So, you are into week #2 of NaNoCOWMoo. Possibly, the initial rush of motivation has begun to flag as the days and weeks wear on. What began as a novel project (pun intended) has turned into an overwhelming routine. Through the endurance test known as NaNoCOWMoo, how can you keep your class motivated? Here are a few unorthodox methods you might want to keep in mind:
1. Studies have shown that student performance improves if they receive good news just before they begin an activity. For example, just before the writing session, you can announce, “Last night, I booked our class field trip to Paris!” Okay, maybe it’s just ten minutes of extra recess time, but you get the idea.
2. Chew gum! I know, I know . . . gum is banned in many schools for good reasons. There is some evidence, however, that chewing gum can actually improve concentration. To put it in plain English, “a fronto-parietal network for mastication exists and may contribute to higher cognitive information processing.”
3. Get outside! We’re not suggesting you haul the computer lab outside (although, the more I think of it, the more interesting the idea sounds). Just before a writing session, and possibly part way through, take the kids outside for a run around the playground. Get those large muscles moving. Improve that circulation to the brain.
Maintaining motivation over the long haul is possibly one of the most challenging aspects of writing 50,000+ words over 30 days. If you have any tricks for keeping your students motivated, we’d love to hear from you. Just leave a comment.