Instructional Coach Weekly Update

Week of April 24-28

Providing External Motivation for Some of our students

Through our conversations the past couple of weeks about changing intervention groups we discussed how some students just aren't internally motivated each week on their progress monitoring tests. Although, we'd love each student to be driven by internal motivations we know that doesn't always happen. I did have a couple teachers mention in their team planning meetings today that they had started offering some external motivations (dare I say ... bribery) for students who beat their previous week's score, and have seen some drastic increases. Some things to consider offering to those who need a little extra incentive if they beat their previous week's score:

  • Maybe all they need is a little pep talk from you before hand
  • Maybe all they need is to look at their graph and see last week's score so they know what they are shooting for
  • Maybe they would be motivated by a bolt buck and special "congratulations" from you
  • Maybe they would love to be recognized in front of the whole class and the class could give them a special cheer
  • Maybe they would be motivated by something tangible - sticker, pencil, gum, treat, bolt buck, etc.
  • Maybe they would be motivated to earn a special class reward - special chair, leader, first in line for lunch, lunch with a friend, teacher's helper, etc.
  • I know there's a special contest going on where students can trade in 10 bolt bucks for an entry ticket into a bucket where they have the chance to be drawn to play/do something against another teacher, I'm not sure if this would be allowed, but maybe a child who rarely makes growth could get entered into that contest for having an awesome score one week (I don't know the rules on this contest so maybe this wouldn't be allowed by the contest creators)

We can't just say, "Well they just don't care!" because deep down they do care, we just have to figure out how to help them experience some small successes to get the ball rolling.

Also.... some of you said that you'd be interested in progress monitoring a couple of your students with high testing anxiety outside the classroom. I never had anyone email to come in and cover their classroom in order to do that. If you are still interested in trying this shoot me an email!

"Teach Like Your Hair's On Fire"

Rafe Esquith is the author of the book, "Teach Like Your Hair is on Fire" that Jon mentioned today in our staff meeting. Here's a short summary of his book:

In a Los Angeles neighborhood plagued by guns, gangs, and drugs, there is a classroom known as Room 56. The fifth graders inside are first-generation immigrants who live in poverty and speak English as a second language. They also play Vivaldi, perform Shakespeare, score in the top 1% on standardized tests, and go on to attend Ivy League universities. Rafe Esquith is the teacher responsible for these accomplishments. Here, he reveals his techniques. The classroom's mottoes are "Be nice, work hard," and "There are no shortcuts." His students voluntarily come to school at 6:30 in the morning and work until 5:00 in the afternoon. They pair Hamlet with rock and roll, learn to handle money responsibly, tackle algebra, and travel the country to study history.

I thought I'd share a couple of video clips to give you some idea of what he believes in. In this first short clip he explains what he feels is the role of the teacher in the classroom.

Rafe Esquith and the role of the teacher | HundrED
Rafe explains the importance of teachers as the role model.
Rafe Esquith Teachers as Role Models

This Week


  • Full Day PD
  • ICs spending full day at the middle school working on Learning Maps


  • 7:45 - Data team meetings
  • Social Thinking check ins
  • 11:00 - Meeting with Jon
  • Video taping work with Jennifer B.


  • AM - gone for Dr. Appointment
  • PM - PD, no students


  • 7:30 - Special Education meeting
  • Learning meetings
  • 12:00 - IC meeting