Monday, May 25, 2015

Motivation Monday: Minute to Win It

My fifth graders get bored with repetition, so I am always looking for new ways to  motivate them. 

Our school does Reading Rangers, which is a program to inspire students to read independently and move up through badges and ranger level graduations.  While it's in no way perfect because no program is and not every strategy works for every student, I found that in my first year of using this program my students were extremely motivated to read and talk about their books with each other, which is a welcome change.  Last year, even with all my high readers, I still struggled to get them to complete their assignments.  This year, a much higher percentage of my students were motivated to independently read, which is fantastic.

However, it's also the end of the school year and many of them need an additional push.  So, with the help of pinterest ideas, I came up with mystery motivators (minute to win it challenges).

I used a random number generator to make five student groups and they were competing for:
-highest overall percentage correct
-most number of quizzes passed (with failing quizzes counting for negative points)
-most engagement from the whole team

They had a week to complete their goals and I did daily points updates.

After a week of competition, I revealed the winning teams.  The top 3 teams in each category got to participate in minute to win it games.

I chose the following games:
1) Cookie to mouth, using oreos.  Students had a minute to get the oreo from their foreheads into their mouths without using their hands.

2) 100 cup stack challenge.  Goal: create the highest cup structure in a minute.

3) Balancing act.  Using a tongue depressor and linking cubes, they had to stack the cubes on top of the tongue depressors and hold their structure for sixty seconds.

Here is a snapshot of the challenges:

My favorite part? The total cost to me was under ten dollars and they were so motivated to read and win!

How do you motivate your students?

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