Reflection: Intrinsic Motivation Of Mice and Men Historical Context: Viewing and Completing a Study Guide for Riding the Rails - Section 2: Activator


I believe that teachers need to align their classroom management styles with the philosophy of the school and with the goal of promoting the positive long-term development of students. Developmental self-discipline, fair and relevant consequences, positive teacher-student relations, and peer-mediated discipline are examples of strategies that I adhere to and promote in my class room and with my colleagues.  I expand on these strategies in a book that I authored through Corwin Press entitled, Teaching Discipline & Self-Respect: Effective Strategies, Anecdotes, and Lessons for Successful Classroom Management. 

In saying this, I also understand that not unlike in my class, there are classes where students need extra external supports to develop the intrinsic motivation that is necessary for developing self-discipline and high achievement.  My high school will be implementing a school-wide behavior management plan next year which will include institutionalize affirmations through "caught in the act of doing good" and programs such as the “Khalsa Bucks” for rewarding students with character slips that can be redeemed at another time for tangible rewards at a school store.

After a class discussion that focused on what my students want to purchase at the “Khalsa Store,”  I created a menu of items that can be purchased with a certain number of “Khalsa Bucks.”  The higher the price of the item the more Khalsa Bucks would be needed. Products that were unanimously requested included body lotion, snack food e.g. chips, colored pens, and gift certificates.  Most of the items were purchased at a Dollar Store.

Was it successful?

The majority of my students fully participated in the program by saving their Khalsa Bucks for purchasing products at the end of the week.  Did it improve behavior and increase engagement?  It did for many students because I gave Khalsa Bucks not only at the end of the class but when I "caught" a student fully participating in the task.  As I used this system of positive reinforcement I began to spontaneously give a “Buck” for behaviors such as on task student to student discourse, using accountable talk, and staying focused on completing an assignment.  I explained to my students that I reserved the right to individualize the process of whom and why I give someone a Khalsa Buck.  This short video clip was taken after a student saved his KB’s for three weeks and then made his purchases at the Khalsa Store.  He commented how he learned the lesson of why one should save their money!  

Next year I will begin the intervention at the beginning of the semester but will open the Khalsa Store every two or three weeks instead of at the end of every week and see how that works.  I also will include other intangible rewards such as library passes and appropriate computer time.



  Intrinsic Motivation: Khalsa Bucks
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Of Mice and Men Historical Context: Viewing and Completing a Study Guide for Riding the Rails

Unit 9: Of Mice and Men
Lesson 1 of 15

Objective: SWBAT cite evidence in a film in order write diary entries from the perspective of a migrant worker or homeless person in the 1930s

Big Idea: What was John Steinbeck’s historical context when writing Of Mice and Men?

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17 teachers like this lesson
English / Language Arts, Reading, language choice, realism, Literature, Literary Response and Analysis, literary journal, analyze details, historical context clues, historical background, Aristotle, quotations
  80 minutes
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