DigiLit Sunday: Motivation

Margaret Simon @ Reflections on the Teche suggested the topic of motivation for her Sunday DigiLit Link up.


I’m fascinated by motivation. What creates it. What kills it. I’m a witness to the power of it, and the lack of it.

Motivation is the reason we do.

Motivation is observable.  There are inadvertent sounds that signal engagement a prerequisite to motivation.

The groan that follows the end reading or writing workshop and
the cheer that follows “it’s time for read aloud” are clear indicators of motivation.

And the converse.
The groan that follows the beginning of a workshop and
the cheer follows the recess bell are signs of tired, unmotivated kiddos.

Both scenarios happen in my classroom. They indicate what’s working and what’s missing the mark. It’s up to me to hear them and adjust.

For the less vocal students, I have to listen in other ways. Through their work, their body language; what is done and undone.

“A” hasn’t finished a book in a week.
“B” doesn’t move from that book when the bell rings.
“C” is wandering the room.
“D” wrote more today.

Motivation that lasts through struggle is individual. Accessing it is complex.

We need inspiration.

I read Emmanuel’s Dream, the true story of Emmanuel Yeboah to my kids last week. They were fascinated. He was inspirational, determined, proud, outgoing. And the feeling, if he can do this, surely I can work harder in my world.

We need mentors to show how.
We need goals to measure our success.

My students are working on writing about characters. Thanks to the guidance of DIY Literacy, we created the character charts and micro progression together.  Next week, we’ll attempt bookmarks, using the micro progressions and charts we’ve developed.


Here’s my demonstration bookmark. The test of the charts and their understanding will be in what students create.

Motivation is complex. It takes work and hope. With observation and tools; choice and  inspirational stories we will find a road to access it.

3 thoughts on “DigiLit Sunday: Motivation

  1. You have captured so much in this post, the complexity of motivation, the mood and sounds of your classroom, and those beautiful charts that show stuff is happening. Thanks for sharing!

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