I have recently started researching Robert Marzano's teaching strategies and I would like to find teachers who have used Effort and Recognition in their classrooms. I would like to learn more on the subject from educators who have practiced using this stategy.

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Could you be more specific? If nothing else, report cards can be a form of Effort and Recognition. Our district has even added "Effort" as a quanitifiable grade that goes on the report card.
Thank you Laura, I am a student and I am not sure what I am suppose to be looking for other than we had to pick one Marzano's stratgies. I am trying to understand how it is used in the classroom. I am not sure what my writing assignment will be. I am just trying to learn everything I can about it.
Students who receive a certain grade (90% for regular ed. students; 95% for preAP) get a postcard sent home to their parents commending the student on their performance.

All presentations are recorded. Students are aware that whatever they do in class will be recorded for posterity. Students have used presentations to get into academies in high school.

Students in my classes write lots of essays. Students displaying certain characteristics (depends on what's being taught) may be asked for permission to display their essays or for an essay to be used as an examplary essay for the class. (I've never had a student refuse permission.)

I have several students who are still learning what acceptable school behavior is. They receive rewards and recognition for behaving acceptably. Examples: stickers for non-tardy students; glow-sticks for students who turn in books on time to the library.

Students in my reading improvement classes get recognition and rewards for reading. Each semester, the students learn how many words they read (tracked by a computer program). They design posters explaining their achievement. The posters are hung in the hallway.

Each book is worth a certain number of points. Students receive certificates of accomplishment for reading so many points worth of books. Certificates are earned at the 25, 50, and 100 point levels. A poster, updated weekly, shows their progress.

As a class, students read a novel. If 85% of the students pass the test on the novel, we watch the movie adaptation of the novel.

As a class, student points are added together. At the 500 point level, the class earns an ice cream party. At the 1000 point level, the class earns a pizza party. At the 1500 point level, the class earns pizza and ice cream. (Note: no class has earned the 2000 point level so I haven't had to come up with a prize for that yet).

Students in my reading improvement class have failed the state assessment test. In some cases, the students have never passed the state assessment test in all their scholastic careers. Students who pass the state assessment test receive ribbons of achievement. Students who pass with commendations receive an additional pin to celebrate their success. (Note: I have an 87% pass rate on the state test with a 2% commendation rate. 15% of my students have never passed the assessment test before.)

Students and classes earning awards/rewards have their photos taken. The photos are featured prominently on one of our websites.

Rewards (aka bribes) for effort and recognition of achievement figure prominently in my classrooms.

Hope this helps!
Here are just few things I've done over the years...after a quiz or test, I will post a "Top 5" for each class that lists names (in no particular order) of students meeting or exceeding standard. It generates questions and lots of looks. I also put stickers on exemplary work and try as much as possible to put that work on display somehow. Effort is acknowledged via growth-minded comments (see "Mindset" by Carol Dweck) on student work & assessments. I also create a "Top 10" list following each quarter. Our staff has also created reward activities for our eighth graders following each quarter...activities for students to socialize with their friends from different teams as a way to reinforce the effort it took to pass all of their classes. Our efforts as a staff are still evolving, but those are just a few things.
Thank you for replying Ron. I will check "Mindset" out. I am trying to learn everything I can about Marzano's theory.
Should a students effort go towards the final grade they get?
As an aside, I don't believe in grades. When you think about grades, statistically speaking, they are not a true indication of a student's progress. Consider this scenario: a student fails the first assignment of the quarter/term. If you calculate grades based on the popular method of averaging, their "grade" will not be an accuate reflection of their true achievement and understanding of the content. Here is an interesting article on the subject:


However,if you must give grades, I believe that effort should be considered. Students who demonstrate effort by working hard and actively participants in their learning will continue to make progress.
Karren, Thank you. I there was an alternative to grading, I hate being graded. I can be taught how to do something and I can do it and understand it, but if you test me on it, I get horrible test anxiety and I don't do well. Thank you again for sharing.

Thank you for starting this discussion. It got me thinking and eventually led to this blog post:


I recommend the work of Prof's Dylan Wiliam and Paul Black - "Inside the black box". That looks at how grading and ranking students against each other may not be as effective a method as a more 'personal goals' based system. http://weaeducation.typepad.co.uk/files/blackbox-1.pdf (PDF)

Comments only marking is a big feature of their ideas... and certainly worth deep consideration as an alternative when thinking about the role and use of incentives and grading to drive performance. A couple of comments here allude to "effort" points which are powerful in that they do not focus on knowledge itself but on the abilities, strategies and skills required to learn it.

My understanding of the work of Marzano would suggest many of his ideas are similar.

The ideal system for me, certainly for all communications between student, teacher, parent and within class about individual student performance, would focus almost exclusively on improvements against personal targets. That way every kid can get the positive kick from an award for effort along with comments (regardless of ANY learning/skills variances) and both they and their parents KNOW what it is for. As others have said - what can a "D" possibly mean to anyone - at least the kid. There is no guide to action and a route forward?

Why should 'what you are required to report' dictate how you choose to motivate and engage students with meeting their own targets when the classroom door is closed.

Success begets success - put in place a system of assessment and commentary that recognises and rewards effort - and I think we may be surprised to see that the grades look after themselves and that the parents are provided with a framework for working with their children to support your aims too.

Just some thoughts from the UK.
Thank you Mark. I will check out the file. I appreciate the response.
Thanks, Mark, for sharing! I'm going to link this document to my blog (www.writebrainedteacher.blogspot.com.com) and I know my readers will appreciate this research, too!



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