How to Unleash Student Intrinsic Motivation from Day One

You can unleash a student intrinsic motivation from the first day of school. First, you start the school year with authentic connections. Second, you create a culture of learning. In today’s episode, Mike Soskil, award-winning science teacher and Global Teacher prize finalist, shares his ideas for starting school.

Additionally, he shares secrets for creating a culture that unleashes student intrinsic motivation. While Mike is an elementary science teacher, I learned many techniques that apply to my middle and high school classrooms.

Listen to this show on: BAM Radio Network | iTunes | Stitcher

Today’s Sponsor: Freshgrade

This episode is sponsored by Fresh Grade. Freshgrade has a free tool that lets you create student portfolios. To make them even more powerful, these portfolios can include video, sound, various kinds of media, text and more. In fact, you can even include student and parent comments!
In light of their flexibility, consider using Fresh Grade for your student portfolios. Take time to test out Fresh Grade. It’s free for parents, students and teachers.
Check out Freshgrade’s Portfolio System
If you go to Fresh Grade’s site, you’ll get a bonus episode with Todd Whitaker about The Biggest Mistake Teachers Make When Giving Their End of the Year Grade.”

Show Notes:

  • How letting his students share their learning in more meaningful ways other than passing the test on Friday made magic!
  • How does Mike give students powerful global experiences from the first day of class?
  • What is mystery animal Skype?
  • How does Mike start the school year in a strong way?
  • What do you do and say to develop a classroom culture of respect and learning?
  • Can you help students become more intrinsically motivated?
  • What is the advice Mike would give to himself as a first year teacher?

Michael Soskil @msoskil was a top-10 finalist for this year’s Global Teacher Prize, widely considered the Nobel Prize of Teaching. Mike has been recognized for the innovative ways he empowers his students to use learning to solve problems around the globe. Additionally, he was a 2012 winner of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching. Currently, Mike teaches elementary science in northeastern Pennsylvania.

Originally published at on August 15, 2016.