Friday, February 22, 2013

Freebie Friday! Sending Home a Positive Note to Parents with a Focus on Effort!

Are you looking for ways to increase effort and motivation during guided reading? I am often working with struggling readers who are looking for some sort of extrinsic reward for doing their work during guided reading. (In my head I'm saying, "Are these kiddos crazy? Can't they just cooperate and be proud of their work for the day? Why do they think they need to get something every time they do their work?")

And then it hits me; they're just kids and they want to feel appreciated for their work. This can be time consuming on our end, constantly rewarding them with some tangible item. It also rarely sends students off with an intrinsic feeling of accomplishment.  Extrinsic rewards have their time and place, but ultimately helping our students build a sense of self-worth for their hard work is most important. 

While we set high expectations and guidelines for what students' behavior should look like and we want them to show pride in their work, sometimes just "playing school" isn't enough.

I have been trying to find a balance of how to keep some students motivated, engaged, and most importantly proud of their work for trying their best.  Sometimes our most struggling learners have a hard time staying engaged or motivated if they don't "get anything for it."  

Some of our struggling readers are looking for a little more reinforcement and praise for their efforts. I created these 'Good News' tickets for students to earn as a way to show them how proud I am of their hard work and effort during guided reading.  

A note, such as this, gives students the instant gratification that they are looking for, a sense of accomplishment, and confidence! It's a great way for students to share something their proud of with their parents.  

Positive messages at home can be very powerful. They can also encourage our students to try their best more often.  The more positive experiences they have, the more they will intrinsically want to get better and be up for the challenge and try harder each day! 

I try to hand them out to at least one student each day in each of my guided reading groups to show them I appreciate their hard work and effort. 

Ultimately, we want our students to feel proud of their hard work. And sometimes, just giving them this reinforcement helps them internalize it!

                                 Click on the image to get your own free download! 

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