Supporting and motivating struggling students is a challenge that seems to grow over time. In this article, author and engagement expert Barbara Blackburn looks at five keys that can help teachers build motivation and persistence while also setting high expectations.
Tracking progress toward a larger goal helps us build a sense of achievement and the courage to keep going. “That’s the same cycle you want to build in your students,” says Barbara Blackburn, who shares ways to help kids see their growth and recall their victories.
Some teaching practices help strengthen students’ self-efficacy, motivation and confidence, while others create learned helplessness. Author-consultant Sarah Tantillo identifies 17 common teaching actions that lead to student inertia and offers better alternatives.
Reviewer Mary Langer Thompson believes every writing teacher needs Meigs-Kahlenberg’s The Author’s Apprentice, whether to expand their thinking of what writing can be or to put a year’s worth of strategies and ideas into action now. Writing novels with 7th graders?!
The Genius Hour Guidebook by Denise Krebs & Gallit Zvi provides a practical guide for teachers who want to encourage students to pursue their passionate interests and expand their 21st century skill set. Reviewer Laura Von Staden also recommends the companion website.
Want to shift ownership of the classroom to your students, give up reward and punishment systems, eliminate homework, and revamp your current grading system? Laura Von Staden suggests starting with Pernille Ripp’s resource-rich, inspiring Passionate Learners.
Both parents and teachers can benefit from reading Daniel Willingham’s thorough exploration of the science of reading and comprehension, gaining insights into what works with different age groups, says middle school educator Michael DiClemente.
The professional wisdom of teacher educator and consultant Barbara Blackburn shines through in “Motivating Struggling Learners,” writes 7th grade math teacher and coach Karen Bloom. Blackburn’s clear advice and multiple resources make the book “fantastic.”
Students need some dangling carrots, not to trick them but inspire them. Trying to get to the root of each individual learner, digging deeper in an effort to recognize each unique person’s contributions to the classroom, help build Mary Tarashuk’s Carrot Community.
In The New Teacher Revolution, Josh Stumpenhorst explains how the current system education is not working and offers specifics on things that teachers can do in their own classrooms to address these challenges. Laura Von Staden recommends the book to all teachers.