Saturday, March 8, 2014

Paparazzi them to Spark Motivation...Lovin' it & Over it...

 It's Saturday and first I'm linkin' up with 
my high-heeled hero, Joanne,
for Spark Student Motivation Saturdays.

Want to know one of the best motivators for students?
Pretendin' you are the paparazzi and 
snappin' pictures of your students' faces.
I'm not jokin'.

In Florida
(don't stop readin' even if you aren't from the Sunshine State), 
any testin' grades have an online
program called FCAT Explorer that can 
be accessed at school or home.
Each grade level has different subjects that can 
be accessed.
This year, my 5th graders can work on 
the Math or Science portion of the program.
Math has 162 questions and Science has 200.
162 + 200=a lot of questions

There are questions that would be worded
similar to our actual standardized test questions and 
are basically a review of all of the standards 
that we have covered throughout the year.

The students have from January until April to 
complete this program.
Anyone that completes BOTH sections will 
get a surprise or treat from me.
Sometimes I assign it for homework, sometimes we 
do it in class, and sometimes I just tell the 
kids to go above and beyond to complete this.
For some reason it takes a looooong time for
some of them to get anywhere with this.

In January I start to keep track of their progress 
and at the beginnin' of March
I put their pictures up to show who has completed 
one or two sections of the program.
As soon as those pictures go up on the wall, 
all of a sudden the program MIRACULOUSLY gets completed
faster than I can get the blue sticky-tacky on the back
of their picture.  
No joke.
I put the pictures up this Wednesday and
by Friday I had four more people complete the program.
Just like that.
Motivation at its finest.

The pictures are mounted on spray painted CD's
to go with our Rockstar theme.

Joanne will LOVE this one...
I also gave each student a Post-it note
and gave them two numbers...random numbers.
Random to them...not to me.
Each student's numbers were different.

Then they had to add their two numbers together.

They then checked one another to see if they added correctly.
Luckily, everyone did. 
Thank goodness....I didn't want to have a nervous breakdown.

Then I asked them to get in order from smallest to largest numbers.

The person with the smallest number had completed
the least amount of questions on FCAT Explorer...
(I'm sure you know where I'm goin' with this) 
and the person with the largest
had completed the most.
I'm sneaky.
Now I've got pictures on the wall and kids lookin' 
around to see who is goin' to finish ahead of them.
I've got a competitive bunch.
They don't like bein' beat by their classmates.
I have a feelin' by the time Monday rolls around,
I'll have several more kids that have completed
the program.

I'm also linkin' up with my other favorite Ali from 
for "lovin' it & over it".
Some of you may remember that my school had
to say good-bye to a very special teacher
a few weeks ago.
Two of my colleagues and the Student
Council came up with a fundraiser to raise money
to be placed in Mary's name through the 
Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer foundation.
Students were able to purchase a pink strip of paper for
$.50 or 3 for $1.00.
The pink strips made paper chains that could be hung in each
classroom in our buildin'.
Students at my school raised around $1,000!
We had over 500 strips in our room.  
We actually ran out of hangin' space.
I had to be careful if the fire marshal came back.
He dislikes me immensely.

 I'm so proud of my Rockstars for honorin' Mrs. Martin's memory 
and always wantin' to give to others.  
They were so excited every time they brought in money
and most of them even gave up their Friday ice cream money
each week to buy pink strips instead!

The kids took the chains to our 
Student Council reps so they can attach all the chains in the
whole school.  
All of the pink chains
will be displayed in our Media Center for everyone
to see durin' our Scholastic Book Fair.
I think Mary would have truly loved this!

I have a paper cut and it hurts.
I've been sayin' bad things again.
I teased Ali that she was goin' to be my "over it"
because I emailed her and I knew she was nappin' 
and unable to respond.
It's great that she's such a good sport
and can take my teasin'.
I'm only over my paper cut!

Happy Saturday, friends.  
I'm on a boat today catchin' I'm not postin' from there!
Just by the time you read this...I will be on a boat.


  1. I hope you are having a fabulous day on the boat! It got super cold here today. No outside time for me! I feel for you with the paper cut. I had a horrible one last week and thought I would never get over it. Have a great day!

    1. It is slowly getting better. I'm such a wimp with paper cuts! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I love your motivating pics idea! I'm thinking that would be a great way to spur the kids on with the number of books they have completed too. I'm so jealous you are out on a boat. We are thankful here that it's going to be 30 degrees today. I'm so over this winter!

    Forever in Fifth Grade

  3. Love the idea of the pictures. You know I love anything that deals with pictures. Have fun today. Catch lots of fish ! I'll see you tonight.

  4. Ok, where do I begin?
    First of all, another brilliant idea to motivate those kiddos. Amazing how that acknowledgement goes so far. That would motivate me!

    Now, I have to say, you have my favorite "lovin' it" this week. Way more than mine. That is so touching what your school did for your former colleague. I just LOVE that pink paper chain so much.

    As for your "over it" LOL!!!! You just know me too well. As for paper cuts, you may think that's not much, but paper cuts absolutely KILL ME!! I have had my fingers all bandaged up with 3-4 band-aids on the winter due to cuts, dry skin splits....and it's PAINFUL! I've had a shattered kneecap that hurt less than some of my paper cuts. No joke.

    Didja catch any fish? Thanks for linkin' up again doll face! ; )
    Teaching Powered by Caffeine

  5. 162 math questions???? WOW!!! I am shocked by that!!!!

    I love your pink chain! What a great tribute to your friend!

    Hodges Herald

  6. I used to do pictures for our AR points...don't remember why I stopped. Hope you have fun boating today! It's absolutely gorgeous in SC...after a long week of cold rain! Yay for the weekend!
    A Tall Drink of Water

  7. So stealing your FCAT Explorer motivation idea to use with my 3rd graders! Maybe it will light a fire under them in these last weeks before the BIG TEST. Thanks for sharing :o)

    1. I had more complete it over the weekend! :)

  8. I can totally see why your students love having their pictures displayed. My students all seem to become more productive and creative when I take out my camera and start walking around taking pictures of their work. You are a sneaky one with the number line up - but healthy competition is sooooo motivating. The Pink Paper Chain makes my heart happy!!
    I hope you had a great day on the boat, I am only 98.5% jealous.
    Lots of Love,

  9. I love the public acknowledgement for students who have completed a goal! I think I will try something similar with our Moby Max program to prepare students for the OAA. Thank you for sharing!

    Fit to be Fourth

  10. Love the idea of pictures on the wall of those students who complete the FCAT Explorer program! Gotta try this next week! This will be a great motivator! I love your school's way of honoring and supporting Mary! Touched my heart reading about those pink chains!
    Thanks for sharing and linking up sunshine! Hope you had a great day!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  11. Kids LOVE to be in pics, or to have their work photographed. That is actually my motivator today!! Love the pink chains... what a wonderful way to support Mary!! And grrrr paper cuts make me so mad! I always get them in that place that just keeps bending it open, too. :(

  12. Alison! I love the idea of hanging pictures in the classroom. I take SO many that I need to get better of showcasing them...especially as a motivator!

    It's great that you have a practice program/bank of test questions. As a first-year teacher, I would find that ridiculously helpful! Thanks so much for sharing. :)

    The Brown-Bag Teacher

  13. I love reading a blog post and can immediately think of ways to use the idea in my classroom! We have an online reading program and the engagement has really be waning lately...perhaps we need some paparazzi action in my classroom too!


  14. It's amazing what will motivate kiddos isn't it! I put pics of my kiddos out in the hallway for a project (that I hope to blog about soon) and they were fascinated!! I love how your school has honored Mrs. Martin. Those are lessons way more valuable than any "book" learnin' we can give 'em!!
    Polka Dot Lesson Plans

  15. It is so true that students LOVE getting their picture taken! I love that you have them mounted on spray painted CD's! You're so clever. :) The post-it note activity is fantastic (isn't everything better with post-its?!?).
    What a wonderful way to honor Mrs. Martin's memory and such a great lesson for your students. Hugs, friend!!
    Fourth Grade Flipper

  16. Great idea of using student pictures. They do like to see themselves! The paper chain is a wonderful way to honor your colleague. It is a special way for students to remember her. I hope you enjoyed fishin'. I am super jealous since there is still snow on the ground here.

    Coffee Cups and Lesson Plans


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