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Boosting Student Motivation from Within: Tips to Foster Intrinsic Motivation in the Classroom

Updated: Feb 3

This is the age old question - how can you motivate students and maintain classroom expectations without physical rewards or token systems? How can I get my students to make choices, manage their noise and always put 100% effort into their learning?


I can't claim to hold the magic solution, but I can share insights, tips, and resources that can nudge you in the right direction.

Intrinsic motivation

Before we delve into strategies, let's first clarify what intrinsic motivation is. This form of motivation stems from an internal desire to engage in an activity because it brings satisfaction and personal joy, rather than being driven by external rewards or influences. In essence, intrinsically motivated students learn because they genuinely love learning. It's this powerful, self-fueled drive that we aim to nurture and cultivate in our classrooms.


Incorporating intrinsic motivation into your teaching practice involves understanding your students, acknowledging their achievements, and fostering a culture that values learning for its own sake. Let's explore how these principles can be put into action to create an environment that promotes and sustains intrinsic motivation.


Fostering a Sense of Pride

An example of the Proud Program from Sherbert Learning

Initiating Conversations: Begin with open discussions that explore what makes students feel proud, including academic achievements and personal milestones. Use prompts such as:

  • "Can you think of a time when you felt really proud of something you did at school?"

  • "What are some goals you have for this year that would make you feel proud once achieved?"

  • "Are there hobbies or activities outside of school where you feel a sense of accomplishment?"


Incorporating Pride into the Classroom: Create a "Wall of Pride" where students can display work they're particularly proud of. This visual celebration can boost confidence and motivation.


There are many examples of 'Show Off', 'Pride Walls' or 'Brag Boards' to be found online.












Celebrating and keeping track

Another step towards nurturing intrinsic motivation involves celebrating students' achievements and aiding their self-recognition of progress. This can be facilitated through explicit learning goals and visible tracking systems.


Proud Notes: One method I've found successful is providing 'Proud' notes for students to place in their books whenever they're exceptionally satisfied with their work. Not only does this help students highlight their achievements, but it also allows you as a teacher to quickly acknowledge their efforts—easily fostering intrinsic motivation.


Sample of student work and example I'm proud slips from the Proud Program from Sherbert Learning

Learning Journals: In addition, I use a learning journal, which serves as a record of students' learning progress. More about this will be shared in an upcoming blog post, but a free version can be found HERE.


Example learning goals from the Sherbert Learning: Learning Journals

A few adjustments and a focus on the positives already happening in students' lives can be instrumental in promoting intrinsic motivation. Encourage them to take pride in their accomplishments and set achievable learning goals. Witness the transformation as they light up with the thrill of personal achievement—it's truly worth the effort!


Creating an Environment That Values Learning


Personal Interest Projects: Encourage students to undertake projects based on their interests. Allowing them to explore topics they are passionate about can lead to deeper engagement and a love for learning.


Choice and Autonomy: Offer students choices in how they learn and demonstrate their understanding. This could be through selecting topics for research, choosing books for reading assignments, or deciding on the format for presenting what they've learned.


Growth Mindset Encouragement: Foster a growth mindset by emphasizing effort, resilience, and the process of learning rather than solely focusing on outcomes. Celebrate mistakes as learning opportunities and encourage students to set personal learning challenges.

Engaging with the Community


Community Service Projects: Engage students in projects that connect to the wider community, highlighting the impact of their learning beyond the classroom. This real-world application can deepen their sense of purpose and motivation.


Parent and Guardian Involvement: Create partnerships with parents and guardians to support intrinsic motivation at home. Share strategies and celebrate students' achievements together, making motivation a community effort.


Save time - use a system that works!

As we explore the transformative power of intrinsic motivation in the classroom, it's clear that having the right tools and strategies is essential for success. This is where the Proud Proud Intrinsic Motivation and Behaviour Management Program comes into play.


Designed for elementary educators, this comprehensive program offers a practical framework and resources to foster an environment where students are motivated from within. By incorporating the Proud Proud Program into your teaching practice, you're not just enhancing your students' learning experience; you're setting them on a path to lifelong curiosity, joy in learning, and pride in their achievements.


Unlock the secret to intrinsic motivation in your classroom with the Proud Proud Program. Transform your teaching and inspire your students to love learning. Get started now!



The Proud Program from Sherbert Learning


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