Students are motivated when they feel like they're part of a community working toward a big goal.  We sugggest setting class goals that are measureable, ambitious, and realistic and then implementing rewards and incentives to keep students motivated along the way.

Example strategies

If your students are working on a mission, you might consider the following strategies:

  • Keep a poster in your room that celebrates students who have mastered 10 mission-level skills, 20 mission-level skills, etc.
  • Throw a pizza party when everyone has reached 50% mission completion.
  • Encourage healthy competition between classes by seeing which class has made the most mission progress as a group. (See the video below for one example of inter-class competition.)
  • At an end-of-year celebration, give out certificates to students who have completed their missions.
  • Hold a "rocket run": Using Manage Students, divide your class into teams. Project your Real Time report. Give one team three minutes to earn as many energy points as possible while other teams watch. Repeat for all teams. The team with the most points wins. (Thanks to teachers in the Los Altos School District for this idea!)

Julianne Russell explains how she motivates students (5:00)

Julianne Russell, a teacher at St. Joseph's Catholic School in Boise, Idaho, uses "Khantests" to encourage her students to challenge themselves on Khan Academy. Click here to download Julianne's class competition poster.