Like a couple of other edweek.org blogs, Motivation Matters received a 9.5 out of 10 ranking by Blogged.com, a Web site that evaluates, ranks, and categorizes blogs. Of interest to readers of this blog might be the site's directory of education blogs, which you can find here....


This story in the Chicago Tribune discusses the increasingly high price tag of building high schools--sometimes upwards of $100 million. These six-figure high schools can include pools, gardens, planetariums, and other high-priced facilities, says the article. Although this kind of spending does seem somewhat excessive in light of tight state budgets, I wonder how these facilities influence the academic and emotional well-being, as well as the motivation, of the students who attend them. Part of the article hints that it may have a positive impact. Here's an excerpt: "Some of these $100 million-plus schools are magnets serving an affluent or ...


We hear a lot about hands-on lessons in science and technology, but it's not often that we hear about those kinds of experiences in other subjects. This AP story is about a financial-literacy program in a public elementary school in Chicago that gives $20,000 to each 1st grade class to invest in stocks. The kids get to choose and manage the stocks, and in the process learn financial literacy skills such as how to open a bank account, save money, and invest. Here's a little more about how the program works: "Experts manage a $20,000 portfolio for each ...


I was pretty surprised when I read this story in The Seattle Times about a school that will require all 10th graders to take at least one Advanced Placement class next year. While it seems like a good idea to encourage kids to take rigorous classes, is it really smart to require them to enroll in AP? The article says that currently, about 40 percent of sophomores take the one AP course offered to them--European History. By the time the requirement goes into effect, that course will be changed to Human Geography. That means more than half the students in ...


And now, for our (seemingly) weekly update on motivating students with rewards: It looks like the proposal New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was considering back in November that would reward students for doing well in school with cellphones equipped with prepaid minutes has actually come to pass. This is interesting for a couple of reasons. For one thing, cellphones are banned in NYC classrooms, making this proposal a bit counterintuitive. Critics say that rewarding students with a prize that's banned from schools is sending the wrong message. But Roland Fryer, the creator of the program and a leader of ...


Just to be clear, we here at Motivation Matters aren't endorsing any particular candidate in the 2008 presidential election, but we are interested in the effect the election may have on student motivation. Although, as a general rule, K-12 students can't vote, presidential elections--especially ones that are as historic as this one is shaping up to be--have the potential to excite and motivate kids by bringing history and politics out of textbooks and into their daily lives. The video below is a one example of the way a charter school in Chicago is using the election to help students get ...


This story, "Researchers Propose NAEP Look Beyond Academic Measures," by Education Week's Kathleen Kennedy Manzo is about a new report written for the Campaign for Educational Equity at Teachers College, Columbia University, which says that the National Assessment of Educational Progress should measure more than just basic academic skills. The report claims that the assessment should expand to include eight goals: "basic academic skills, critical thinking, social skills and work ethic, readiness for citizenship, physical and emotional health, appreciation of arts and literature, and preparation for work." There's an interesting discussion forming in the comments, directly linked to student motivation. ...


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