Saturday, October 12, 2013

Spark Student Motivation: Sweet Notes Sent Home!

I have wanted to link up for this FOREVER...but on the weekends I am so drained from the whole week of teaching, I can't think of anything that I do that is motivating! PLUS, I am beyond exhausted so I just want to sleep/watch TV/do nothing, etc. I don't know what has gotten into me today, but I was up early and getting things crossed off my to-do list! I am even going to set up as many blog posts as I can for this week. I literally miss blogging. 

ANYHOW--I am for sure not the first person to do this for my students nor am I the first to blog about this, in fact, this is the second time I have blogged about sending sweet notes home. You can read the other post here.

At my school, we are required to call/email home with 3 positive things each week. I have 180 students, so 3 calls/emails a week is easy! I decided that instead of an email, I would send a postcard. This is what they look like:

I decided that since I have 6 classes, I would send home 6 a week, one from each class. I know the easy thing to do would be to send them to the "better behaved" students, but I started with the students who are acting out or who never really had a positive bond with a teacher in middle school. So many of my students are really sweet kids when you sit down and get to know them. The first week of school, I was terrified that if some of them were this badly behaved the first week of school, what would my life be like in April? Or better yet, June?! 

Let me tell you something--the kids who have received a post card with just a simple message like "Johnny had a great week in math!" or "I am so excited that Sarah is in my class this year" have done a complete 180 and are now some of my top students! Everyone is competing to get a postcard...and I teach 8th graders! These are the 13-14 year olds whose hormones are so out of whack you never know what kind of students are going to walk into your room on any given day. I know. I am still shocked. BUT, I am knocking on all kinds of wood so that I can keep the positive energy in my classes going. Some days I just sit back and think to myself, "I can't believe that they actually learned something today!"

I wish I had started using these earlier!


  1. I really needed this idea today.
    Thanks for inspiring me!

    Hodges Herald

  2. What a great impact you are making!


  3. I like that you start with the kiddos that need the note! They will be so motivated by this and remember it throughout their schooling! I send postcards for all different incentives in my class and they love getting mail! Thanks for sharing and linking up! (so glad you got up early!)
    I hope I see you again next week!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching