Saturday, September 7, 2013

Crazy Kuzner now Crazy Chae Motivates

So, I am sitting in a dark kitchen, just finished up reading some blogs, thinking what else do I have to add to this world of teacher blogs.  I am not sure, I feel that most of you know what I tell you already.  But here it goes...

I motivate them by being me, aka crazy.  I am sarcastic, loud, and wave my arms and body around.  To give you an idea, one time I told the class if one more person asks me what they were supposed to do when they were done, I would fall down dead (I know, maybe not the most sensitive, but oh well, I said it).  Well, as you can guess, one more person asked me, and I don't think because they wanted to see me fall down dead.  Well, I flail, gasp for breath, clutch my heart, and fell dramatically to the ground motionless and with my tongue hanging out.

I know, kinda weird.

My point is, I encourage them to be them, the nerdy, weird, the quiet, the athlete, the diva, the princess, whatever, but also to pursue the interests they have.  So instead of trying to fill every moment of their day with things to do when they are done with whatever (early finishers, as I used to call them, and I am sure most of you), I encourage them to seek something out that they are interested in, something that sparks their interest.  Last year, two girls were super into dolphins.  When ever they completed their assignment from me, they were able to get on the computer to research dolphins.  No dead line, no guidance, no nothing.  Just a point in the direction they were going, a suggestion for where to find more information, or a quick lesson in Word.

You should have seen the final product (wish I had a picture) and it was amazing.  They created a hard cover out of cardboard, and covered in a watercolor painting of a dolphin.  They included a table of contents with chapters using bold print, photographs with labels, and a glossary at the end.  They also made a poster of the parts of the dolphin and a map of their migration path.  THIS WAS THIRD GRADE!  They got up in front of the class and presented their project.

Now, not all my kids were able to go to this degree, but researching and learning more about what they were interested in motivated them to get their work done in class.  BUT not just get it done; they had to get it done well using their best effort.  They know I don't take anything but their best.  And when it is done, they get to do what they want.  They enjoyed learning about what they like so much, many of them would want to come in during recess do complete their projects.  I mean, I had someone choose Lamborghini cars to Muhammed Ali to whatever.  It didn't matter.  All that mattered was that they were motivated and they were teaching themselves by doing it.

So, that's how I try to motivate my kids, being me, saying it's ok to be me, them to be them, like what I like, they can like what they like, and we can all learn from each other.  I know I've learned tons from them.


  1. I LOVE IT! What a great motivator to finish their work in a timely manner and learn more at the same time! GENIUS! I bet your students appreciate how you promote them to learn more about their interests! Thanks for sharing and linking up!
    P.S. I'm kind of crazy too-but this is what they'll remember and like about school!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  2. I love how you mention being crazy motivates kids. I think sometimes this is the easiest motivator to forget about. Kids love seeing adults act silly and over the top, and the best part it's a free motivator. :)

    I {Heart} Recess

  3. Great post! I could have used this a long while back....