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Module 8

Classroom Motivation: Case Study Tracy Roberts University of New England

EDU !" #rofessor $%erman &ctober ''( ')!!

*ntroduction

Module 8 +evin is a !st ,rader at -ivian .ussey #rimary Sc/ool in 0erwic%( Maine1 .e is si2 years old( wit/ a birt/ date of 3uly !4( '))"1 5/en +evin arrived into my classroom in Se6tember( /e was wit/drawn( timid( and /ad minimal interactions wit/ /is 6eers1 *n grou6 settings( +evin would often s/y away from interacting and it a66eared t/at /e did not connect well wit/ /is classmates1 5/en wor%ing inde6endently( +evin would 6lace /is /ead down on /is des%( /ide in t/e classroom cubby area( ri6 /is assignments( or scribble on t/e 6a6er wit/ mar%er1 &ne of t/e first t/ings * observed in +evin was /is 6/ysical 6lay1 .e was rat/er roug/ wit/ /is friends( often /itting and 6us/ing t/em to gain t/eir attention1 T/is stems from t/e fact t/at +evin /as an eig/t year old brot/er at /ome and t/e two s/are t/e same rambunctious be/avior( often times resulting in fig/ts or roug/7/ousing1 +evin currently lives wit/ /is 6aternal grandmot/er( and most recently reconnected wit/ /is biological mot/er and fat/er1 .e visits wit/ t/em every ot/er wee%end( w/om also live in 0erwic%( Maine1 $cademically( +evin is reading at a 8evel 09'( w/ic/ is slig/tly lower t/an e26ected u6on entrance into !st ,rade1 .e recogni:ed 4 out of t/e first !)) sig/t words( w/ic/ is significantly lower t/an /is 6eers1 5riting is a laborious tas% for +evin because /e is still wor%ing to gras6 /is letter sounds and struggles wit/ /is 6encil gri6( in/ibiting /is correct letter formation1 .e does en;oy illustrating /is story boo%s( /owever( and will often s6end time on t/ose1 Mat/ematically( +evin is wor%ing below grade level1 .e /as trouble wit/ basic number sense( so we<re wor%ing on t/at before we can start many of our !st ,rade mat/ s%ills1 *n bot/ 8iteracy and Mat/( +evin<s D*0E8S scores labeled /im =*ntensive *ntervention> and /e was recently 6ic%ed u6 for Title ! su66ort in bot/ areas1 * /ave /ad several discussions wit/ +evin<s %indergarten teac/er and s/e confirms a lot of t/ese be/aviors and academic 6atterns1 *n t/e 6revious year of sc/ool( +evin would tantrum

Module 8 w/en /e reac/ed a level of frustration( eit/er wit/ academics or be/avior management1 T/ese tantrums including t/rowing /is body to t/e floor( crying( and isolating /imself from t/e grou6 for /ours at a time1 +evin /as some ama:ing strengt/s as a !st ,rader1 .e en;oys educational games on t/e *#ad or classroom la6to6 and /as wonderful gross motor s%ills1 .e is active and tremendously /ands7on1 Science is a strong 6oint for +evin because /e li%es to e26eriment wit/ ob;ects and e26lore1 .e en;oys t/in%ing outside of t/e bo2 and tends to /ave an abstract view of t/ings1 .e ta%es 6leasure in finding out w/y and /ow ob;ects o6erate1 +evin is always willing to lend a /el6ing /and( and is em6at/etic and sensitive1 &bservations * observed +evin during four daily activities in our !st ,rade classroom1 T/ese activities are routine to us( and e26ectations are very clear1 T/e reason t/at * c/ose t/ese activities is because t/ey are of varying degrees and t/ey truly give a glim6se into +evin<s motivation and engagement in our classroom1 T/ese activities range from inde6endent( 6artner( and small grou6 wor%1 T/ey touc/ u6on different academic areas and re?uire many different modes of learning1 T/e first observation too% 6lace during our mat/ bloc% and was during t/e Unit ! assessment for our Everyday Mat/ematics 6rogram1 T/is was a formal assessment( described by $nderman @')!)A as =one t/at /as been 6lanned and sc/eduled in advance( suc/ as unit e2aminations( wee%ly s6elling ?ui::es( and standardi:ed e2aminations> @61 "BA1 #reviously( we s6ent about t/ree wee%s learning t/e material and 6artici6ating in reinforcement Mat/ 5or%stations and +evin /ad met or 6artially met all of /is Unit ! mat/ standards @informally( t/roug/ ,uided Mat/ grou6 and our Everyday Mat/ematics Student 3ournal 6agesA1

Module 8 T/e assessment is administered w/ole grou6 so t/at t/e directions can be read to t/e c/ildren and instructions understood1 T/e students were 6laced at t/eir individual des% areas @arranged in a table formation( wit/ students 6er tableA1 During t/is time( * noticed t/at +evin

was not engaged( as /e was loo%ing around t/e classroom aimlessly1 $s t/e assessment continued( +evin became distraug/t and was not coo6erating1 .e 6roceeded to =elbow> /is 6a6er to t/e floor and cried( wit/ /is /ead down on t/e des%1 ,iven t/e information t/at +evin was successful wit/ t/ese mat/ conce6ts in 6revious lessons or activities( * felt /is motivation was being /indered by /is self7efficacy1 $nderman suggests t/at =self7efficacy is anot/er motivational variable t/at can be affected by assessments and can im6act student 6erformance on assessments> @61 8A1 Self7efficacy refers to an =individual<s belief in /is or /er ability to succeed at a s6ecific tas%> @$nderman( ')!)( 61 8A1 * also contributed some of +evin<s declining motivation to test an2iety because =many students e26erience debilitating an2iety w/en t/ey are assessed> @$nderman( ')!)( 61 4A1 Cor t/is 6articular activity( +evin was reassessed on a one7on7one basis1 #rior to testing /im( we reviewed some of t/e s%ills t/at were reinforced and made connections to 6revious activities9lessons1 T/is allowed +evin to recall /is abilities wit/ t/ose mat/ conce6ts and /is self7efficacy was /eig/tened and test an2iety was reduced1 =Crom a self7efficacy 6ers6ective( students must believe t/at t/ey /ave t/e cognitive abilities to successfully com6lete a tas%1 5/en students receive feedbac% t/at indicates t/ey are truly learning and understanding t/e material( self7efficacy will be en/anced> @$nderman( ')!)( 61 !BDA1 Cor +evin( being ta%en out of t/e restricted assessment environment 6roved to be %ey in demonstrating /is mat/ abilities and increasing /is motivation towards t/e assignment1

Module 8 Cor t/e second classroom observation( * watc/ed as +evin wor%ed wit/ /is collaborative 6artner during our 8iteracy 5or%stations1 Daily( students in our classroom are as%ed to 6air u6 wit/ t/eir literacy 6artners and com6lete t/ree different tas%s1 T/e wor%stations visited are #oetry( 5riting( 0ig 0oo%( 0uddy Reading( Classroom 8ibrary( Com6uter( 5ord Study( .andwriting( and 8istening Center1 $ timer is set for !" minutes and students are e26ected to wor% inde6endently( as ,uided Reading grou6s and direct instruction is ta%ing 6lace during t/is time1 $s 6art of our literacy management board( +evin was re?uired to ta%e 6art in t/e 0ig 0oo% 5or%station for t/e first !" minute interval of our 8iteracy 0loc%1 Cor 8iteracy 5or%stations( students are granted a variety of c/oice1 Eac/ station contains materials to differentiate instruction( using various materials1 T/e 0oo% 0oo% 5or%station( for e2am6le( /as a buc%et wit/ 6ointers( voice recorders for fluency( word cards for recogni:ing sig/t words( and a ;ournal for ;otting down illustrations of our favorite 6arts of t/e story1 T/ese o6tions tie in wit/ between7tas% c/oices1 $nderman @')!)A e26lains t/at =it is sometimes 6ossible to allow students to c/oose t/eir own academic tas%s1 More s6ecifically( students can be given t/e o66ortunity to c/oose from a variety of o6tions> @61 !!BA1 T/e 0ig 0oo% 5or%station also /as a laundry bas%et filled wit/ te2t1 T/e te2t is vivid and of differentiated levels1 &ne of t/e reasons for t/is is because =w/en students can follow and understand t/e material t/ey are reading( t/ey are li%ely to maintain a /ig/er level of interest in t/e assignment> @$nderman( ')!)( 61 !EA and =vivid imagery in te2ts can /el6 to maintain and 6romote student interest in te2t> @$nderman( ')!)( 61 !EA1 +evin and /is literacy 6artner c/ose to use t/e word /unt cards in t/e 0ig 0oo% 5or%station1 T/is meant t/at t/eir tas% was to use word cards( derived from our Classroom 5ord 5all of sig/t words and Sitton s6elling words( and attem6t to locate t/em t/roug/out t/e

Module 8 c/osen big boo%1 T/is was a coo6erative activity( described by $nderman @')!)A as an activity w/ere =students< success is de6endent on t/e success of t/eir classmates1 T/at is( in coo6erative learning settings( students /ave to wor% toget/er and ensure t/at t/eir 6eers e26erience t/e same success in order to be successful t/emselves> @61 8DA1 +evin was tremendously engaged during t/is activity( motivated( and 6roud of /is success1 .is facial e26ression 6roved /ow 6leased /e was wit/ /is 6artner and t/e activity( and /e was eager to move onto t/e ne2t word card( after successfully com6leting a word1 +evin<s t/ird observation too% 6lace during our 5riting 5or%s/o6 bloc%1 T/is runs as e2actly t/at( a wor%s/o61 Some students are wor%ing on stretc/ing t/eir stories( w/ile ot/ers are illustrating t/eir 6ictures1 Students are 6eer7editing and ot/ers are meeting at t/e %idney table for t/eir inde6endent writing conferences1 &ur 5riting 5or%s/o6 bloc% begins wit/ a mini7lesson from 8ucy Cal%ins Units of Study +7'( t/en students 6ic% u6 t/eir 5riting Colders1 T/ey may c/oose to start a new story( wor% on an unfinis/ed story( or edit and revise a 6revious story1 Materials are 6laced around t/e classroom( and students wor% in an inde6endent fas/ion( grabbing w/at t/ey need as t/ey go1 T/e 5riting 5or%s/o6 lasts about D) minutes( and ends wit/ a grou6 s/are1 Students are as%ed to revisit t/e day<s mini7lesson and s/are a 6lace in t/eir 5riting Colder w/ere t/ey /ave 6ortrayed t/at s%ill( w/et/er it be as sim6le as adding 6unctuation or getting t/eir feet wet wit/ a new writing craft1 &ne of t/e most im6ortant 6arts of our 5riting 5or%s/o6( /owever( is our #ersonal 5riting ,oals1 Eac/ student /as a boo%let( w/ic/ contains t/eir #ersonal 5riting ,oals1 Some of t/ese are in 6lace for t/e students( suc/ as s6ecific traits @ F! 5riting Traits by Rut/ Cul/am A( crafts @Crafting Goung 5riters by Eli:abet/ .aleA( or district grade7level standards1 T/e students are also encouraged to t/in% u6 some of t/eir own !st ,rade writing goals by

Module 8 as%ing t/emselves w/at t/ey would li%e to learn to do in writing before 'nd ,rade1 T/ese goals are ty6ed out in t/eir boo%let( and loo%ed at during inde6endent writing conferences1 $s soon as a goal /as been met @for instance( ca6itali:ing t/e beginning of every sentence or adding a describing wordA( we review it toget/er( /ig/lig/t t/e goal( and date it1 5e t/en confer about furt/er instruction for our inde6endent writing( as well as w/at goal @or goalsA to focus on ne2t1 $lt/oug/ writing is a difficult tas% for +evin( * found t/at on t/e day of t/e observation( /e was /ig/ly motivated and engaged1 +evin /ad c/osen to wor% on a craft involving illustration( w/ic/ was =filling u6 t/e 6age wit/ detailed and vivid 6ictures>1 .e was using colored 6encil to tell /is story1 *n 6revious days( +evin used mar%er and would /urry to get stic% figures on t/e 6age( but on t/is 6articular boo%( /e was t/oroug/ and elaborate1 .e 6artici6ated in an inde6endent writing conference t/e day before( w/ere we /ad discussed t/e goal and w/at would be e26ected to meet it1 *n t/e midst of /is wor%( +evin sto66ed w/at /e was doing to listen to a 6eer s/are /is writing and +evin commented to t/e ot/er student t/at /e =li%ed t/e ending t/e best>1 Ty6ically( +evin as%s to move /is c/air during 5riting 5or%s/o6 and would li%e to be in close 6ro2imity to an adult in t/e room( see%ing assistance wit/ /is writing1 .e loo%s for resources( w/et/er it be t/e 5ord 5all( Countas and #innell $l6/abet C/art( or anc/or c/arts created during our mini7lessons1 T/is aids +evin wit/ /is writing( w/ic/ is wonderful( since $nderman @')!)A comments t/at =w/en students e26erience motivational 6roblems( or w/en t/ey 6erceive t/at t/e classroom climate does not su66ort t/eir motivation( students may avoid see%ing /el6 from teac/ers or from ot/ers> @61!E)A1 $t times( /owever( t/ere may also be a bit of learned /el6lessness wit/ +evin<s writing( w/ic/ is w/en =c/ildren w/o e26erience a =/el6less> 6attern of ac/ievement be/avior as avoiding c/allenge( and not 6ersisting w/en encountering

Module 8 difficulty> @$nderman( ')!)( 61 !E4A1 T/ese are t/e moments t/at /e avoids actually 6ic%ing u6 t/e 6encil and writing words( based on t/e difficulty t/at t/is causes +evin1 Motivating +evin wit/ /is writing and our #ersonal 5riting ,oals would seem to fit under t/e ,oal7&rientation T/eory1 $s stated by $nderman @')!)A( a student w/o endorses mastery goals is involved wit/ t/e tas% in order to truly master t/e material t/at is being learned1 5/en students are mastery oriented( t/ey e2ert muc/ effort at academic tas%s( and t/ey com6are t/eir current 6erformance wit/ t/eir own 6ast 6erformances at t/e same tas%> @61 A( as in t/e e2am6le wit/ t/e detailed illustrations1 &ur writing conferences would also serve as a strategy for motivation because of t/e effective 6raise being offered( w/ic/ is c/aracteri:ed by =s6ecifying 6articular student accom6lis/ments( credibility of t/e 6raise( 6raise in recognition of effort( 6raise t/at is contingent on a s6ecific be/avior( 6raise t/at em6/asi:es students< effort and ability( and 6raise t/at com6ares a student<s 6resent accom6lis/ments wit/ /is or /er earlier accom6lis/ments> @$nderman( ')!)( 61 DEA1 T/e fourt/ and final observation of +evin<s motivation was conducted during an e26eriment( ta%en from t/e Coss Science #rogram used by our district1 $s an overall unit( our class /as been focusing on #ebbles( Sand( and Silt and for t/is 6articular lesson( we were sifting roc%s1 T/e c/ildren were as%ed to sift t/e roc%s using t/ree different si:ed sifters111small( medium( and large1 T/e 6ur6ose of t/e tas% was to observe t/e tiny roc%s @sand 6articleA( middle7si:ed 6ebbles( and large stones1 5e would t/en ta%e t/e e26eriment a ste6 furt/er by classifying and sorting t/e larger stones1 Students wor%ed in t/eir science grou6s to com6lete t/is tas%( ta%ing turns wit/ t/e ;ob of science ;ournals1 Cor t/is activity( we used wit/in7class grou6ing( meaning t/at =suc/ grou6s may be s/ort term( created for ;ust one brief 6ro;ect( or t/e

Module 8 grou6s mig/t be long term( formed wit/ an e26ectation t/at students will wor% toget/er for longer 6eriods> @$nderman( ')!)( 61 8)A1 $s sifting occurred( +evin was /ig/ly motivated and interacting ?uite well wit/ /is 6eers1 .e was ta%ing /is turn wit/ t/e sifters( as well as adding information into t/e grou6<s science ;ournal1 +evin was intrigued by t/e e26eriment and en;oyed watc/ing t/e roc%s sort by si:e1 T/e activity was meaningful( yet /ad a level of =fun> t/at +evin t/oroug/ly li%ed1 5/en t/e grou6 was as%ed to discuss 6ossible /y6ot/eses or conclusions( * observed +evin c/atting wit/ /is classmates( bouncing ideas off one anot/er1 Due to t/e %inest/etic nature( it was assumed t/at +evin would actively 6artici6ate( so observing /im in t/is state was e2citing1 +evin also led a =roc% /unt> for /is 6eers at recess time s/ortly t/ereafter( and started a roc% collection in our classroom so t/at we could continue to classify roc%s of all s/a6es( si:es( and colors1 To +evin( t/is Coss Science e26eriment would fall under t/e E26ectancy7-alue T/eory1 T/e underlying idea of t/is t/eory is t/at =motivation to engage wit/ a tas% is determined by bot/ one<s e26ectancies for success at a tas% and one<s 6erceived valuing of t/e tas%> @$nderman( ')!)( 61 "A1 More s6ecifically( +evin<s motivation was en/anced due to intrinsic value( w/ic/ refers to =/ow in/erently interesting( en;oyable( or li%e7able a tas% is to students> @$nderman( ')!)( 61 !BA1 .e was sim6ly valuing t/e tas% based on 6leasure and =w/en students are interested in a tas%( t/ey are li%ely to 6ersevere wit/ t/e tas%> @$nderman( ')!)( 61 !BA1 Effective Strategies 8oo%ing furt/er at t/e four observations ta%en of +evin during !st ,rade instructional activities and understanding /im as a learner( it is ?uite a66arent t/at +evin<s motivation can be increased using some of t/e motivational strategies discussed by $nderman @')!)A1 +evin see%s autonomy and is an inde6endent c/ild( so one of t/e most beneficial ways would be to

Module 8 incor6orate academic student c/oice1 Researc/ s/ows t/at =w/en students are 6rovided wit/ o66ortunities to ma%e c/oices in t/e classroom( motivation will be en/anced> @$nderman( ')!)( 61 !!DA1 $long wit/ t/at( =t/e 6erce6tion of control is very im6ortant for students and w/en students believe t/at t/ey /ave some control over outcomes( bot/ students and teac/ers benefit> @$nderman( ')!)( 61 !!DA1 $cademic c/oice is also a great way to differentiate instruction amongst diverse learners( so it would truly be beneficial across t/e board to use t/is strategy w/en motivating +evin( as well as ot/er students1 8ots of t/oug/t was also 6ut into t/e self7determination t/eory( in regards to +evin1 $nderman @')!)A describes t/e self7determination t/eory and it<s strategies argue t/at =/umans /ave t/ree basic needs: t/e need for autonomy @to feel a sense of self7directednessA( t/e need for com6etence @to feel ca6able of 6erforming certain tas%sA( and t/e need for relatedness @to feel connected and acce6ted wit/in a larger social networ%A> @$nderman( ')!)( 61 BA1 Self7 determination relates to a students< e2trinsic and intrinsic motivation and would drive +evin because of /is sense of being1 $s a c/ild( +evin tends to s/y away from social situations because /e<s afraid of failure and to be e2cluded from t/e grou61 5it/ /is t/ree basic needs being met( +evin would /ave t/e strengt/ to 6ersevere over c/allenging tas%s and learning activities1 .aving taug/t +evin since Se6tember( * /ave learned a lot about /is self7esteem and self7 efficacy( w/ic/ u6on first glance( a66ear to be low1 Strategies t/at better /is self7efficacy towards certain academic abilities and tas%s would certainly /el6( but t/e social cognitive t/eory and it<s strategies mig/t be anot/er wonderful 6lace to loo% for suggestions on /ow to /el6 +evin grow1 $lbert 0andura<s Social Cognitive T/eory demonstrates t/at =individuals often learn and subse?uently engage in new be/aviors t/at are observed in ot/ers1 *n ot/er words( students can be motivated to engage in be/aviors t/ey see modeled by ot/ers( es6ecially if t/e individual

Module 8 being observed is 6erceived as being similar to t/e observer> @$nderman( ')!)( 61 "A1 $s a student( +evin 6uts lots of weig/t on w/at ot/ers t/in% of /im( teac/ers and 6eers ali%e1 $lt/oug/ /e struggles wit/ some tas%s( /e aims to 6lease and en;oys w/en ot/ers model for /im1 *t gives /im t/e confidence to try a tas% on /is own( and will wor% in con;unction wit/ /is self7 efficacy strategies1 Toget/er( it will allow +evin to understand /is learning abilities and 6ossibly ta%e ris%s in /is learning1 Conclusion &bserving +evin individually and ta%ing t/e o66ortunity to dissect t/e motivational t/eories and strategies discussed in t/is course /as s/ed some new lig/t for me1 T/ere will always be students w/o remind us of +evin( but * /ave truly learned t/at en/ancing motivation is not ;ust for t/ose students1 $s educators( we loo% to 6rovide a love of lifelong learning to our students and to create meaningful learning o66ortunities in w/ic/ everyone is engaged and active1 5e strive to ma%e our classroom a 6lace w/ere all c/ildren can learn( regardless of any diversity( and we learn to differentiate instruction so t/at it<s tailored to t/e needs of all students1 $s 6art of t/e differentiation t/at we so /eavily concentrate on in t/e recent years( w/at about t/e students w/o lac% motivation or need additional encouragement in order to succeedH *s motivation a 6ortion of diversity t/at we need to start investing more time and effort intoH * %now t/at for me( t/e answer to t/e last ?uestion is sim6le1 Differentiating instruction to meet t/e needs comes wit/out saying( but * also vow to increase t/e motivation of all my students1 5/en motivation is at its /ig/est( so is learning1 * feel( as a !st ,rade teac/er of diverse students( t/at w/en learning is at its 6ea%( success will be ac/ieved1 Marva Collins said it best =Success doesn<t come to you( you go to it>1

Module 8

References $nderman( E1M( I $nderman 81 .1 @')!)A1 Classroom Motivation1 U66er Saddle River( N3: #earson Education( *nc1 Tomlinson( C1 $1 @'))!A1 .ow to Differentiate *nstruction in Mi2ed7$bility Classrooms @'nd ed1A1 Reston -$: $SCD1

Module 8