WORKSHOP JOURNAL AND HANDOUTS The Motivation Equation: Designing Motivation into Deeper Learning COSEBOC conference, April 25, 2013

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1 WORKSHOP JOURNAL AND HANDOUTS The Motivation Equation: Designing Motivation into Deeper Learning COSEBOC conference, April 25, 2013 Presented by Kathleen Cushman, co-founder of What Kids Can Do For more on the Motivation Equation, go to or contact NOTES & REFLECTIONS 1

2 STUDENT QUESTIONNAIRE FOR MOTIVATION & MASTERY About your activities and interests: What do you do after school? What would you like to do after school? What are some other things you really enjoy doing? About the way you learn: Do you like this subject? Why or why not? What would you really like to learn about in this class? How much homework do you expect? Describe the way you learn things best. How do you feel about working in groups? Is there anything that makes this class especially hard for you? Can you think of a way I could help you with this? Who would you like me to tell when you do something especially well? Is there anything else about you that you would like me to know? Copyright What Kids Can Do, Inc. (wkcd.org) 2

3 Transcript BUILDING A SCHOOL CULTURE OF READING A Video Case Study in Practice (to view this video and more like it, go to firesinthemind.org/videos/) Christian: In the beginning, I didn t really like reading that much. I kinda viewed reading as punishment. I thought reading was something teachers gave us to keep us busy for the moment. STRATEGY: Choose What You Read Umma: I spent 30 minutes reading a 8 page book that s how much I didn t like reading! But this, we have a full option to pick anything we want, about teen issues to global issues to comic books. Michael: My advisor and English teacher, she ll come to me and be like, Oh, Michael I just read this book, I think you d really like it, I liked it. Bianca: All the teachers, they didn t make it seem like we were practicing. They did it on purpose so we could, like, just fall into becoming a better reader. They didn t tell us Oh, we re doing this for you to read, Umma: One of my friends,... whatever she liked, I liked. And she was like, Omigod, you have to read this book! I m like, I do not want to read that because it s so thick! However, because I became so into that series I was in the library almost every week, and I was talking to the librarian, Can you get me these books? STRATEGY: Think and Talk About Text Bianca: I like to read teen drama books and so if something s going on with me, I like to read about their lives, so I don t think about my problems. It just brings you to another world. Christian: By getting my opinion out, I felt like I understood the book more, I might catch something that I thought before and said, oh wait wait, that doesn t quite make sense... I can see how this is different from this, and by me talking it out I can understand the book better. Umma: My partner would have a different idea or a different thought, completely different from mine, so then after listening to one another, we would begin Oh, you re right! And then we would begin to get other point of views. So it helps us deepen our thinking. STRATEGY: Practice Reading Everywhere Christian: There s so many different people in the school reading... and everybody s pressuring them Oh read this book, read this book, this is interesting, read that. And normally they would be talking during reading,... they re just, like, Whatever, I ll read it because one, I have nothing to do, two, you guys keep bugging me about it, I ll do it. 3

4 Michael: I read say, like, six hours. I read to and from school, 45 minutes each, plus the class time, and I read at home. I get home, I ll just sit down with a book and read for three hours straight. If it s a really good book, I ll just finish that book in a day. STRATEGY: Develop the Habits of Expert Readers Christian: If I m interested in horror, I can read a horror book. Or sports, whatever I m interested in. And when they give me a tougher book to tackle,... because I ve read all these other books, I think in my mind that I m capable of finishing this book. Bianca: I think it does give me a sense of pride... Now if I m writing an essay or something, I catch myself writing like the book the way I write and the thinking and the detail... the sophisticated vocabulary they used, I ll start using those words... because I read that book. Christian: Instead of a punishment, now I view it as an escape in a way. If anything is going wrong, if I have any problems, if I feel down, if I pick up a book and I start to read, those minutes are a whole nother world.... it helps me, you know, cope with the things that I m coping with. Umma: By 10th grade I read almost 70 books within the first semester! For me, that was a big deal. I ve read about teenagers, about different world issues and stuff like that, so I have a wide variety of knowledge because I read different types of books. We can connect it in the future to wherever we go, even in college, and I feel like it will help us succeed. 4

5 Transcript DEBATE AS A TOOL TO STRENGTHEN YOUNG LEARNERS A Case Study in Practice (to view this video and more like it, go to firesinthemind.org/videos/) Posha: I was always the one arguing with teachers. You gave me homework, I was, like, I m not doing this. I saw some of my friends debating, I m like, well, this sounds cool. Michael: I was missing a lot of class and just acting up always saw me fighting and arguing with people, so he for some reason thought I would be a good member of the debate team. I didn t really want to do it at first. STRATEGY: Learning to speak up in public Posha: When you first start debate, they tell you you re never going to be 100 percent prepared. Michael: The first time I walked in the room I got completely obliterated. I had no idea what I was doing, what I was reading, what I was saying. And it actually made me work harder in a way, because then it made me want to learn basic elements of how to debate. Posha: When I started, they had me in a room reading a card at the top of my voice making sure that when I m up there I don t get so nervous that you could barely hear me speak. So you re in there, you re reading mad loud, practically yelling. And then you read your argument and then the coach would just come up with an argument off the top of their head and ask me, what would you say if your opponent was to say this? It s good to be quick with your counter-argument, but sometimes if you can t, you still try, and that s what you re doing practicing. Michael: You pick a topic out of a hat and they give you 2-3 minutes, and you just get up and speak on that. It d be in front of everybody, and everybody would have to do it. So everybody started thinking on their feet. STRATEGY: Practicing research and analysis Michael: My coach used to make me do five cards a night, which would be five separate arguments. I would have to sit up on the computer for hours just look for something that would be kinda hard to answer, just something that would make the point good, Posha: Once you really start getting into debate, you find that it s hard, but it makes you feel better in a round because that means that s more stuff that you know. And it s a more likely that you re going to be able to answer a question that an opponent throws at you, even if they think that you didn t know the answer to it before. And you have to make sure that you re researching only for one specific thing, like if you re reading a book you don t get sidetracked by different details, you really try to stick to what you re trying to research. It takes a lot of work and a lot of time especially. 5

6 Michael: Based on a lot of the stuff you learn, you get to see how everything really is and not what it looks like. They re saying one thing, but they re meaning something else. But you ll catch on to a lot of stuff like that once you become more entrenched in debate. It does make you more critical in a sense, when you re speaking or thinking about things. STRATEGY: Practicing a formal demeanor Posha: I would always argue with the teacher. Say if I disagreed on something, I m just like you re wrong, I don t care, shut up, leave me alone. Now, it s just like well, Mr. or Mrs. whoever, I think you re wrong because... and I m not going to be as formal as a goody-twoshoes, but I have more information or more proof to back up my argument instead of just yelling. Michael: Debate is a whole disagreement in itself. You go in the room and you argue. And there s going to be people that tick you off, and they expect you to be a certain way no matter how you re confronted about anything. It just changes the way you approach people and just everyday situations. STRATEGY: Building on new habits Posha: In English I would just read something and then two seconds later I would... what did I just read? But when you re in debate, that s one of the key things that you need to know, you have to be able to comprehend what you read or what somebody else is reading. Like when you re talking, or when you re forming your arguments, it helps me articulate myself, it helps me write better. Michael: A lot of the stuff you read you probably won t understand it at first. But then you start looking up the words, and you begin to understand what they mean. You re just talking with people on a different level. You actually read a lot more, you become more intrigued in other people s theories and their philosophies on how things should be, how they are actually. It s different. Posha: When you go in there and you actually start to do it, you re into your own zone. You have to keep your grades up, that meant I couldn t keep getting suspended, or detention, because that takes away from practice. Before I didn t have any clue what I was doing at the high school. Now, I feel like I have to do more research, because it helps me out in the long run. Michael: My grades increased tremendously. The season s over, my last year is over. But I already got into that habit, and that work ethic, so it s going to stick with me. In a sense you have an upper hand on a lot of people. It s good for yourself to know these things. You learn a lot of stuff that people should be knowing about, but actually don t. 6

7 Guidelines for presentations THE MOTIVATION EQUATION PROTOCOL for use in lesson study by collegial groups Describe a learning episode (unit, project, etc.) that really worked for students. What were the learning targets of that episode? (Link with any applicable standards.) Identify the essential question or culminating task of that learning episode. To answer that essential question or complete that culminating task in a way that met your standards, what did your students need to know and be able to do? What helped your students connect this learning challenge with something they already valued or that mattered to them? How did you support students expectation that they could succeed in the learning challenges you presented? What opportunities for deliberate practice did you provide as support for their new learning? What did you have to know about your students in order to draw them in to this learning challenge? In order to keep them going? In what ways did you ask students to reflect on their learning? (E.g., journals, selfassessments, comments, reflections regarding their motivation, their practice, their mastery) What evidence do you have that students did learn what you wanted them to learn? Big questions to explore after every presentation: For this learning episode, what are the big issues a teacher struggles with, relative to motivation and mastery? What connections can we make between those issues and the research emerging on the science of learning? From The Motivation Equation: Designing Lessons That Set Kids Minds on Fire, by Kathleen Cushman. Copyright 2013 by What Kids Can Do; contact 7

8 More Student Motivation Tomorrow! A Lesson Planning Exercise Think about one lesson you are preparing, or a lesson you might want to revise. The Motivation Equation can help! Take notes in the space after each heading. What are your learning objectives for tomorrow? That is, what do you hope students will know better, or be more able to do, after you work with them? What activities do you have in mind for tomorrow? What do you know that your students value? Look back at what they have told you in one way or another. What matters a lot to them? What do they care about? Now think about the learning activities you are planning for tomorrow. How can you connect any of those activities with what your students value? What do you know about your students prior experiences with the content and skills you want them to learn tomorrow. What do you not know? Now think again about the learning activities you are planning for tomorrow. Which students will probably not expect to do well at those things, based on their past experience? How can you adapt those activities so that those students can expect to succeed at them? Value x Expectation of Success = Motivation From The Motivation Equation: Designing Lessons That Set Kids Minds on Fire, by Kathleen Cushman. Copyright 2013 by What Kids Can Do; contact 8

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