Loaded Potatoes

What do we need to be doing in ELA classrooms? That’s a loaded question. Mmm, now I want a loaded potato. You know…with bacon bits, sour cream, cheese, chives…My mouth is watering.


 According to this week’s reading, there is much to be done in any ELA classroom. One reading talked about the importance of motivation in the classroom. I agreed with the reading that in order to have a successful classroom, a teacher must first designate a meaningful task, which will then prompt students to become more motivated.

Thinking back on my high school education, there is nothing from any of my classes that I have kept. I threw away all math tests; I don’t have a single chemistry lab, and I definitely didn’t keep any reading journals or character logs. Sure I got them done, but was it because of motivation or because I knew my grade depended on it (and I cared about grades)? The kind of motivation that needs to be in ELA classrooms is the type of motivation that leads students to craving more. It must be challenging enough that the students use critical thinking and want to investigate it. It must be challenging enough that it doesn’t trump their abilities but motivates them to strive for their best.

I never did homework because I found the task quote “meaningful” unquote. I never motivated myself to go above and beyond the homework requirements. I want to motivate my students to never settle for my homework requirements; those are strictly minimums. I want their motivation to spark from the fact that I am assigning meaningful tasks.

Cheesy picture, but I dig it.



One thought on “Loaded Potatoes

  1. I think it’s useful to think more deeply about the question “Why homework?” I mean, really. Kids are in school for 8 hours a day. Why do we think they need to go home and do MORE schoolwork? When are kids supposed to exercise, spend time with their families, read the books they want to read, pursue hobbies, relax? But I like your point about meaningful homework. I like independent reading as a homework assignment: when students are hooked on a book, they will feel motivated to read outside of school.

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