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).

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Motivating Students with a Microphone

We hear over and over again how important relevance is to student motivation and engagement. Erin Owens uses a popular television show to inspire her first graders:

My students share a great deal. I have found that a microphone has played a key role in motivating them to produce quality work. First of all, they love the microphone, at first they say it is like “being on American Idol.” You can hear them more clearly and their voice is obviously amplified. This gains the attention of the audience more so than traditional sharing. After the “glamour” wears off, they begin to realize that they are showcasing their work each time they “step up to the microphone.” I began to see a major change in their motivation to produce the best work they were capable of to impress and entertain their peers.

Notice she uses something students can relate to, not to deliver content, but to help them with one of the processes of learning, in this case, speaking.  What a great idea!


  1. Love this. The microphone is quite addicting. I have one that I drag out for parties and all my friends get up and either sing or recite poetry, so of course it would work for students too! Thanks, Cynthia Wylie

  2. Cynthia it's funny--I've had teachers use a dry erase marker as a mike, and the kids still loved it! Simple, yet effective.


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