Saturday, July 13, 2013

Spark Student Motivation-Fishing for Work

Happy Saturday everyone! I'm excited for today. My husband and I are running to Target (such a dangerous place for me to go alone) to pick up a new bookshelf for my classroom (and hopefully some great find from the dollar section!)

I'm linking up with Joanne at Head Over Heels for Teaching today to share a way to "Spark Student Motivation." Those of you that have read my blog from the beginning will probably recognize some of the pictures from this post-so I apologize to you now, that is the only problem with summer-a serious lack of pictures.

I try, whenever it is possible and appropriate, to not give my kiddos worksheets. I find that as soon as I pass out a regular worksheet they immediately loose interest. I grew up in the "worksheet kids to death" time, so I try to be a bit more creative to keep their attention. 
I found this idea via Pinterest, although I cannot find the original pin. To do this activity I took a boring worksheet and created task cards from that worksheet. I then wrote a number on the bottom of each of the fish. The students went "fishing."

Once they caught a fish they matched the number of the fish onto the task card and answered it. If they got it correct, they kept the fish. If they missed it, the fish went back into the "pond." (I provided each group with an answer key.) To make it fair the students all had to answer a question before they could fish for a new question.

This activity took a while, but they enjoyed it, and it definitely kept their interest the entire time! It was a fun and very unique way for students to practice a given skill. My goal is to use it once a month, I don't want to use it too much so the "novelty" wears off.

What do you do to motivate your students?


  1. What a great way to motivate your students to keep working! My students give me "the look" when they see a worksheet.

    Foreman Teaches

  2. Cute idea! I was thinking the other day it would be fun to fish for words... where I would put their word sorts on magnets and they can fish for it... when they pull it out, they can sort it :) I love this idea too!!

    Thanks for sharing!
    Three Cheers for First Grade!

  3. Very cute and would definitely keep my little friends motivated!

  4. So cute!! :) I used to love that game when I was younger!
    ideas by jivey
    Follow Me On Facebook! :)

  5. Great idea! Thank you for sharing. I agree with you about the worksheets. Although sometimes they are necessary,I also try to minimize the use of worksheets in my classroom. I appreciate the great alternative!

    Fit to be Fourth

  6. I SO loving this idea right now. Such a creative use of a game. This is another reason why I love bloggy land, I've found so many ways to repurpose a game into an educational game & replace those boring worksheets. I too grew up in the time of worksheets (or ditto's as some of my teachers referred to them), when the copier was called "a ditto machine". The time when your class work was doing the odd numbers in the book & your homework was doing the even numbers, so by the time you went to bed you had done anywhere from 50-100 of the same kind of problem. Again, thanks for sharing this game idea.


  7. I loved that game as a kid! Such a cool idea.

    Creating Lifelong Learners

  8. I love this! One of my students is big time into fishing. This would be perfect to keep his interest!!!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  9. How cute! Bethany, why didn't you tell me about this 2 weeks ago??!! I just donated it to Goodwill! haha Maybe I can go buy it back! :O) What a great idea-love it! Thanks for sharing and linking up!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  10. I have this fish game in my closet. What a truly inspired idea!


  11. Such a cute idea, Bethany! I can totally see how this would spark motivation! :) Just having questions on task cards changes it up and you provided an engaging activity that makes it so fun!! This could be adapted in so many ways. You have me thinking!
    Fourth Grade Flipper

  12. Thanks for the fun idea! I have magnetic fish and fishing poles from a Lakeshore game I used when teaching kindergarten. Thanks for giving me a fun and engaging way to use it in 5th grade! :)

    ~Amanda @ elementaryteacherfiles