Getting around points

I have to find a way of getting around “points” in class. If we structure a class around points the students will only do what they have to. If they want to be there, then they will do more than they have to. Points can be like a reward. Therefore, most kids will do whatever they have to to get the points. But for the ones that aren’t driven by parents, expectations, grades, college, and whatever else, they won’t strive for the points because they don’t care. Some of them just care only about how much learn and others are just apathetic.

The point that I am trying to make is that once points are the motivator for class, the students will only do what they have to. This does not tap into their intrinsic motivation. Students need to be there because they want to be there, not because of points.

This can happen in many ways, but here are a few.

1. Personalization [as individuals and also to their current culture]

2. The class must have a challenge [this is not to be confused with rigor. It doesn’t need to be rigorous and hard, just present a challenge so that they have to be attentive. This generation likes to be challenged, especially the video gamers. They are always looking to get to the next level.]

3. Web of connection [this is another Ben Slavic term. It is the relationship that is built between the teacher and the student as we connect with our hearts and our heads. If we win their hearts, they will want to be there]

When these kids are dedicated to something, it is amazing! They go way beyond any teachers expectations. Hollywood has capitalized on this fact. Think about how many movies and success stories have been written about it. This is the key to having the students be there because they want to instead of “points.”

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