Teaching!  (I hope I manage to do it correctly!)  Motivating 6th graders (especially as the year progresses) can be tricky.  What they love one day, they can turn around and hate the next.

However, they always love it when I break out my stamps which I use in a variety of ways.

One thing I do is use them when they are reflecting in their journals, working on their mentor sentence activities, solving a more challenging math problem, or completing a sentence in their Academic Vocabulary books.  As I walk around the room, monitoring their work, I stamp the responses that I want to have shared with the rest of the class.  Not only do the kids want to get a stamp in their book, but it also helps me remember who had a response that I want the rest of the class to hear.
(I also have a stamp with my name on it--I break that out occasionally and proclaim I am looking for a response that "Mrs. G" worthy--they eat that up!)

I also use them when I am reviewing concepts and want them to put forth their best efforts.  I pass out two stamps per table and tell them that they get to stamp every correct answer.  I will give them a short paper to work on--around 8-10 questions---and some time to finish it.  (Sometimes, they do one problem at a time, and we correct it before going on to the next one.) Then, as we go over the answers, they get to stamp the responses that are right.  Sounds silly, but they love using the stamps--even 6th graders.  (However, I do have to remind them that stamps are for the paper, not for body parts.)  Sometimes to up the ante, so to speak, I give out a prize for every student who gets my "magic number correct." (I don't reveal the magic number until the end to keep hope alive.)

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