I work with many high school students who are struggling readers. For them, school may not have always been a positive experience, so figuring out what motivates them is particularly important. Usually, I find that in my reading intervention classes they are motivated by the fact that we are working with their grade level textbooks-- they are no longer being exposed solely to the CVC (consonant vowel consonant) words that they have been struggling to master for years, but they are expected to break down multi-syllabic words that they will encounter throughout high school, college, and their careers. In addition to this component, I have found it helpful to use Rick Lavoie's resources on motivation. Please watch the video below:
We have probably all had students, like the one Lavoie mentions in the video, and I can sympathize with the teacher because when you have 50-150 students sometimes it's difficult to see patterns such as the one described. To find out what motivates my students early on I give this motivation survey at the beginning of the year:
I give this survey as a whole class activity, so that I can read it to students, and explain some of the terminology. Lavoie has identified 8 motivational forces, and after students take the quiz you can help them identify what their motivational force(s) are. It also describes each one:
1. The Need to Interact with Others
2. The Need for Independence
3. The Need to be Important
4. The Need to Know
5. The Need to Assert
6. The Need to Control
7. The Need for Acknowledgement
8. The Need to Associate and Belong
This has been very helpful, and it has changed the way I view student motivation (and even my own)! Enjoy!
Ms. Young is a teacher who wants to keep a record of what works!