Reflection Week 9

This week we read and talked about intrinsic motivation in the classroom. Grades play a big part in motivating students. I am not a fan of letter grades, or percentage grades. Either students understand and can do … I like our district’s Marzano model (1-4 scale), however we still have to input grades. I made my own math chart with the standards, if a student demonstrates proficiency, they get a sticker (which is a 3- students understand and is able to). Sara mentioned students writing reflections for grades. I think it’s a good idea, it allows the students to think about what they learned, however I wouldn’t use it (not in my K-1 class).

EDET 637 Week 9

How can I use both formative and summative assessment to enhance (or at least not interfere with) intrinsic motivation?

“Intrinsic motivation refers to behavior that is driven by internal rewards,” (Cherry, 2015). In other words, it’s the motivation to engage in particular behaviors’ because it’s intrinsically pleasing to that individual. As teachers, how can we use assessments to enhance intrinsic motivation?

There are two types of assessments: norm-referenced tests (NRT) and criterion-referenced tests (CRT). NRTs are used to “classify students,” (Bond, 1996). They are designed and used to rank students across a continuum of high achievers to low achievers; and it may be used to place students in remedial or gifted programs. The scores of the students are used to compare to those of the norm group, like MAPS (Measures of Academic Progress). CRTs are used to determine how well a student is doing in comparison to their previous results or whether or not they have mastered the skills/content. “The content selected for the CRT is selected on the basis of its significance in the curriculum while that of the NRT is chosen by how well it discriminates among students, (Bond, 1996). “The mission of criterion-referenced measurement is to tie down the skills of knowledge being assessed so teachers can target instruction,” (Popham, 2014).

I think to make tests intrinsically motivating for students; teachers need to think about the concept of error. “The difference between a score on an assessment and what a student really knows, understands and can do related to that topic is called error,” (Tomlinson, 2013). There are many things that can cause error: hunger, poorly written tests, learning disabilities, sick, and so on. A key goal of effective assessments is to eliminate error. Ways we can eliminate these errors are by providing breakfast or snacks, taking regular breaks, assistive technology, manipulates, paper and pencil, and so on.

I think another way we can intrinsically motivate our students is by giving the students flexibility. If our students understand our learning targets, they can set their own learning goals, learning strategies, and assess their own progress (Moss,, 2009). I think this strategy will give our students the motivation to learn and perform well.

I have a learning scale in my classroom, 1-4. 1 means that the still needs instructional support, 2- they understand a little but still need help, 3- they understand and can do it alone, and 4- they understand and can teach a friend (we don’t necessarily need 4). At the end of each lesson, my students are asked where they rate themselves on that scale and if they can answer the essential question of that lesson. If they tell me they are a 3, they move onto independent/seat work,or homework. If any of them rate themselves as a 2 or less, we continue with small group work. I don’t like letter grades; I think they are over-rated (especially in the primary classrooms). Either the student understands and is able to do the content, or they cannot. I tell my parents all the time that our goal is for the student to be at a 3.



Bond, L. (1996, December). Norm- and Criterion-Referenced Testing. Retrieved March 21, 2016.

Cherry, K. (2015, December 8). What Is Intrinsic Motivation? Retrieved March 24, 2016, from

Moss, C., & Brookhart, S. (2009). Membership. Retrieved March 24, 2016, from

Popham, J. W. (2014, March). Criterion-Referenced Measurement: Half a Century Wasted? Retrieved March 21, 2016.

Tomlinson, Carol Ann, and Moon, Tonya R.. Assessment and Student Success in a Differentiated Classroom. Alexandria, VA, USA: Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development (ASCD), 2013. ProQuest ebrary. Web. 21 March 2016.


Week 8 Reflection

Sarah K mentioned that by knowing how the brain works at different stages in a child’s life, we can learn the best ways to help them learn in the classrooms. That was something that really struck me. Not only should we understand how the brain works at different stages in a life, but we should understand the student’s background. Knowing how the child is being raised at home and what their home life is like is critical in understanding student behavior. Mrs. Barry said, “learning can be improved if teachers and educators base their teaching strategies on science rather than experiences with the learning process.”

EDET 637 Week 8

Essential question: What is brain-based learning and how can it inform problem based learning and differentiation?

Brain-based education is “the engagement of strategies based on how our brain works,” according to Jenson. Knowing how the brain works allows educators to create a learning environment that gives students a better chance at understanding a concept (Prince, 2005). Three words can describe brain-based learning: engagement, strategies, and principles. “You must engage your learners and do it with strategies that are based on real science,” according to Jenson.

Many things matter in the learning process. There are seven critical factors that influence learning that inform problem based learning and differentiation: engagement, repetition, input quantity, coherence, timing, error correction and emotional states (Jenson, 2005). Students’ brains need time for processing and rest after learning (Jenson, 2005). For example, from grades kindergarten thru second, an appropriate amount of direction instruction time would be 5-8 minutes. “The human brain is poor at nonstop attention.

Its important teachers understand the brain, and how it functions. Most of our short-term memory is stored in our frontal lobes. “Researchers have found that we can take in only three to seven chunks of information before we simply overload and begin to miss new incoming data,” (Jenson, page 42). This year, I haven’t really given my class much free time in the mornings. I’ve recently changed my schedule after my first period, allowing 10 minutes of recess for both K-1. This will not only give my students that “brain break” they need, but will prepare them mentally for the next class.

“The reason things stay the same is because we’ve been the same. For things to change, we must change,” (Jenson 2009). Looking at this quote thru the eyes of a teacher, it means if we want our students to change, we must change ourselves and the environments student spend time in every day. There are different things we can do in our classrooms to enrich student behavior and performance. For example, physical activity will increase the production of new brain cells. Playing board games like chess, or establishing the arts, will increase student attention, motivation, processing and sequencing skills (Jenson, 2009).

I have a reward system in my classroom, Class Dojo. My students and I love it. I read that “what one student finds rewarding may not be rewarding to another,” (Jenson, 2005). I have several students who pass on stickers or behavior reward tickets, and then I have students who love getting stickers, and love getting rewarded for positive behavior. “The degree of pleasure that various students take in a reward is linked to the uniqueness of their brains,” (Jenson, page 105). I know that I have to change my reward system to make the pleasure of getting rewards fair for everyone.

Knowing the signs of a student who is raised in poverty is important as an educator. Students who come from low SES families display: acting-out behaviors, impatience and impulsivity, gaps in politeness, inappropriate emotional responses, and less empathy for others’ misfortunes (Jenson, 2009). There are many things we can do to help students in these situations. For example, build reliable relationships, strengthen peer socialization, and make sure all students feel equal, (Jenson, page 20).

Knowing how the brain works is critical as an educator. It helps us understand the past, present and possibly change the future of a student.


Jenson, E. (n.d.). Brain-Based Learning Strategies. Florida Education Association. Retrieved March 9, 2016, from

Jensen, Eric. Teaching with the Brain in Mind (2nd Edition). Alexandria, VA, USA: Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development (ASCD), 2005. ProQuest ebrary. Web. 7 March 2016.

Copyright © 2005. Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development (ASCD). All rights reserve

Jensen, Eric. Teaching with Poverty in Mind : What Being Poor Does to Kids’ Brains and What Schools Can Do About It. Alexandria, VA, USA: Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development (ASCD), 2009. ProQuest ebrary. Web. 7 March 2016.

Copyright © 2009. Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development (ASCD). All rights reserved.

Jensen, Eric. Teaching with the Brain in Mind (2nd Edition). Alexandria, VA, USA: Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development (ASCD), 2005. ProQuest ebrary. Web. 7 March 2016.

Copyright © 2005. Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development (ASCD). All rights reserved.

Jensen, Eric. Teaching with Poverty in Mind : What Being Poor Does to Kids’ Brains and What Schools Can Do About It. Alexandria, VA, USA: Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development (ASCD), 2009. ProQuest ebrary. Web. 7 March 2016.

Copyright © 2009. Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development (ASCD). All rights reserved.

Learn all about ClassDojo ♥. (n.d.). Retrieved March 10, 2016, from

Prince, A. (2005). Using the Principles of Brain-Based Learning in the Classroom How to Help a Child Learn. Super Duper Publications, 81. Retrieved March 9, 2016, from


Week 7 Reflection

This week we talked about problem-based learning. I hardly use it my classroom (if ever), because of the curriculum we have. Reading Mastery is a scripted program. We use Go Math, and it’s not scripted. When I do implement PBL, I incorporate our cultural/traditional lifestyle, because students make those connections. I usually implement PBL in social studies/science. This way, students can brainstorm possible ways to solve the problem (cause and effect).

EDET 637 Week 7

EDET 637 Week 7 Essential question: What practical structures could we use to implement PBL in our classrooms?

“Problem-based learning (PBL) is a teaching and learning method in which students engage a problem without preparatory study and with knowledge insufficient to solve the problem…” (Wirkala, 2011). This kind of learning requires students to use their existing knowledge and understanding, and apply that to generate a solution. “Students practice learning rather than merely memorizing,” according to an article called “In the Classroom.” By having students learn through the experience of solving problems, they can learn both content and thinking strategies (Silver, 2004). Problem-based learning is used highly in health care fields, but not so much in education. The reason is because of the numerous challenges teachers experience when implementing PBL (Ertmer, P.A., & Simons, K.D., 2006).

Teachers should implement problem-based learning for several reasons. The main goals for PBL learning are 1) to promote deep understanding of subject matter content while 2) simultaneously developing students’ higher-order thinking (Ertmer, P.A., & Simons, K.D., 2006). One way teachers can implement PBL is by having students work together to identify their learning needs and locate relevant information to address those needs. A great strategy for this is to choose a problem that students can relate to, one that they see all the time and can make connections with; and based on their knowledge of that situation, generate solutions.

When applying PBL, “the students are not only introduced to facts while solving the problem, but they remember them because the facts are no longer a collection of random information–rather they are meaningful and relevant to solving actual problems,” according to “In the Classroom.” Another strategy teachers can use, is by having students discuss and record all knowledge, make hypothesis or working statements, brainstorm a list of questions that need to be answered in order to solve the problem, research and answer the questions. This strategy is great for group work.

 What do I know?  What do I need to know?  How will I find it?  


This simple chart can help students keep their objectives in order from, “In the Classroom.”

The main thing to remember as teachers, is the role you play in PBL, which is to “facilitate the learning process, rather than to provide the knowledge,” (Hmelo-Silver, 2004).


Ertmer, P. A. , & Simons, K. D. (2006). Jumping the PBL Implementation Hurdle: Supporting the Efforts of K–12 Teachers. Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-Based Learning, 1(1).

Hmelo-Silver, C. E. (2004). Problem-Based Learning: What and How Do Students Learn?. Educational Psychology Review, 16(3), 235-266.

W(2002). In the Classroom. Retrieved March 03, 2016, from

Wirkala, C. (2011). Problem-Based Learning in K–12 Education: Is it Effective and How Does it Achieve its Effects? (Doctoral dissertation, Columbia University) [Abstract]. 158.