Motivating 6th grade title 1 students

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Missymooya, Jun 11, 2019.

  1. Missymooya

    Missymooya New Member

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    Jun 11, 2019

    I can't be the only one with this struggle! I have great relationships with my students, give tons of choices and opportunities to complete work or replace poor grades and I am always in contact with parents via text messages. However, they are unmotivated! The homewokr I give once a week is completed by maybe 20 of my 105 students! Few attempt to fix poor grades, none study for tests and there is no buy in to our building PBIS. How can I motivate them to be their best??
     
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  3. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    Jun 11, 2019

    First of all, I don't have an answer. I had abysmal turn-in rates this year with my kids.

    That said, how are they performing on your assessments? Is it possible you are just adding to your frustration by giving homework? If your kids are learning the material then maybe the practice shouldn't be your concern. If they aren't learning and aren't working, well, like I said, sadly I don't have an answer. My kids love my class and many still failed this last year.
     
  4. Missymooya

    Missymooya New Member

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    Jun 11, 2019

    Rockguykev
    Thanks for replying. My students get tons of hw in 5th grade and I only give one assignment a week, but even that doesn't get done. I don't grade most of it, so that is not the issue. They check their work with partners and ask questions as needed. It's not just the hw that frustrates me. I offer "replacement" grades. Any grade they receive can be replaced with an additional assignment. To do this they must see me at lunch or study hall so I can find an assignment on the same topic and give them a second chance. They just DON'T care and that is my frustration. We have incentive activities or field trips every 5 weeks...that doesn't motivate them either. I have almost 30% of my students failing this year, not that that matters. Summer school is optional and no one gets held back until they hit 9th grade!
     
  5. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I e found that my turn in rate is better with more frequent homework. They seem to forget about it when it isn’t frequent. Some kids, however, will never do it no matter what.
     
  6. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    I teach Grade 9 to a bunch of unmotivated students who really couldn’t give a rats behind to what their grades are. This is how I try to motivate them. My assessments are not frequent, probably 2-3 times a term but it makes up 90% of their grade. I scaffold the heck of the assessments. We do it in class, question by question, over the course of a week of so, we discuss the questions, I give them websites to research etc. and I think this what has really worked is I collect the assessments at the end of every lesson and mark the questions that were done that lesson. I tell them if they get their “ticks” for each question then they never have to look at that question again. If they get all the ticks required then they pass. It seems to work. I’ve had many more passes and submissions and the kids proactively come to me too see if they have written “enough” to get their “tick” for the day.
     
  7. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    Sounds like we are in a similar boat, sadly. I had about a 30% fail rate with my 7th graders last year. They actually did okay, some of them, on tests. I felt awful about it until I talked to the high school teachers who said over 60% of their freshman failed a class last year. At least I'm holding mine to a standard that they will appreciate later.

    So, keep pushing, keep trying but don't get too down on yourself. The culture is changing, and not for the better.
     
  8. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Jun 12, 2019


    It is interesting, but are they retaining the information they are getting ticks for. There is a big difference between what is produced in the process of learning or having just had something explained rather than retaining the information for use later on, which is a big part of learning.

    If they are not really retaining the information, they are basically getting passed for effort, not real mastery.
     
  9. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    These are research type assessments or practicals I’m helping them with. At that moment in time, they are learning how to write reports, answer questions, do research and can demonstrate they can, with help. It’s really this or nothing. I literally get nothing back if I don’t scaffold them. They just haven’t got the motivation or knowledge to do things independently.
    When it comes to major tests that test real content knowledge where I can’t help them they don’t study or attempt to try.
     

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