How do you motivate students to show their best without the use of marks? The answer to this is very simple; Allow them to complete an assignment in a way such that their creativity, passion, and interests can shine. Instead of marking this assignment, let them show it off.
Back in elementary school I had “show and tell”. When it was my day I was allowed to stand in front of the class and show off who I was and tell my class who is the real David Martin (to this day I am still unsure though who I really am ;) ). My teacher never graded me on this, and I was allowed to bring in anything from home. How can this activity and true intrinsic motivation be mimicked in other grades?
I wanted to see if “show and tell” could be used in a gr. 12 classroom. In my calculus class, we were studying functions and how to graph them. Instead of asking my students to graph a function that had no meaning to them, I asked them to create a drawing (using multiple and piecewise functions) that represented who they truly were. I was amazed by what I got, and here are some of the pictures: