The Science School Yard: Motivating the Masses

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Motivating the Masses

This linky party is a new one for me, but made me think about all the ways I am trying to motivate our kiddos. Sometimes, it seems hard, but it sure is worth the try. At http://headoverheelsforteaching.blogspot.com/ this fun linky sure got me thinking!




As a science teacher, we see each student only one hour per week. Motivating students to study is always hard. That seems to be the one area that I really want to tackle this year in a big way. For our third grade Earth Materials Unit, I made a book that students could make that focused on all of the areas that we studied and that were going to be tested. I gave a study guide to one class and we made the book in the other just to see if my new method would work...and it did. I was happy to see more of my students having success on the test.


 I also gave out mini science star certificates to students that passed the test and we asked for words of wisdom for how to always do better. That idea came from a free science star reward card from TPT thanks to Sparkles, Smiles, and Successful Students.        http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Im-a-Science-Star-277450

 We posted the "Study Tips" on the wall for future reference. With 79% of our students on free or reduced lunch, many of our students don't always have the support they need to thrive. I also added this year the traveling science star award for the class that is the shining star class of the week. This class was on target, helped each other, answered questions, set up and cleaned up in a timely manner...you get the picture. We are always trying to find ways to keep our kids on task (specialists you know what I mean). We share that information on our daily newscast in a kind of Where's Waldo fashion...can you find the science star? Who's class will be next... I also have tried class dojo to motivate, but it takes too much time out of the class to keep it up, so I started the three stars on the board thing. I have three stars on the board, kind of like three strikes your out. I give a warning if they are off task, then the class loses a star. We have PBIS at our school, so they want to get a class paw at the end of our class. We also give out individual "paws" for kids who are really shining in class. In our class store, students can use their "paws" to purchase some great prizes.  The one that seems to be going over quite well is an extra science class with me. We made fake wounds and slime in October, rockets and Mento Volcanoes in November.
This is also a motivator to earn tickets for fun activities in science. It has been quite motivational and the kids who bought my pass have passed on the word that extra science is a blast.  I am glad I was able to link up.

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