Let’s face it! We all have been unmotivated at times. For example, we are not always motivated to do laundry, pay bills, run errands or make dinner. These tasks, while they might be fun for some, are not fun or exciting for everyone. Similarly, school and learning can be viewed in the same way by our students. While some might think school is exciting and are motivated to learn new things, there are others who might not be so interested or motivated to learn for various reasons.
So what do we do? Well, we can do lots of things to increase motivation. One way to do this is to chart!
This year students have been charting to increase their motivation to learn new skills. A chart is a graph that students mark each time they “test” on a skill in order to track their progress towards the end goal for that skill. For example, one group of students is currently learning how to read words with digraphs (i.e. whip, quack, shock, then, much). We spend our time together practicing these words in lots of different ways. Then each student tests on this skill every week by reading a list of words with digraphs. At the end, they color in how many words they read correctly that week. The goal each week is to try and beat last week’s score until we have 100% accuracy. Then we know that we are ready to move onto the next skill.
It is amazing how motivated the most unmotivated learner becomes when the goal is so clearly defined and they are responsible for tracking their progress. Students begin to feel success, which ultimately, creates more motivated learners. Overtime, students can begin to chart in their head. They can start to visualize their progress without marking an actual piece of paper, resulting in the best type of learner; a self-motivated one.
Some examples of student charts for words with digraphs. They're making great progress!