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How to Motivate Students Without Awarding a Single Grade

Marc Shulman (website) of High Tech High had one of those students who seemed impossible to reach.

He never turned in any homework. Tuned out during class. And didn’t seem to care whether his grade was an ‘F’ or an ‘A.’

Marc tried everything to motivate this student; from lowered grades, to parent phone calls, to personal one on one chats. Nothing worked.

And then Marc tried something different. This simple, yet incredibly powerful thing he did got not only this troubled student working late hours into the night; but the rest of his class as well. And it had nothing to do with grades.

In this short interview, you will learn what student motivation expert and 8th grade Math/ Science teacher Marc did, as well as how to:

  • Motivate your most troubled student

  • Build relationships before building content

  • Seamlessly move from the ‘sage on the stage’ to the architect behind the scenes

  • Get students as young as 12 to produce professional work for real clients…and get paid for it

  • Create a classroom of high expectations where every student plays a part

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Kyle Wagner
School Transformation and Project- Based Learning Coach

I coach school leaders on how to lead change and improve student learning through simple, innovative srategies and teaming structures.

Preliminary School Transformation Guide



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Change doesn't have to be so hard. This book equips leaders with simple strategies for school transformation; helping schools conquer standards, individualize learning, and create a community of innovators.

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