Saturday, March 22, 2014

Spark Student Motivation Saturdays

Hello, Everybody!  Today is my first day of spring break.  I have a to do list a mile long, but most importantly, I am looking forward to spending some quality time with family and friends.

Today I am linking up with Joanne from Head Over Heels for Teaching for her awesome linky, Spark Student Motivation Saturday

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote this post about some reading projects that were going on in my classroom.  The students and I discussed the goals of their reading group and came up with a project to match their goals.

One book, The Trumpet of the Swan (Guided Reading level R), decided to do a scrapbook on Louis' life.

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This was working out great, until they saw some of the other groups.  Then, two of them wanted to switch to a Power Point, and one wanted to have part of hers on a Glogster.  (The fourth student wanted to keep working on the scrapbook.) We talked about how they could keep the same goals with their new project.  They got a new burst of enthusiasm and ended up doing a great job.

Although the combination of projects made scoring them slightly more challenging, I allowed for the change in projects because I knew it would be motivating for the students.  There are times, when I have to keep things "as is", but I truly believe that the more ownership students have, the better they perform.   

It may be cheating to write about two things, but I really wanted to thank Joanne for inspiring me to find a new way to use a great resource.

A few weeks ago, I read this post by Joanne on how she uses finger lights during reading.  I have used these for a while now during guided reading groups for students to "put the spotlight on" things like new vocabulary words or evidence in the text.


The students and I love using these lights to highlight particular parts of reading.  I had bought several sets of six at the beginning of the year. (I don't remember where, but I think it was at one of the dollar stores.)  However, after reading Joanne's post, I decided that I must get more and try out "Flashlight Friday".  I found this set of 80 on Amazon for $11.99.

These are actually much better than the ones that I originally bought.They are much easier to turn on and off.

Last week was our first Flashlight Friday using these lights.  For once, I was grateful for a cloudy morning because the room was really dark and students could see the full effects of the lights.  I am definitely planning to continue doing this every week.

Thank you, Joanne for another great idea and for hosting this awesome linky!

Have a great weekend, everyone!


  1. Oh my goodness, Mary! You have opened up a can of worms for me. I have never heard of Glogster {why am I always late to the party?}, and I checked out your older post about it. The possibilities are endless!!! I don't have time to play with it now, but I will be checking this out over the summer for use with it next year. I am totally seeing their CA research report being all digital next year using this. Thanks for the idea!

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  2. I remember one of my elementary school teachers reading Trumpet of the Swan. I truly enjoyed the book. I should probably do it with a group. Love the idea of the scrapbooks! I still need to look for the finger lights. We did Flashlight Friday in my class too and the kids enjoyed it. I need to pull them back out.
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  3. Oh my! I am soooo doing this! Just ordered my own set of lights! How fun, how motivating!