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Saturday, March 15, 2014

Spark Student Motivation {Flashlight Friday and Furry Friends!}

It's Saturday and I am linking up with my BBB, Joanne, at Head Over Heels for Teaching for her weekly Spark Student Motivation linky!  Each week there are so many motivating strategies for students shared on Joanne's blog.  Be sure to go back and check it out!

This idea is one that Joanne blogged about here in one of her Spark Motivation posts!
I'm sure there are many teachers implementing Flashlight Friday in their classrooms thanks to Joanne! I finally implemented Flashlight Friday in my classroom but with a little incentive tied to it. Students set a new reading goal for Accelerated Reading points each 10 weeks. 
You can read more about that here and here.

This ten weeks has only three more weeks to go, so technically, students should be at about 70% of their goal. There are always those few students who don't quite make it. So, I set an incentive that the class had to have everyone reach at least 20% of their goal by this Friday for Flashlight Friday! Out of the my three ELA classes, two of them made it! Each of those classes also have two or three students that have a very difficult time reaching any goal (and their goal is very low to begin with). It was just the incentive they needed to read one or two books for independent reading at their level. Who cares if it took them seven weeks? 
It's better than nothing! :)

I also incorporated my "furry friends" into Flashlight Friday! With little ones at home, we have an overabundance of stuffed animals! I showed the class my stash last week and it is hilarious how I pick out each one from the bag. I tell the class the stuffed animal's name and which one of my children had it. Sometimes I give them a little kiss and am really gentle with the "well loved" ones. I relate it to Toy Story and how the stuffed animals don't get played with as much. They just need some new attention. The students really get into it!  I only had two boys not choose a furry friend out of both classes. 

Here are a couple students choosing their furry friend. 
They are called over to choose them in order of highest of percentage goal reached first.
Here are some pictures of my students with their flashlights and furry friends. :) See if you can pick out the furry friends. All of them are being held except the duck in picture #2.
(In some of the pictures, my camera's flash went off, so it looks brighter). 

Don't forget to go back and check out other ways to spark student motivation at Joanne's blog!

Also, another one of my BBB's, Jivey, at Ideas by Jivey is having a fabulous giveaway that you won't want to miss!


  1. You are right, there are teachers everywhere doing Flashlight Friday - and I am one of them : ).
    I like how you tied it in to your AR goals. I also love the Furry Friends - we too have an over abundance of furry friends that my children have a hard time parting with - I think we manage to purge one or two a year and they get 3 new ones!! Thanks for the new addition to our reading time : )

  2. I *LOVE* the idea of Flashlight Friday - I am definitely going to need to jump on board :) We don't do AR, so I'll need to think of some other incentive. My kiddos would definitely like to read with stuffed animals - even though they're "big kids" :) Thanks for the cute ideas!

    Joy in the Journey

  3. I love the furry friends to go with Flashlight Friday!

    Swinging for Success
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  4. I'm so glad you're doing Flashlight Friday! I love how you tied it in to your goals and furry friends too! Talk about multi-tasking! They'll definitely be "favorites" for the furry friends and maybe some friendly arguing over them, but that's what makes it such a special time! As soon as word gets out to the third class, they'll meet their goals! Thanks for sharing and linking up BBB!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  5. I have stuffed animals too! OM-gosh, the kids are attracted to them like nothing else--and it is all of them. I think we tend to forget (my self included) that these kids are still so young and seeing them curl up with a stuffed animal, beanie baby, whatever still amazes me.

    I think that some of the students still use them almost like a comfort/coping mechanism, which is totally appropriate--but it's a little aspect of teaching that sometimes gets lost in the shuffle.

    I will admit that I still have my favorite stuffed animal (it was a cheetah) but it has been passed on to my daughter and she sleeps with it every night. (warm fuzzes).

    Thanks Holly!

  6. Love the flashlight idea! My kids would really enjoy this! My kids also love the stuffed buddies---me, too! Have a great week!

    Sarah @ Hoots N' Hollers

  7. My kids really dig Flashlight Friday. I wonder if my 5thies would do the furry friends or not. They might! xo
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'