Saturday, February 22, 2014

Spark Student Motivation-Student Encouragement

It's S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y!!!
We have our big writing test on Tuesday! You know that day you think they're ready, let's just get this over with, and then the next day you think I need another month? I have that feeling every other minute!
To encourage my students, I asked my former students (big 5th graders now), to sign my bulletin board with tips or advice for my current students. They're very excited about this wall and couldn't wait to read it! As a BONUS, my former students were JUST as excited... a WIN-WIN! They felt so proud to write their advice and were quick to tell others, "ONLY Mrs. Miller's last year's class can write on here!" And, I think they also liked being called "Writing Experts"! LOL
I only asked my former students because they've been through it and I hoped they'd remember some of the skills and tips I taught them!

I also had the help of the 5th grade teachers to allow my former students to make my current students good luck cards. (SShhh...I'll give these cards to them on the day of the test as a surprise!)

I love how she said you're not done! I ALWAYS say that! You only have one hour and you better use the WHOLE time! :)

This former student was big on using sarcasm and humor in her writing (and did very well with her technique) and wanted to pass on her tip!
Favorite line: "Give it the passion it needs!"

I love how she tries to relax her and make her feel good about the test.
I know there are misspellings, but the message is what's important! I can tell these notes/cards were written sincerely and with heart! I love that they tried to calm their fears and give writing tips! (It also excites me with how much they remembered!) I'm so proud of my former students and can't wait to see my current students' reactions! You know how it feels to have a "big 5th grader" make something for you??!!
I know this will help motivate my students-it shows we're all in this together and they have everyone's support, even their peers!
I hope you had a wonderful week! Please link up any lessons, ideas, tips, tricks, incentives, ANYTHING you do get your students motivated or excited!
Don't forget to grab my button and link back to this post!
Check out all the wonderful ideas from my friends who link up and don't forget to leave some love by commenting....we LOVE comments!
***Please include the topic in the link up with your blog name.


  1. This is so timely. Our Writing SOL (Virginia) is in three weeks for fifth graders. I can't get my former students to do this, but I certainly can have my fourth graders do it for my fifth graders. Thanks so much for the idea.

  2. I am dying to know what is "a dish sponge"? I am in FL too and am so glad to have Monday as one more day to pump them up!!

  3. Great ideas Joanne! I love the writing experts wall.
    Enjoy your weekend!

    Coffee Cups and Lesson Plans

  4. Absolutely adorbs- I love how excited your former students were. It completely shows through in their writing!! Good luck next week- I'm sure they'll do GREAT!!

    XO, Kelly Anne

  5. Hi Joanne! I teach 4th grade in Cali, and we do that writing test in 4th grade {except this year}. Please tell me what this "ADISHSPONGE" means. So many kids wrote this, and now my curiosity is piqued.
    I love that encouragement poster!

    Teaching Powered by Caffeine

  6. what a great idea!

    Thanks for Sharing!
    Hodges Herald

  7. This is such a great idea. Our state testing is coming up quickly, so I am so glad you shared such a fabulous idea in time for me to steal it and use it with my class! :)

  8. I will be thinking of you on Tuesday!!! Those letters and advice from former students are priceless. You must have made quite a lasting impression on them. :) Best of luck to all of you!!

    Mrs. Laffin's Laughings

  9. I wondered how many would ask what a dish sponge is... I know, I know! Because I have an awesome BBB! :-P xoxo

  10. Were you channeling the Bay City Rollers at the top of your blog? Love this idea - it is super sweet. I am sending good thoughts your way but I am sure you got this. I may or may not know what a dish sponge is but since Jivey said she knows I don't want to admit it right now!!

  11. I love all of the encouragement from your former students! How sweet! I'm dying to know what ADISHSPONGE is!
    Short and Sassy Teacher

  12. Our testing is coming up in April. It will be here before I know it. I love the idea of my students getting messages from my former students. I know they would love to write them as well.

    Thank you!
    Fit to be Fourth

  13. Loved reading your post! While we do not have state testing at K-2, this is a wonderful idea I will share with my former 5th grade teaching buddy. Your kids' letters were inspiring! :0) All the best to them...

    Sarah @ Hoots N' Hollers

  14. Great idea to get your former students to dish out that great advice and encouragement. Their words and advice are precious! We have our test a week from Wednesday, excited about being done. Good luck to you and your smarties, you can do it!

  15. For those of us out of the know, what is adishsponge? I want to pass it on to my soon to be 4th grader for next year!! Love the idea of having old students cheer on new students. I do that too each year but just on being in my class since grade changes often happen. I also have my class make cards and posters for another class for FCAT because I think kids should cheer for each other! Good stuff! I'll be thinking of and praying for you guys Tuesday!

  16. This is awesome!! How sweet are those good luck cards from the 5th graders? I'll be thinking of you on Tuesday. Your students will do amazing because they have had you to prep them! :)
    Fourth Grade Flipper

  17. Hi Joanne! Encouragement from older students is always a fun way to motivate! I am also dying to to know what ADISHSPONGE is? At first, I was trying to figure out what word they were trying to spell and then I realized it must be an acronym! I didn't link up this week because I couldn't think of anything we did that was super motivating :( ...bad we had ANOTHER 3-day week due to weather!!

    Kate :)
    McDee's Busy Bees

  18. Joanne-Let's see if I'm still a no-reply blogger. LOL! I actually thought you might like if you haven't found it yet. I learned about it through my friend, Deniece, and used it for the first time with kids today. It was awesome. We're getting ready for our writing assessment in March, and it's push time. We've come a long way, but the question it enough? Ugh! Thanks for the great motivation idea. Love it!

  19. We just made our 4th grade buddies letters today to help encourage them for the big test tomorrow. It made such a difference for my kids last year to hear from the "grown-up" 5th graders that had already been there, done that. I also had the fifth graders read each of their papers for some peer editing and positive reinforcement. 5th graders can be fabulous motivators. XOXOX ROCK THE TEST!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  20. What a sweet, wonderful way for your former students to encourage your current students!!! I love this!! Yes, I'm stealing this idea too! Seems to be something I do to all your Spark posts! LOL!
    A Tall Drink of Water


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