Monday, November 11, 2013

Motivate Students with Daily Reflections~FREEBIE

Are you in need of a way to motivate your students and hold them accountable? I am all about intrinsic motivation and doing your best because that is just what you are supposed to do. This quarter, I decided to start a daily reflection.
Each morning, students complete the top half of the reflection (related to homework and materials going to home from school and coming back to school). Throughout the day, students reflect on whether or not they gave "110%" in each of our subjects.

Last, before students pack up, they complete a reflection on what they are really proud of and what they need to work on from the day. Students must have this ready for me when I sign their assignment sheets (this is how they get out of the room to pack up) AND I require that they are thoughtful and write in complete sentences. If it is not completed in an acceptable manner, I send them back to their desks to try again. I also expect them to be specific. Instead of "I need to focus more," students must name a specific time when they should have focused better that day. To me, this helps them target that the next day.

What do students do with their reflections? Each morning, reflections are returned to students and they glue them in their "Morning Meeting" notebook.
The best part of this "motivational" strategy is that students are creating a record of their days at school. If they have a pattern of leaving materials at home, it is documented. If they have a pattern of not completing homework, it's written on the sheet. If they repeatedly choose not to give 110%, they have recorded that. Parents will see these at our quarterly student-parent meetings in a few weeks!

Another "best part" of this strategy is that students tell themselves what needs to improve. I think reflection is more powerful when it comes from within...back to that internal motivation! Hopefully, continuing to say the same things need to improve motivates students to put forth more effort to change that behavior.

I hope you can use this! Grab the free-editable template here in google docs. This version is in Times New Roman so that the formatting comes out correctly. You can change all of the student tasks to match what you do in your classroom.

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Happy motivating!

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