Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Motivating Middle School Students (MMSS Blog) Part 1

This school year has started off quite well as far as motivating my students.

Motivation #1: Conference With My Students.  I have begun conferencing with each student during silent reading time at the beginning of the class. During this time, I listen to them read, ask them questions about the book that they are reading and show them how to actively read and keep notes. The students are writing a letter to me each week about what they are reading. I make notes of things that I can discuss with each student to help fill in some of the gaps that they have. For example, one student used the wrong form of "their" in a sentence in her letter. I used our conference time to explain "their, there and they're." I showed her a few examples and she got it. After our meeting, she thanked me for helping her to understand the differences. Not only was she motivated, so was I.

Motivation #2: Use the Nook E-readers. Last spring I wrote a Donor's Choose proposal to get a Nook Color to use in my class. I also asked my PTA to assist in funding the project on Donor's Choose. Well the PTA at my school is so wonderful they gave me $300.00 toward going and buying either a Nook or a Kindle Fire. It was Mother's Day weekend and there was a sale on the Nooks at Barnes and Noble. I went and purchased two Nooks to use in my classroom. Then in June my Donor's Choose project was funded and now I have three Nooks to use. They are so motivating to the students. They are all being used on a daily basis. The kids want me to start a list of who gets to use them next.

Motivation #3: Respect Reward Tickets. This week I started to give out a Respect Reward ticket.  Students receive the Respect Reward ticket when they are doing their best and showing respect to their classmates, teachers or themselves. Each month I will pick a winner that will be given 20 minutes to use the Nook to play a game. I have games like Boggle and Scrabble on the nook so it will be educational (Shhh don't tell my students!)

Well that is all for today! Next week I have a few more motivational ideas that I will share.

What kinds of things are you doing to motivate the middle school students that you work with?

Till Next Time!


  1. I found your blog through Facebook - and I'm so happy to read your new post! Motivation is one of the biggest challenges in middle school, and you've posted some really great ideas. I, too, us tickets in my room. I start in the beginning of the year much as you described above. As those behaviors become automatic, I shift toward giving tickets for students practicing a certain skill, like annotating a reading passage, as we've done in class. They don't know when I'll have tickets, so they are a little more motivated to try! lol I then do weekly raffles for little things, but they like it anyway. Even my 8th graders do - and at times, that's saying a lot! lol I hope that you find success with it as well. I look forward to reading more ideas on your blog.

  2. Thanks Stephanie. I love the idea of rewarding certain skills.