When do you feel most motivated?

It’s unlikely your answer is, when I’m studying for an arbitrary standardized test or completing activities that require rote memorization. Perhaps you feel most motivated when you’ve set clear goals for yourself that are meaningful to you or when you’re working on a project that draws on a passion of yours.

This month’s resource roundup focuses on how you can truly engage students in meaningful ways so that students will eager and motivated leaders and learners.

Get your students fired up!

If students are dazed, disinterested and dozing off, it’s clearly time to create more student-driven lessons. Read these 10 Tips for Launching an Inquiry Based Classroom to get started.

Project based learning has become quite the education buzzword lately, but what about Passion Based Learning? If you want to get the most out of your students, read Ainissa Ramirez’s advice on drawing on student’s passions and bringing your own!

Goal setting can be a great way to get students to take ownership over their own efforts, progress and achievement. Character.org Education Advisory Council member, Maurice Elias, wrote SMART Goal Setting with Students, which can help you get started.


Say goodbye to extrinsic rewards – what else do you have to offer students?

In his piece, “Strategies for Helping Students Motivate Themselves,” Larry Ferlazzo offers 4 qualities that are essential part of a motivated classroom:

Autonomy – offer your students freedom of choice
Competence – provide high quality feedback
Relatedness – establish strong relationships with your students
Relevance – show students why what they’re learning matters

Wondering why extrinsic rewards may in fact be harmful? Read David Ginsburg’s personal reflection, “My Biggest Regret as a Teacher: Extrinsic Rewards.”

If your school is already committed to PBIS, learn how you can use the program to go beyond the basic system of rules and rewards. Read how Rachael George of Sandy Grade School works to integrate intentional character development into the school’s PBIS program: Implementing PBIS: Helping Students Develop Resiliency And Emotionally Healthy Behaviors

Looking for a book that covers motivation in depth?

Check out The Motivated Brain: Improving Student Attention, Engagement & Perseverance newly released by ASCD.