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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One particular example of how I have used Marzano's strategy of reinforcing effort and providing recognition is when I wanted to challenge the 4th/5th graders in my class to memorize the multiplication facts. (It also ties in with Marzano's instructional strategies of setting objectives and providing feedback, and homework/practice.) The students understood the concept of multiplication, but have not completely memorized the facts through the tens. Knowing that they would need to have a quick recall of these facts in order to be successful in mathematics, I focused on having each student set an objective to learn the facts and showed them ways that they could incorporate practice of these facts into their homework routine through games and activities. During the lesson I talked about how their efforts with practice would be directly responsible for their ability to learn these math facts and recall them quickly on the quizzes. I then followed up this lesson by noting their scores and providing written feedback on their quizzes and through verbal communication with them. Each student was required to keep track of their progress toward the goal by marking their scores on a chart and reflecting on their practice efforts. In the written comments on the quizzes and verbally when I pass back their papers, I also reinforced the students’ efforts in practicing and recognized their progress toward the learning goal when they improved their scores and passed quizzes. I think that by using the strategies of setting objectives and providing feedback, reinforcing effort and providing recognition and homework/practice I was successful in getting most of the students to focus on learning their facts and they made good progress in the next month. Since there were still a few students that are stuck at one level of facts, such as the 7s, I talked with these students to reiterate the importance of practice and reminded them that they could break the larger goal into shorter goals, such as learning the 8s facts within the next two week, so that it felt more manageable. To further reinforce their efforts and provide recognition in a way that would help them sustain their efforts over several weeks, I told the class that when they all met the learning target of quickly recalling the multiplication facts, as shown by passing all the quizzes through 10s, we would have a celebration in the class with cupcakes. While I don't usually use tangible rewards for students, I thought that if I treated it more like a celebration of their achievement than as a reward, per se, that it would get them excited and reenergized to practice their facts and work toward the goal. All of the students showed steady progress after that and have since mastered the multiplication facts. (And enjoyed their cupcakes!)

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