This month, we’ve been celebrating Children’s Book Week, an annual tribute to children’s literature and a rallying call to promote reading engagement among our school communities. As this year’s celebration draws to a close, let’s explore the vital elements that can foster intrinsic motivation and drive meaningful engagement in the learning process.
The Power of Engagement
Research has consistently shown that students who are deeply engaged in their own learning not only adapt better to the classroom environment but also perform significantly higher academically. Fredricks, Blumenfeld, & Paris (2004) highlight the pivotal role of motivation in successful learning, emphasising the need for students to be both motivated by and deeply engaged in their educational journey.
Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Motivation
Before we can develop strategies for motivating our students, we must first understand that not all strategies are created equal. One common way in which motivational strategies can be categorised is intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation refers to motivation that comes from within the student such as the activity being personally rewarding or enjoyable, while extrinsic motivation may come from external factors such as reward scheme or incentives. Delving into the debate of intrinsic versus extrinsic motivation, a meta-analysis of over 100 studies by Deci et al. (1999) revealed that intrinsic motivation is correlated with higher levels of effort, satisfaction, and learning. But how can we inspire intrinsic motivation in our students?
What Drives Intrinsic Motivation?
- Autonomy: Instilling a sense of control, agency, and independence.
- Competence: Fostering feelings of effectiveness, capability, and success in tackling challenges.
- Relatedness: Meeting the need for meaningful interaction and connection with others.
Harnessing Intrinsic Motivation with Lexia
How can we guide our students towards intrinsic motivation when engaging with the Lexia program? Here are some different ways that you can employ these key drivers of intrinsic motivation in your Lexia sessions:
- Choice Matters: Provide students with choices, allow them to select their activities or strands during sessions. Both Lexia® Core5® Reading and Lexia® PowerUp® Literacy offer students a choice of activities, promoting their autonomy.
- Interactive Engagement: Encourage participation in the varied opinion polls and questions embedded throughout the program. Look out for these appearing and ask the student why they answered that way. Encourage their independence in their responses.
- Goal Setting: Enable students stay actively involved in their learning by setting their own goals. The myLexia Resource Hub provides downloadable Goal Setting Worksheets to empower students to set themselves actionable goals and the Student Programs dashboard gives students to the tools to track their progress towards these goals.
- Involvement: Share data with students, allowing them to play an active part and clearly see the growth that is occurring due to their effort.
- Personalised Learning: Lexia’s Auto Placement feature ensures the right level of challenge for each individual pupil. If a student has continual difficulty on the program, consider reassessing them to see if their needs have changed. You can also manually place a pupil at a level based on your own knowledge of their needs.
- Celebrate Success: Acknowledge every success, whether it’s completing levels, units, or dedicated usage goals. Verbal reinforcement can be a powerful tool to highlight each small achievement as they occur in the classroom.
- Certificates of Achievement: Utilise Lexia certificates to mark students’ achievements and let them know they are succeeding. A range of different types of certificates can be download from the Resources Hub by visiting the Student Achievement section.
- Regular Monitoring: Keep up with myLexia reports to intervene when students face challenges. This can prevent too many unsuccessful attempts in an activity, potentially leading to reduced motivation.
- Open Dialogue: Engage in open conversations with students about their Lexia progress, levels, minutes completed, and goals. Most pupils enjoy the opportunity to talk about their most recent achievements in the program.
- Peer Sharing: Encourage students to share their experiences with each other, fostering a sense of community. Allowing students to share what they are covering in their new level can motivate others to get to that level too!
- Competitions: Host competitions at the class or individual level, showcasing individual achievements to the class. You can utilise myLexia data or information from the Student’s dashboards to introduce a ‘Streak of the Week’ or ‘Units Leaderboard’.
- Classroom Environment: Leverage the classroom environment to display Lexia progressions and successes. Timelines can be used to provide a clear visual of your pupils progress through the program while certificate displays and leaderboards give students a space to celebrate each other’s achievements.
- Social Media Sharing: Capture and share success stories on your school’s social media. This helps to create a sense of pride within the wider school community. Make sure to use #LexiaUK to share these achievements with us too!
Crafting a Lexia Engagement Plan
To ensure a holistic approach to fostering Autonomy, Competence, and Relatedness, consider creating a Lexia Engagement Plan for your school to ensure that these strategies are tailored to your unique environment. Follow the steps below to begin:
- Build Autonomy: Detail how the school will empower students with choices, goal-setting, and transparent data sharing.
- Promote Competence: Outline the school’s commitment to celebrating every success, utilising personalised learning features, and monitoring progress proactively.
- Promote Relatedness: Describe how the school will encourage open dialogue, peer sharing, and the use of the classroom environment and social media to enhance the sense of community.
By implementing these strategies, your school can unlock the full potential of Lexia programs, creating an environment where students are not only motivated but deeply engaged in their learning journey. If you require any support in developing your Implementation Plan for Lexia, get in touch with our knowledgeable and friendly Customer Care team.