Boosting Student Motivation in the Classroom
Do you remember your first year of teaching? If you are like me, you remember a lot of late nights, frantic mornings and maybe a few tears. However, when you talk to first year teacher Lyndsay Tucker of Oglethorpe Avenue Elementary School, you get the feeling you are talking to a pro. Ms. Tucker is calm, confident and full of ideas!
We checked in with Ms. Tucker on a Tuesday afternoon (after bus duty, of course) to talk about the amazing things happening in her 5th grade classroom. She began using LiveSchool at the beginning of the year with her partner teacher and has become an expert in behavior management and running a rewards system with LiveSchool.
When asked how she came up with her classroom rewards, Tucker said, “I used a google form,” because,
In order to motivate students and engage them in a point system you have to use rewards they care about.
“I ask them what they want to earn. I listen to what they are interested in and I am consistent – we go shopping at the reward store every Friday.”
Ms. Tucker allows her students to choose their rewards on her smartboard. It helps students feel like a part of the process from start to finish! This sort of student ownership has created a positive learning environment in Tucker’s room. Students feel ownership over their actions, their behavior, and the rewards they earn, meaning they are more engaged and motivated to do their best.
Tucker’s rewards are mostly intrinsic. Her students purchase the ability to eat lunch in the classroom, walk with the teacher in line and sit in a highly coveted green chair during lessons. She prints off LiveSchool reports once a week and sends them home in Tuesday Folders. If the students bring their paychecks back signed the next day, they earn extra points.
“You have to use LiveSchool frequently to get results. So students are invested,” she advises.
And as she looks forward, her advice to new teachers is simple, “Be more positive than negative. And be patient – at the beginning of the year you will be overwhelmed but around Christmas everything will click!”
Quick Teacher Tips:
- Survey students to find rewards they love
- Letting students charge their own rewards in the app boosts ownership
- Stay consistent and be more positive than negative