motivation vs. mood...

Day 11 Prompt: How do you find the energy to write when you're not in the mood?
Blogging about the experiences in my middle school math classroom is a tool of reflection for me. Reflection allows me to remember things I may otherwise forget over time. And it also offers me an opportunity to share insight that may save another teacher precious time and energy. Or perhaps it will spark a new idea or alternative solution...for me or my readers. Reflection is my motivation. And this motivation far outweighs the occasional mood of not wanting to write. I actually enjoy writing; it's the time investment that causes hesitation.
Although I do realize not everyone loves writing, I find the reflection required for responding to prompts opens doors to learning. My middle school math students are required to journal on a regular basis. As a 1:1 laptop classroom, we use Penzu for online journaling. Here are sample prompts from my algebra classes:
  • Compare and contrast solving equations and solving inequalities. Discuss at least three similarities and three differences.
  • Discuss the characteristics and behaviors of an absolute value function. Provide an example(s) to support your discussion.
  • Describe the environment in which you complete algebra homework. What do you like about the setting? Why? What would you most prefer to change? Why?
I encourage my students to start writing and keep writing until the set time expires. Even though it may not be the exact response they want to provide at the moment, they can always return to the prompt and their response the next day to edit. Goodness knows I rarely publish the original draft of any blog post!

Do students journal in your classroom? If so, is it open writing or prompt-response writing? Do your students maintain a blog for your course? If so, what parameters have you set to prompt learning?

This post is part of the BlogHer #NaBloPoMo challenge.

Have a fabulous weekend...make it count!