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  1. I enrolled in the Motivating and Challenging all students course. I was very happy with the course as it provided very relevant information that I have already used in my classroom. Also, through the research paper/reflection that I wrote I was able to force myself into some research that I can now present at our school meetings to present my case on why I believe some of the things we’re doing as a school is irrelevant, but to actually present other research and actual ideas on how to help improve student motivation instead of just complaining about it but not having valid input on what we should be focusing our energy on. The presentation by Mrs. Thompson was also very informative and relevant and what I thought was very much worth the time. This also provided me with good resources that I will use in my classroom.

  2. I really enjoyed hearing Julia talk about the different ways to get kids motivated. I was happy to recognize that I do some of those things already, but then it also gave me some ideas I’m looking forward to trying when the school year starts again; such as tangible free rewards and personal goal setting. I enjoyed writing the reflection paper because it gave me an opportunity to sit down and really plan out how I could implement some new strategies into my classroom.

  3. Assignment #3: I took notes throughout the presentation which were helpful in passing the “check for understanding” questions. The format of the questions was effective because it gave us the opportunity to; demonstrate our understanding, go back and review concepts that we may not have understood the first time, show our new understanding if a review was needed, recognize the key concepts/ ideas, be accountable for the presented material, and ensure success for all students. I like that these questions served as a reminder of the opportunities that we as teachers should be providing to our students. Allowing unlimited tries for the questions is a great way to lower the affective filter in students and help build their confidence. After all, success builds more success!

  4. Assignment #2: I really enjoyed the video presentation by Julia Thompson and am thankful for the many new strategies and activities I learned about as a result. I am about to start my second year of teaching so I do not yet have an abundance of resources in my “teacher tool-belt”. I appreciate that rather than just talking about how to motivate and challenge students, she provided us with real examples and applications that are ready be put in place right away! Because there was a lot of information in this presentation, I may have to focus on one thing at a time during implementation.

  5. Assignment #1: The First-Year Teacher’s Survival Guide was very helpful and informative. The layout is clear, organized, and user friendly, which makes it a resource I want, and plan to refer to in my future teaching endeavors. When reflecting on my own teaching practices, I found that sometimes I would be too focused on the big picture and not place enough importance on the steps to get there. In that regard, the table located on page 203 is very helpful for simple and short activities to incorporate more practice techniques into your lessons. Great book!