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Today’s Essential Question: How do we motivate reluctant learners? What are the reasons behind some students’ reluctance to learn? What are the special challenges of motivating socially and economically disadvantaged students?

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  1. Today’s Essential Question: How do we motivate reluctant learners? What are the reasons behind some students’ reluctance to learn? What are the special challenges of motivating socially and economically disadvantaged students? How does race and ethnicity affect how students respond to instruction and opportunities to learn? What really works with reluctant learners? MOTIVATING RELUCTANT LEARNERS • Please DO NOW: • Please list and/or explain all the factors that impact a child’s achievement in school. • List 5 factors

  2. CLOSING ACHIVEMENT GAPS… • “We focus on what schools can do, recognizing that many of the reasons for a young person’s disengagement from school lie far beyond school.” • Engaging Schools: Fostering High School Students’ Motivation to Learn , The National Research Council, 2003. Source:Emetric, Oct 2011

  3. What are the reasons behind some students’ reluctance to learn? • Self-efficacy, a person’s belief about his or her capability to accomplish meaningful tasks, directly affects his or her motivation to learn. • Lack of relevance -Lack of challenge • Fear of failure -Desire for attention • Peer concern -Emotional distress • Learning problems -Expression of anger Think/Ink/ Pair- Write 4 lines: How do the decisions a teacher makes in the classroom influence the factors that influence self-efficacy?

  4. Classroom Practices that Influence Motivation (Dolezal, Welsh, Vincent, 2003) • Teacher comments tie success to effort, not ability. Effort creates ability. • Environment in which working together and improving is stressed over winning • Displays of student work and accomplishments • Scaffolding for struggling students • Positive and specific feedback • Activation of prior knowledge before new material • Monitoring students behavior and attentiveness • Established routines and procedures • Correct level of difficulty- not too low or high • Positive classroom and approaches • Well planned and paced lessons • Learning to learn is emphasized over simply completing a task • Inspiring, energetic instructional practices “A large and growing body of literature is available on the determinants of motivation....in classroom situations, achievement motivation is a product between student characteristics and instructional practices.”-Okolo, Bahr, and Gardner, 1995 Source: Motivating Reluctant Learners, from the ERS, 2004.

  5. What are the special challenges of motivating socially and economically disadvantaged students? “Engaging adolescents cognitively and emotionally in school and academic work is a challenge regardless of the social or economic status of the student or the location of the schools. Adolescents are too old and too independent to follow teachers’ demands mindlessly, and many are too young, inexperienced, or uninformed to fully appreciate the value of succeeding in school. Academic motivation decreases steadily from the early grades of elementary school into high school, and disengagement from coursework is common at the high school level. Students living in low-income communities are not alone in being less than enthusiastic about schoolwork. But when students from advantaged backgrounds become disengaged, even though they learn less than they could, they usually get by or they get second chances; most eventually graduate and move on to other opportunities. In contrast, students from disadvantaged backgrounds..are less likely to graduate and face severely limited opportunities. In addition to having greater burdens and distractions, the consequences of being unengaged or dropping out of school are more serious for youth who do not have the social and other resources to cushion the effects of academic failure. Their failure to acquire the basic skills needed to function in adult society, whether or not they complete high school, dramatically increases their risks of unemployment, poverty, poor health, and involvement in the criminal justice system.” -Engaging Schools: Fostering High School Students’ Motivation to Learn, 2003.

  6. LET’S PLAY JEOPARDY Based on the research of Dr. Ruby K. Payne “Here is a simple fact: Wide, abundant reading is the surest route out of poverty and the limitations that impose themselves on the less literate. Reading changes everything.” -Mike Schmoker

  7. Hidden rules of poverty for 100. If you are born into poverty, you better start reading A- True B- False True – An education is the key to getting out, and staying out, of poverty

  8. Hidden rules of poverty for 200 The family structure in poverty tends to be A. patriarchal (headed by the father) B. matriarchal (headed by the mother) C. depends on who has the money B - matriarchal

  9. Hidden rules of poverty for 300. • When a child has not had access to appropriate role models, which of these is NOT a way to provide emotional support for that child: • A – Establishing long-term relationships by mentoring through a charismatic adult • B- Teaching goal setting • C- The “Do as I say, not as I do” approach • D. Role modeling provided by teachers, administrators, and staff C

  10. Hidden rules of poverty for 400 What is the driving force for people living in poverty? A- financial, political, and social connections B- survival, relationships, and entertainment C- work and achievement B

  11. Hidden rules of poverty for 500 Which socio-economic class believes that destiny is controlled by good choices we make now? A- poverty B- middle class C- wealthy B People in poverty believe in fate. There is not much that can be done to mitigate chance. The wealthy believe they have an obligation to share with those less fortunate (Noblesse oblige)

  12. Hidden rules of poverty for 600 All of the behaviors listed below can be considered “behaviors related to poverty” except for one. Which one? • Laughing while disciplined • Making inappropriate or vulgar comments • Physical fighting • Following directions D A saves face B shows reliance on the casual register of language C shows a “real man” behavior

  13. Registers of language for 100 All standardized tests are written in the formal register of language (includes: complete sentences and standard word choice acceptable at work and school ). People living in poverty use an incomplete sentence syntax along with a more general word choice that is not as specific The register of language that people living in poverty use is called: • Frozen • Casual C. Intimate B- Casual Frozen- Prayers, vows, etc INTIMATE- Between lovers or twins

  14. Registers of language for 200 The formal register of language can be acquired through random exposure to it • True • False B- it needs to be directly taught

  15. Registers of language for 300 • A speaker using the casual-register discourse pattern • A. “Beats around the bush” before making a point • Gets straight to the point • Cannot ever make a point A-This is why writing can be so difficult for students living in poverty.

  16. Registers of languagefor 400 • Support systems for students living in poverty can include all of these EXCEPT: • Teaching students to take their fights off-campus so that they don’t get in trouble at school • Teaching students how to use positive self-talk • Teaching students how to plan and set goals • Teaching students how to access information that their parents should really be teaching them A- fighting is the way to resolve problems for people living in poverty. People living in middle class are taught to use words

  17. The cycle of poverty for 100 In generational poverty (when the family has lived in poverty for at least two generations), which of these is NOT one of the primary roles of a “real man”: • Be a provider • Physically work hard • Be a fighter • Be a lover A – Being a provider is a middle class value

  18. The cycle of poverty for 200 Which of these is NOT a characteristic of generational poverty? • A job is about making enough money to survive and is rarely about finding the ultimate “career” • No matter what else is happening, the TV set is ON • Discipline involves punishment. The purpose of this punishment is to help children CHANGE their behaviors D. Most of what occurs in their lives is reactive and “in the moment.” Little thought is given to planning ahead. C- the purpose is about penance and forgiveness, not change

  19. The cycle of poverty for 300 Most people who live in poverty do not believe they are poor, even when they are on welfare. A- True B- False A- Although this is a generalization, often they do not believe they are “poor” and can be offended if they are referred to as such. There is a similar mindset among the most wealthy.

  20. Literacy andClosing Gaps “Here is a simple fact: Wide, abundant reading is the surest route out of poverty and the limitations that impose themselves on the less literate.”- Mike Schmoker “Caring teachers with high expectations helped me read my way out. They helped me push against the currents of the environment in which I lived. They did not limit their aspirations for me because my pants were too short. They did not lower expectations for me because my lunch application told them I lived below the poverty line. Instead, they required me to read the basal textbooks, as well as the local newspaper, historical documents, poetry, and literature. These teachers had Harvard dreams for students living in hellish conditions. Literacy was thrust upon me in rich and meaningful ways, not because I was a wonderful student, but because the teachers believed I deserved nothing less. I was a young adolescent being apprenticed towards success. Literacy, based on concepts of culture, community, and caring, was the vehicle to that success.” - Alfred Tatum

  21. Implications for Teaching Children of Poverty “When it comes to closing achievement gaps, big interventions are not always big enough- and small interventions can yield surprising results”- Nisbett, ASCD, Nov 2010 • Think/Ink/ Pair- Write 4 lines: What are some things that I can do that can minimize the negative effects of a culture of poverty?

  22. Implications for Teaching Children of Poverty • No significant learning occurs without a significant relationship. School connectedness refers to an academic environment in which students believe that adults in the school care about their learning and about them as individuals. • Assign students a mentor who help him or her explore a variety of issues related to school adjustment. • Ask students to write about their most important values- sports, school achievement, family, and so on. “Reluctant learners need to feel that they are heard, that their stories, their voices, their questions, and their contributions matter.” ( Landsman, Moore, and Simmons, ASCD, 2008.) • Students who believe that ability is a matter of hard work get higher grades than students who believe their ability is fixed from birth. EMPHASIZE EFFORT OVER SMARTNESS. TEACH KIDS THEIR INTELLIGENCE IS UNDER THEIR OWN CONTROL.

  23. How does race and ethnicity affect how students respond to instruction and opportunities to learn?Article Analysis: Another Inconvenient Truth: Race and Ethnicity Matter -Hawlye and Nieto, ASCD, 2010 • Examining some common nonproductive beliefs: • To be fair to all students, one should be color-blind and ignore racial differences. • One can build student self esteem by reducing academic rigor. • Teaching should be adapted to students’ learning styles. • Students must have good basic skills before teachers can engage them in complex learning activities. • Teachers cannot significantly influence student learning when there is a background of poverty. • There is no role for youth culture in academic classrooms. • Discussions of race and ethnicity are too controversial to be held in classrooms. • Families of minority kids do not value education and therefore do not attend school events.

  24. How does race and ethnicity affect how students respond to instruction and opportunities to learn? “We need to recognize an inconvenient truth- that when it comes to maximizing learning opportunities and outcomes for students from racially mixed backgrounds, race and ethnicity matter. Race and ethnicity influence teaching and learning in two important ways. They affect how students respond to instruction and curriculum and they influence teachers’ assumptions about how much students are capable of learning.” Hawlye and Nieto, ASCD, 2010 • Think/Ink/ Pair- Write 4 lines: Do I need to… • Re-think any of my instructional strategies • Re-think my curriculum choices • Re-think my assumptions • Re-think anything??? …. in order to maximize learning opportunities for my students from racially mixed backgrounds.

  25. What really works with reluctant learners? • NINE POWERFUL PRACTICES- RUBY PAYNE • Build Relationships of Respect • The teacher calls me by my name; answers my questions; talks to me respectfully; notices me and says hi; helps me when I need help • Make Beginning Learning Relational (Learning is Social) • Introduce new learning through pairs • Notice kids who are alone and react immediately • Teach Students to Speak in the Formal Register • Assess Each Students Resources- Financial, Emotional, Mental, Spiritual, Physical, Support systems, Relationships and role models, Knowledge of unspoken rules • Teach the Hidden Rules of School • “You don’t use the same set of rules in basketball that you use in football. It’s the same with school and other parts of your life. The rules of school are different from the rules out of school, so let’s make sure we know them.”

  26. Monitor Progress and Plan Interventions • Use instructional strategies that have the highest payoff • Translate the Concrete into the Abstract • Use stories, analogies, visual representations to make connections between something concrete they understand and an idea • Teach Students How to Ask Questions • Write to learn • Forge Relationships with Parents • Meet parents one on one first; explain what will happen in a large meeting, and end a meeting with one on one • Don’t use “educationese” with parents • Make sure parents know that people at the school care about their child. Communicate this early. • Whenever possible, be visible in the community where the student lives “Educators can be a huge gift to students living in poverty. In many instances, education is the tool that gives a child life choices. A teacher or administrator who establishes mutual respect, cares enough to make sure a students knows how to survive school, and gives the students the necessary skills is providing a gift that will keep affecting lives from one generation to the next.”- Ruby Payne

  27. WHAT REALLY WORKS?Engaging Schools: Fostering HS Students' Motivation to Learn • Increase student engagement • Activate prior knowledge, interests, culture, and real-world experiences • Vary instruction • Use strategies that actively engage the learner • Appropriate challenge level • Allow native language to help master and complete tasks • Use ongoing classroom assessment of students’ understanding and skills • Work with colleagues to refine and assess teaching practices on student learning. Hold each other accountable • Provide support to help students meet challenging standards • Scaffold learning, model, re-teach, and provide many opportunities for practice • Help students set and meet short term goals in order to meet long term challenging standards • Students must experience success if they are to develop stamina for learning • Create strong relationships between teachers and all students • Build small learning communities • Model behaviors of trust and respect and refuse to tolerate disrespectful behavior • Form supportive personal relationships with students • Create opportunities for low-achieving students to interact with and develop friendships with more academically successful peers.

  28. WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? • Think/Ink/ Share- Three things I heard today that seem to really help hard to reach students… • Keep the conversation going- • Google sites/blog • Study Group- PLC • Resources • http://blogs.mbgsd.org/mfloreck/november-pd-succeeding-with-at-risk-students/

  29. WHAT WE CAN DO • “Individual teachers can’t control tax structures or national trends. We can’t fix broken homes. We can’t revamp our economic system to make things more equitable. However we can…..inspire students with our own fire, motivations, research, and ideas. We can give students confidence in their ability and their future. And we can create classrooms that are so vibrant, so full of life and laughter, with such high expectations and such a clear connection to the world, that even the most reluctant learner will be tempted to join in….By focusing on what we CAN do, we can reach many learners who appear to have given up.” - Landsman, 2008 • “Taking it to the Streets”. • My attempt to create a classroom “so vibrant, so full of life and laughter, with such high expectations and such a clear connection to the world…” • What can YOU do? • TICKET OUT THE DOOR:Write 4 lines. What can I do that I’m not already doing to help my most reluctant and at risk learners engage? Dear Deb…

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