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Motivation is the desire and energy that guides behavior. When we are motivated, we engage more in what we are doing and learn more. Motivation has an essential influence on reading development.
One important distinction is between intrinsic Motivation, the inherent desire to learn and accomplish goals, and extrinsic Motivation, which is the desire to accomplish goals because of external rewards/recognition or to avoid a negative consequence. Intrinsic and extrinsic Motivation are not mutually exclusive; it is very common for students to be driven by both intrinsic and extrinsic motivators. For example, they may not be intrinsically interested in a specific assignment but they are motivated to do well for a related long-term goal. Further, students who struggle with literacy skills may be less motivated to participate in academic reading but may avidly read other kinds of reading materials that are personally engaging. Moving students towards being more intrinsically motivated is important for long term engagement in reading.
Some important concepts that impact Motivation include:
Self-efficacy for reading underlies their Motivation to read. Because of this, students with a higher literacy self-efficacy will choose to engage in more challenging reading tasks. Students' self-efficacy may develop from experiences where they master a task (e.g., successfully reading a complex book), the Emotions elicited by reading and writing (e.g., feelings of frustration and anxiety vs. joy), and feedback and messages of encouragement or discouragement they receive from others about their reading skills.
Advance graphic organizers link prior knowledge to upcoming learning to help students anticipate and understand the structure of new information.
Building positive and trusting relationships with learners allows them to feel safe; a sense of belonging; and that their academic, cognitive, and social and emotional needs are supported.
Overtly encouraging all students to seek support and ask questions creates a safe space for risk-taking and skill development.
Students are more likely to come to school when families feel like a valued part of the community.
Visiting places connected to classroom learning provides opportunities to deepen understanding through firsthand experiences.
Teachers can help students understand that learning involves effort, mistakes, and reflection by teaching them about their malleable brain and modeling their own learning process.
Free play supports learner interests and allows more complex social interactions to develop.
As students walk through stations working in small groups, the social and physical nature of the learning supports deeper understanding.
Setting overall goals, as well as smaller goals as steps to reaching them, encourages consistent, achievable progress and helps students feel confident in their skills and abilities.
Visualizing how ideas fit together helps students construct meaning and strengthen recall.
Providing feedback that focuses on the process of developing skills conveys the importance of effort and motivates students to persist when learning.
Learning about students' cultures and connecting them to instructional practices helps all students feel like valued members of the community.
Independent reading promotes reading development by emphasizing student choice with teacher support in selecting books, as well as by making time for free reading.
As students work with and process information by discussing, organizing, and sharing it together, they deepen their understanding.
Rhyming, alliteration, and other sound devices reinforce language development by activating the mental processes that promote memory.
Literacy centers with reading games, manipulatives, and activities support learner interests and promote the development of more complex reading skills and social interactions.
Providing physical representations of concepts helps activate mental processes.
Teachers sharing text-to-self, text-to-text, and text-to-world connections models this schema building.
Brain breaks that include movement allow learners to refresh their thinking and focus on learning new information.
Instruction in multiple formats allows students to activate different cognitive skills to understand and remember the steps they are to take in their reading work.
Multiple display spaces promote collaboration by allowing groups to share information easily as they work.
Multiple writing surfaces promote collaboration by allowing groups to share information easily as they work.
Reading aloud allows students to hear and practice reading and fluency skills.
Research shows physical activity improves focus and creativity.
Talking with students about what they know about the topic of upcoming work helps activate their Background Knowledge or reveals gaps.
When students explain to others, they deepen their understanding and gain confidence in their learning.
Providing space and time for students to reflect is critical for moving what they have learned into Long-term Memory.
Response devices boost engagement by encouraging all students to answer every question.
Books of varying complexity and reading levels are necessary for all students to experience reading success.
Multicultural and diverse books are critical for supporting all students.
With rhyming and creative word use, poetry is a genre that supports the development of early literacy skills in particular.
Students who have had little exposure to the school's language can benefit from having books in their Primary Language in their classroom.
Providing students a voice in their learning is critical for making learning meaningful.
Students develop reading skills by listening to and speaking with others in informal ways.
Wait time, or think time, of three or more seconds after posing a question increases how many students volunteer and the length and accuracy of their responses.
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