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Motivating Disengaged Students Useful Methods and Ideas for Educators


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Title: Motivating Disengaged Students Useful Methods and Ideas for Educators

Motivating Disengaged Students Useful Methods and
Ideas for Educators
  • Jack Baldermann
  • 708-243-0597


Riverside Brookfield High SchoolResults -
  • One of the Most Improved High Schools in
  • Top 150 Americas Best High Schools Newsweek
    (2006, 2007,2008, 2009) 300 increase in A.P.
  • 98 Graduation Rate Average(2004- 2008)
  • 100 Graduation Rate for Hispanic African
    American students (represent 21 of population)
  • Over 10 increase in PSAE scores (2001-2009)
  • _ Made AYP 2009 74.5 meets or exceeds for
    Hispanic students on Reading PSAE

  • Compassion and Respect
  • Continuous Improvement
  • Good is the Enemy of Great. Jim Collins
  • Leadership many leaders should emerge
  • True leadership only exists if people follow
    when they have the freedom not to. Jim Collins

I look for people who are psyched and ready to
do whatever it takes. Attitude is about being on
fireyouve got to approach work like its a
religious experience. Charlie Trotter,
Lessons in Excellence
Our Learning Target
  • 1. We will develop a better understanding of why
    students are not motivated.
  • Get into the mind of the unmotivated student
  • What does the research tell us?

Our Learning Target
  • 2. We will identify practices that have been
    proven to reach unmotivated students.

Our Learning Target
  • 3. Each participant will identify at least 3
    practices that he/she will start or stop doing.

  • Instruction begins when you, the teacher, learn
    from the learner put yourself in his place so
    that you may understandwhat he learns and the
    way he understands it.
  • -Soren Kierkegaard, The Journals, 1854.

  • When you see an unmotivated student, what do you
  • Describe this person
  • Give specific characteristics

  • How do you feel about this student?
  • What is your reaction?

  • Name one thing that you hate doing.
  • --------------------------------------
  • (please answer here)
  • Name one thing that you are
  • terrible at.
  • --------------------------------------
  • (please answer here)

How would you rate your intelligence?
Why are students not motivated?
  • They are protecting their self-worth.

Lack of Motivation Qualities of Unmotivated
  • Protecting Self-Worth
  • Use of self-defeating strategies
  • Withholding effort, cheating, procrastination,
    giving up, acting out, etc.
  • Behavior is a result of a fear of failure
  • Better to attribute failure to lack of effort
    than to lack of ability
  • James Raffini, Winners Without Losers Structures
    and Strategies for Increasing Student Motivation
    to Learn

Why are students not motivated?
  • They feel their effort will make no difference.

Why are students not motivated?
  • They do not find meaning or relevance in their

Lack of Motivation Qualities of Unmotivated
  • Why will I ever need to know this?
  • Without perceived value or purpose, students are
    less interested in offering their best effort.
  • Cannot find connections between schoolwork and
    the real world.

  • Understanding Why
  • Protecting self-worth
  • Effort will make no difference (given up hope)
  • Do not see relevance

  • How do we sometimes respond?

Review Common mistakes
  • The authoritarian attitude
  • Failure to establish positive relationships
  • Lack of relevance
  • Low/Unclear expectations

  • What do you do to motivate your students?
  • What successful strategies can you list?

What works at Wasson
  • Food
  • Modify and adjust as building relaitonship with
  • 2x10 strategy
  • Modify skills requirements to meet their
    interests and relevancy.
  • Find a role in the classroom that is significant
  • Set them up for success, confidence
  • Build relationship
  • Catch them doing something good and send it home.
  • Teach to seek and find relevance for themselves.
  • Learn the accomplishments and difficulties
    students have faced.
  • Show you take the time to learn about them from
    their other relationships.
  • Be resilient dont let the student wear you out

Motivation Strategies for Success
  • Build Strong Relationships

The Best Teachers
  • Have a deep respect for their students and they
    believe that every student can learn.
  • Know their subjects well and understand human
  • Prepare to teach with rigor and dedication.
  • Have high expectations of each student.
  • Create a learning environment where students are
    encouraged to think critically.
  • Self-evaluate and make necessary changes.

Ken Bain, What the Best College Teachers Do
Motivation Strategies for Success Build Strong
  • Offer constructive feedback that leads to a
    growth mindset
  • Believe and care
  • Small victories
  • Focus and build on strengths

Ahead of the Curve (DuFour, Reeves, Stiggins,
Guskey, Wiliam, Marzano et all)
  • Formative Assessment
  • and
  • Black and Wiliam Inside the Black Box
  • no other way of raising standards for which such
    a strong prima facie case can be made
  • (pg. 139)

Inside the Black Box - Black Wiliam
  • Feedback to any pupil should be about the
    particular qualities of his or her work, with
    advice on what he or she can do to improve, and
    should avoid comparisons with other pupils.
  • For formative assessments to be productive,
    pupils should be trained in self-assessment so
    that they can understand the main purpose of
    their learning and thereby grasp what they need
    to do to achieve.

Formative AssessmentCompetence Leads to
  • Identify strengths and learning gaps
  • Provide additional time and practice
  • Implement Corrective Instruction targeted at
    learning needs
  • Second chance to demonstrate learning

Dr. Carol Dweck Mindset (2006)Over 20 years of
research on student motivation
  • Intelligence is not fixed
  • A few modern philosophersassert that an
    individuals intelligence is a fixed quantity, a
    quantity which cannot be increased. We must
    protest and react against this brutal
    pessimismWith practice, training, and above all
    method, we manage to increase our attention, our
    memory, our judgment and literally to become more
    intelligent than we were before. (Alfred
    Binet-Modern Ideas About Children)

Growth Mindset vs. Fixed Mindset C. Dweck N.
Holmes-Mindset p. 245
  • Fixed Mindset
  • Intelligence is static
  • Leads to a desire to look smart and a tendency to
  • Avoid challenges
  • Get defensive or give up easily
  • See effort as fruitless or worse
  • Ignore useful constructive criticism
  • Feel threatened by the success of others
  • Avoid negative judgments
  • Leads to achieving less than their full potential

  • Growth Mindset
  • Intelligence can be developed therefore leads to
    a desire to learn and therefore a tendency to
  • Embrace challenges
  • Persist in the face of setbacks
  • See effort as the path to mastery
  • Learn from criticism
  • Find lessons and inspiration in the success of
  • As a result they reach ever higher levels of

  • Provide a secure environment that permits
    children to fail without penalty.
  • Teach that struggle is natural in the learning
  • The passion for stretching yourself and sticking
    to it even (or especially) when it is not going
    well, is the hallmark of the growth mindset.
    (Dweck p.7)

Strategic Comprehension A Model for Content Area
Literacy Across the Curriculum
  • Traditional Format
  • Reading Assignment Given (or activity)
  • Independent Reading/Doing
  • Discussion to see if students learned the main
  • Phase I
  • Frontloading Key
  • Vocabulary, Big Ideas, Clarify Purpose, Mental
    Anchors, Questions, etc.
  • Phase II
  • Teacher Mediated
  • Teach strategies directly
  • Read more than once
  • Chunk text
  • Structured discussion
  • Graphic Organizers
  • Phase III
  • Activities to reinforce extend reading
  • (Kevin Feldman)

Alternative to Tradition Questioning in a
Classroom Setting
  • Question to the Whole Class followed by random
    (usually the most motivated)
  • hand raising.
  • - Place students in pairs and call on all students

Difficult Conversations
  • 15 years of research at the Harvard Negotiation
    Project tells us
  • Douglas Stone, et al., Difficult Conversations,

Difficult Conversations
  • Seek first to understand
  • Learn their story
  • Problem-solve together

Difficult Conversations
  • Think like a mediator
  • Consider the Third Story
  • You must first understand before you can motivate

Difficult Conversations
  • Make it a learning conversation
  • Adopt the curiosity stance

Motivation Strategies for Success Make
Relevant Lessons
  • Whatever the expected learning outcomes, there
    must be a direct connection with the real world
    outside the classroom. Application of acquired
    learning is most significant in life-like
  • Daniel J. Burke, Connecting Content Motivation
    Educations Missing Link

Whereas many schools operate as if their primary
purpose is to ensure that children are taught,
PLCs are dedicated to the idea that their
organization exists to ensure that all students
learn essential knowledge, skills, and
dispositions. All the other characteristics of a
PLC flow directly from this epic shift in
assumptions about the purpose of the
school.Richard DuFour, Rebecca DuFour, Robert
Eaker Thomas ManyLearning by Doing
The Professional Learning Community
  • Exactly what is it we want all students to learn?
  • How will we know when each student has acquired
    the essential knowledge and skills?
  • What happens in our school when a student does
    not learn?
  • How will we respond when they already know it.
  • DuFour et al., Whatever It Takes, 2004. p. 21-24

Isolation ? Collaboration
  • Schools can guarantee all students have access
    to the same essential outcomes only when the
    teachers work together to clarify and commit to
    those outcomes.
  • DuFour et al., Whatever It Takes, 2004. p. 60

Pyramid of Interventions
DuFour et al., Whatever It Takes, 2004. p. 210
Riverside Brookfield High SchoolResponse to
Interventions (RtI) Strategies
Targeted Strategies Academic Support, ADA,
Ambassador Program, Behavior/Academic Referrals,
Blitz, Classroom Profiles, Correspondence
Courses, Counselor Watch Program, Drug Alcohol
Counseling, ESL, Executive Functioning Program,
Freshman Academic Success Seminar, Learning
Resource Center, National Honor Society Tutoring,
Parent/Student/Counselor/Teacher Meetings, Parent
Support Groups, Progress Monitoring, Read 180,
Social Worker Groups, Study Skills Course, Summer
School, Credit Recovery, Transition Teams,
Truancy Tickets, Zone Program
  • S.M.A.R.T. Goals
  • (Specific/Measurable/Attainable/Realistic/Time
  • Results by Mike Schmoker
  • Big Hairy Audacious Goals by Jim Collins
  • School Goal Setting (PLCs) by DuFour, DuFour
  • The Carrot Principle by Gostick Elton

Why Goals?
  • The Power of Goals
  • Provides Focus
  • Sense of Accomplishment for Teachers/Students
  • Pride

McRELs meta-analysis of 27 studies on successful
school leadership found
  • Set non-negotiable goals for achievement
  • Involve others in setting these goals
  • Continually monitor progress and make corrections
    when needed
  • Focus resources, especially for training, on
    district-wide goals
  • Robert Marzano J. Timothy Waters

  • Create quality instruction

The Big Four
  • Improving Student Learning One Teacher at a Time
  • Jane E. Pollock
  • Create robust, clear learning targets.
  • Design lessons around benchmarks.
  • Assessment linked to targets and instruction.
  • Give criterion-based feedback.

Lets Think About Grades
  • Where did the 100-pt./A-F grading scale originate
    in the U.S.?
  • The system is supported by what mathematical
    principles, logic, and/or research?

  • The 100-pt./A-F grading scale is flawed,
    arbitrary, and it lacks a mathematical
    foundation. Rethink zeroes and uneven intervals.
    Consider Standards Based grading.

Uneven Intervals vs. Even Intervals
A 91
B 81-90
C 71-80
D 61-70
F Zero
A 4
B 3
C 2
D 1
F Zero
Douglas B. Reeves. The Learning Leader, 2006.
  • Understand empathize with the unmotivated
  • Implement formative assessment
  • Cultivate a growth mindset
  • Build confidence and hope
  • Maintain a quality relationship
  • Create relevance
  • Beware authoritarian attitude
  • Maintain high expectations

  • Differentiate instruction/formative assessment
  • Establish S.M.A.R.T. goals
  • Address test anxiety study skill deficiencies
  • Rethink grading/evaluation
  • Utilize pyramid of interventions
  • Focus on learning vs. performance
  • Collaborate with colleagues

  • List at least 3 things that you will stop doing
    to unmotivated students.
  • --------------------------------------------------
  • --------------------------------------------------
  • --------------------------------------------------
  • --------------------------------------------------
  • --------------------------------------------------

  • Create a start/continue to do list of at least
    3 ideas to motivate students.
  • --------------------------------------------------
  • --------------------------------------------------
  • --------------------------------------------------
  • --------------------------------------------------
  • --------------------------------------------------

  • Bibliography
  • Ahead of the Curve The Power of Assessment to
    Transform Teaching and Learning. Solution Tree,
  • Bain, Ken. What the Best College Teachers Do.
    Cambridge, MA Harvard University Press, 2004
  • Ben-Shahar, Tal. Happier. New York
    McGraw-Hill, 2007.
  • Black, P. Wiliam, D. Inside the Black Box
    Raising Standards Through Classroom Assessment.
  • Burke, Daniel J.. "Connecting Context and
    Motivation." Peabody Journal of Education 70. 2.
    Winter 1995 66-81. 10 July 2007
  • Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly. Flow The Psychology of
    the Optimal Experience. New York Harper
    Collins, 1990.
  • Deci, E.L., Koestner, R. and Ryan, Richard M.,
    "Extrinsic Rewards and Intrinsic Motivation in
    Education Reconsidered Once Again." Review of
    Educational Research 71.1. Spring, 2001 1-27. 10
    July 2007 lthttp//www.jstor.comgt.
  • Dufour, R., Dufour R., Eaker R., Karhanek, G.
    Whatever it Takes. Bloomington, IN Solution
    Tree, 2004.
  • Dufour, R. Eaker, R. Professional Learning
    Communities at Work. Bloomington, IN National
    Educational Service, 1998.

  • Gray, T. Madson, L. Ten Easy Ways to Engage
    Your Students. College Teaching. Spring 2007
  • Heen, S., Patton, B., Stone, D. Difficult
    Conversations. New York Penguin, 1999.
  • Hidi, S., Harackiewicz, J.M., "Motivating the
    Academically Unmotivated A Critical Issue for
    the 21st Century." Review of Educational Research
    70.2. Summer, 2000 151-179. 09 July 2007
    lthttp//www. jstor.orggt.
  • Lepper, Mark R.. "Motivational Considerations in
    the Study of Instruction." Cognition and
    Instruction 5. 4(1988) 289-309. 10 July 2007
  • Levine, Mel. The Myth of Laziness. New York
    Simon Schuster, 2003.
  • Marzano, Robert J. Classroom Assessment and
    Grading that Work. Alexandria, VA Association
    for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2006.
  • Marzano, Robert J. Transforming Classroom
    Grading. Alexandria, VA Association for
    Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2000.
  • Marzano, Robert J. What Works in Schools
    Translating Research into Action. Alexandria, VA
    Association for Supervision and Curriculum
    Development, 2003.
  • Marzano, R.J., Norford, J.S., Paynter, Pickering,
    D.J., Gaddy, B.B. A Handbook for Classroom
    Instruction that Works. Alexandria, VA
    Association for Supervision and Curriculum
    Development, 2001.

  • Marzano, R.J., Pickering, D.J., Pollock, J.E.
    Classroom Instruction that Works. Alexandria, VA
    Association for Supervision and Curriculum
    Development, 2001.
  • Milton, Ohmer. Making Sense of College Grades
    Why the Grading System Does Not Work and What Can
    Be Done About It. San Francisco Jossey-Bass,
  • Pollock, Jane E. Improving Student Learning One
    Teacher at a Time. Alexandria, VA Association
    for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2007.
  • Raffini, James. Winners Without Losers
    Structures and Strategies for Increasing Student
    Motivation to Learn. Boston Allyn and Bacon,
  • Reeves, Douglas B. The Learning Leader.
    Alexandria, VA Association for Supervision and
    Curriculum Development, 2006.
  • Schlechty, Phillip C. Shaking up the
    Schoolhouse. San Francisco Jossey-Bass, 2001.
  • Schmoker, Mike. Results Now. Alexandria, VA
    Association for Supervision and Curriculum
    Development, 2006.
  • Tileston, Donna W. 10 Best Teaching Practices.
    Thousand Oaks, CA Corwin Press, 2005.
  • Wigfield, A., Eccles, J.S., and Rodriguez, D.,
    "The Development of Children's Motivation in
    School Contexts." Review of Research in Eductaion
    23(1998) 73-118. 09 July 2007 lthttp//jstor.orggt.