I love making learning happen through fun, inquiry-based experiences. However, as we all know, there are some things that students just have to memorize (math facts, letter sounds and vocabulary words to name a few). Try as we might to make them fun, they still take some grit.

Introducing the Master’s Charts

When a student of mine did really well on an algebra sheet, I wrote, “You’re an algebra master!” on the top of his paper. It made him so proud that he kept bringing it up for months. Any time anyone said the word algebra, he’d say, “remember when you said…” The word master is powerful to these kids, so why not take advantage of it?

You will need:

  1. a piece of paper
  2. a marker to write: (INSERT SKILL TO BE MEMORIZED HERE) Masters.

Then, when students have memorized whatever skill you are working on, they get to sign the sign! That’s it. You wouldn’t believe the extra motivation it gives kids to push themselves or how proud they are to see their names up on the wall.


The picture at the top of the page is for students who learned how to do all of their count bys (learned with lots of help from these songs). The one just above is from Zach’s class, where they sign the Champion Chart when they are able to do their repeated reading with few/no errors.

It may sound silly, but it works. Enjoy!

By @SGroshell

6 thoughts on “Easiest Elementary School Hack for Increasing Motivation

  1. What age group is this with? Last year I had a wall of certificates for my lowest Algebra freshmen and they worked very hard to be able to put a certificate on the wall. We had a pizza party at the end of the semester for anyone with their name on the wall.


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