Title

Motivating “At-Risk” Youth: It’s Possible!

Location

Savannah

Strand #1

Academic Achievement & School Leadership

Strand #2

Social & Emotional Skills

Relevance

The information presented during this session will provide educators on other professionals who work with at-risk youth tools such as vision and goal setting and practical instructional strategies that can be used in all core content areas (mathematics, language arts, science, and social studies) like interactive reading guides and graphic organizers. Tools such as these supports and encourages the achievement of all students especially those at risk. The information provided also supports self-esteem development among at-risk learners. If students are successful, they feel good about themselves emotionally and they are able to see themselves as equal with their peers which creates a positive social environment.

Brief Program Description

Students who are considered at risk have unique challenges requiring tailored solutions. In this session, we will discuss and practice strategies that effectively motivate them and aid in helping them learn to think critically and achieve academically while creating an environment for their success. You will leave this session with strategies and ideas to help you differentiate your instruction while creating a supportive environment for students who may not experience success in traditional classrooms.

Summary

This session will include practical methods and strategies for motivating all students particularly those at-risk, including students from a background of poverty. At-risk students can be motivated and want to learn but outside issues may hinder their learning process. These types of students need accommodations in the classroom that are relevant, challenging, and supportive. The activities shared through this presentation will give educators the tools needed to support at-risk learners. Activities include vision and goal setting in and outside the classroom. Participants will learn how to guide students through a vision letter activity to teach them about the relevance and importance of vision and goal setting. The vision letter provides a picture of what is important for your students in an authentic manner. I will also share with participants ways to maximize intrinsic motivation such as using student interests to guide instruction. An example of this practice is surveying students at the beginning of the school year to see what they are most interested in such as sports or books and infusing that into the regular curriculum. The participants will learn classroom strategies that will challenge students yet help to foster a supportive learning environment and increase success and opportunities such as interactive reading guides and graphic organizers. The session strategies will help educators and those who work with at-risk youth learn how to accommodate students’ needs without watering down the curriculum and teach them to be critical thinkers by diversifying levels of questioning and types of questioning in the classroom. The strategies and practices shared during the session are appropriate for teachers, administrators, guidance counselors and district personnel who work with or make curriculum decisions for youth.

Evidence

Much of the session is supported by the research of Jere E. Brophy on student motivation in learning and Richard E. Ryan and Edward L. Deci on instrinsic and extrinsic motivation. The content literacy strategies used during the presentation are supported but the research of Richard T. Vacca, Jo Anne L. Vacca and Maryann Mraz and Vacca, Robert Marzano. The use of engagement that is presented during the session is supported by the research of Robert Marzano and Debra Pickering.

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

I have been an educator for 19 and 1/2 years, ten of which I spent teaching young adolescents from diverse ethnical and socio-economic backgrounds. I have been at Winthrop University for 9 and ½ years where I teach and work with teacher education candidates. I have also consulted in various schools systems across the United States such as Chicago, Pennsylvania, Ohio, South Carolina and North Carolina where I have shared my expertise on motivation and my own story of growing up in poverty and being at-risk.

Keyword Descriptors

motivation, at-risk youth, differentiated instruction

Presentation Year

2015

Start Date

3-3-2015 2:45 PM

End Date

3-3-2015 4:00 PM

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Mar 3rd, 2:45 PM Mar 3rd, 4:00 PM

Motivating “At-Risk” Youth: It’s Possible!

Savannah

Students who are considered at risk have unique challenges requiring tailored solutions. In this session, we will discuss and practice strategies that effectively motivate them and aid in helping them learn to think critically and achieve academically while creating an environment for their success. You will leave this session with strategies and ideas to help you differentiate your instruction while creating a supportive environment for students who may not experience success in traditional classrooms.