Week 7

EDET 679 Week 7 Essential Question: How do you or might you use language to change the way that your students think about learning in the classroom?

Students go to school to learn; not to get good grades. The content we teach will most likely be forgotten, however the experiences we offer our students, can be lasting. “The focus should not be on what we teach, rather it should be how we teach it,” (Moreno, 2015). Your use of language in the classroom could play a huge role in the way your students think about learning in school.

There are ten key words Moreno identifies that should be used in the classroom to help students be successful not only in school, but in life: confidence, creativity, enthusiasm, effort, focus, resilience, initiative, curiosity, dependability and empathy (Matera, 2015). Whatever language you choose in your classroom or school, should stay consistent. Use the language daily, in report card comments, when talking with parents, and before, during and after projects.

“The keys of purpose-driven learning put the focus back on building the skills that create a successful learner… they empower the student to take an active role in their learning,” (Moreno, 2013). Here are some examples of using purpose-driven language in the classroom:

Instead of telling students to work towards an A, explain that “your group, (or yourself the teacher), are depending on them to do their part so the next step can be successful.” Instead of answering their questions, praise them for their curiosity and challenge them to research and share their results.

The keys of purpose driven learning, can also change how you speak with parents: (Moreno, 2013).

“Your child has fantastic enthusiasm, but needs to be a little more focused.”

If a student is shy say: “Your child should be confident in their ability and take initiative to lead class discussions.”

If a student gives up too quickly say: “Learning can be hard sometimes, and resilience often leads to success.”

If you’re planning on gamifying your classroom, it’s good to use that game’s terminology. For instance using the terms badges, quests and life can change how students view their learning. As well as applying those gaming elements and posting them daily, like leaderboards, levels, avatars, and social elements (Figueroa, 2015). When giving extra credit, refer to it as another quest. If a student fails, teach them that it’s their “first attempt in learning,” and they should attempt to SAIL (second attempt in learning), (Matera, loc. 735).

How we choose our words can alter our students behavior towards learning in school. If we use the language test scores, GPA, right or wrong… that’s what students will work towards. However if we use purpose-driven language, students will come to school feeling more confident, resilient, focused, and enthusiastic about learning.


Figueroa, J. (2015, June). Digital Education Review – Number 27. http://greav.ub.edu/der/

Matera, M. (2014). Entering the Realm of the Nobles: Michael Matera. Retrieved October 18, 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFG3Vk-MCf8

Moreno, A. (2013, February 7). Keys of Purpose-Driven Learning. Retrieved October 19, 2016, from http://edbean.com/keys-to-purpose-driven-learning/

Moreno, A. (2015, February 3). Purpose Driven Learning. Retrieved October 19, 2016, from http://www.mrmoreno.com/blog/purpose-driven-learning



4 thoughts on “Week 7

  1. Genevieve,

    I remember watching teachers teach students to work together on projects. Most of the time, I went to school in the traditional method; especially middle and high school. It seems that outside of school, it is not easy to be creative or to know what to do with curiosity if most of your do is spent ‘being taught.’ My biggest concern in the afterschool hours was getting something to eat, since lunch had been so long ago.

    With your how to speak with parents list, the timing is great—parent teacher conferences are coming up for us. I think your idea of referring to extra credit work as another quest takes the stigma of “being the top of the class” and puts it as “work is an adventure.” What is interesting is that our standards, though sometimes seem restrictive, can be applied in so many ways. We do not need to be driven by the tool called the textbook; rather the standards set a goal and the textbook is a guide that is rich with ideas to quest from, extend from, and frame our student’s interests. They can start at one point in a book, and with internet and other resources, go on forever on that one point—learning in depth, letting one question lead to another.


  2. Hi Genevieve,
    I really enjoyed your post. As a teacher and as a parent I can appreciate how we use language to talk to parents helps to frame the opportunity to change in a positive light, especially for parents who may have had their own negative school experiences.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sara Lucas

    I love this comment! “Whatever language you choose in your classroom or school, should stay consistent.” I was reminded of this after reading Anthony’s post this week too. It has made me realize that I don’t have much of a common language. What is common is the grade, and you are exactly right that this is what students are working for. However I have changed my philosophy on late work and corrections. I am allowing students to do much of their work whenever they have time and allowing corrections so that they can get a better score. Students are now working harder on their assignments. But they are still focused on the grade. So they are almost to the process, maybe this is an in-between step until I have time to focus on what type of language to adopt. Thanks for your post!


  4. Your post really helped me to think carefully and spend more time in my classroom using the language that will help them be successful. I am going to incorporate FAIL in my classroom, and also focus on more freedom to explore. I often give labs that need to be structured for safety reasons and I see students being afraid to make mistakes. It is always difficult for me to find a balance between these lab FAIL situations and making sure that the students remain safe.


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