Rigor is creating an environment in which each student is expected to learn at high levels,
each student is supported so he or she can learn at high levels,
and each student demonstrates learning at high levels (Blackburn, 2008).

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I Can't Do This

Yesterday we talked about the first key of intrinsic motivation for students, seeing the value of learning.  Today, we'll turn our attention to the second key:  success.  Students need to be successful, or feel like they have a chance to be successful.  How can we do this?  By providing the opportunity for each student to be successful.  There are several ways to do this. 

First, you can provide activities in which there is no wrong answer.  This may mean giving students a post-it note as they enter class and ask them to anonymously write down either something they learned the prior day, or something they don't understand.  Ask them to place their notes in two categories on your wall or dry erase board.  Then use their notes to review yesterday's class.  Also, you can ask them questions such as what is your favorite part of the book, ask students to go to four corners of the room after you give them four possibilities.  Then, re-explain the concept, and ask them to choose their corner again, allowing them to change corners if they would like.  Next, each group decides why they chose the answers they did, and in a positive way, guide them to the correct answer. 

Second, chunk larger activities into smaller steps, ensuring that students are successful at each step.  Helping them be successful in small ways gives them the confidence to try bigger tasks. 

How will you help each student be successful today?

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