Student Motivation & Mentor Texts

Yesterday, one of my blogging buddies, Joanne, had her first amazing linky party to talk about student motivation. It was great timing on her part, with the end of the year craziness that is starting to occur, but not the best timing on my part (I forgot to schedule my post!) Nothing like arriving fashionably late to a party...

Don't you just love this fun button!?!

My trick is something simple and for now a motivator for an individual. I'm the special education teacher, so although I do co-teach in several classrooms. Most of my motivators are directed to individual students. 

With this you start with a page of dots in a grid like formation. The amount of dots is subjective. I use a lot, you probably wouldn't have to use as many. 

Sorry, for the poor quality in pictures, I left an example at school and had to draw one up quick

When the student is on task, I walk by and tap the paper once, or tell the student it's their turn. The student then makes one line to connect a pair of dots. If the student is off task or not complying with the behavior goal of the day, I get to draw a line.

The object is to be the person with the most squares at the end of the day. The more the student is doing what he/she is supposed to, the more chances they have to make their moves on the board than I do. There is some logic to it, if one person has made three of the four lines needed but loses their turn, the other person can capture the box. 

The student I used this with was very competitive. So having a "game" to play was a good motivator for him. If he won (had more boxes) he was able to choose a small prize. If he lost, that's part of the "game" and as a competitor he understood that. We were also able to discuss shortly why he didn't win and how he could compete better the next day.

I'm so pumped for this linky that Amanda and Stacia have created! Each week covers a different subjects mentor text this week it's mentor texts for language arts. Here is my selection for this week:

The gist: In this book Mr. Mutt takes on the people problems of other dogs, in humors "Dear Abby" type fashion. Mr. Mutt isn't without his own problems, the cat (aka The Queen) also has a different view of who is in charge. It's a humorous book that could be used with letter writing, point of view, or looking at multiple perspectives.

Be sure to link up! I love, love, love children's literature and I'm making out my wishlist for my new teaching position next year! :)

One other Teacher's Notebook I won a bid for their daily deals. So if you were wanting a copy of my newest centers, Showers & Flowers, you can purchase them for $1.80 today only!


  1. What a great silent motivator! I can totally see using that with a student who just needs the extra reinforcement. And congratulations! What is your new position?

    Everyone deServes to Learn

  2. I love that game - we use it as a fun Friday math game - but I love how you use it!! I am adding that book to my list - I love letter writing books!

    Looking From Third to Fourth

  3. I love the idea of an individual motivator! No one has posted about individuals-excellent strategy! We all have some that need more attention. Thanks for coming to my party!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  4. We play that game, too, but I never thought of using it this way. I'm pinning it now!

    Fifth in the Middle

  5. I love Help Me, Mr. Mutt! Such a cute story!


  6. I love the boxes idea!! I could TOTALLY use that with one of mine right now!! And I have not heard of that book- can't wait to check it out!
    ideas by jivey

  7. What a great strategy for individual students who are having trouble staying on task!! I love it!! Thank you for sharing it!!

    I have not heard of Mr. Mutt either! I will have to check that one out (and I'm sure Stacia will too because she is an animal lover!!)

    Thanks for linking up!!
    Collaboration Cuties


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