What are strategies to motivate students during distance learning?

Have you reached the point in your school year where motivation is waning? Often as educators, we need to steer our students towards motivation. We’ve rounded up a few tips from some of the awesome Teachers in the TeacherMade community. The best advice comes from real Teachers, after all. 

Distance Learning with TeacherMade

Provide meaningful feedback to students

When you create online interactive worksheets for your students, you have to be able to provide meaningful feedback to your students. Providing feedback does a lot for motivation because it shows your students that you are paying attention, and it is one of the most effective ways to correct student learning.

Model skills and behaviors in the hybrid, remote learning class

Modeling skills and behaviors in the remote learning class reinforces a growth mindset. Tiffany S., a high school science Teacher, breaks down how she does this in her classroom:

“When reviewing information that is situational, I instruct students to annotate in a very specific manner to demonstrate not only their understanding of how to read for data but also the application and synthesis of their understanding of what specific types of data they are being exposed to.  For example, I will ask students to highlight all biological evidence in red, trace evidence in yellow, and transient evidence in green.  I then ask them to underline any type of evidence that would be considered individual and circle the names of any individuals providing testimonial evidence.  This method helps students to differentiate amongst the vast amount of information that is provided within a crime scene as well as offers a method for organization.  That, in turn, allows students to visualize the strength of the evidence as they go back to review the background upon identifying each item.  

I have found that this leads to much more thoughtful and accurate claims of responsible parties within the scenario.  Before, it was always a struggle to get students to support their “who did it” claims with actual evidential links.  It was even harder to have them explain how and why the evidence linked a suspect to a crime or victim.  Using these tools provides students with a quick, color-coded reference that can be inserted into their explanations.  As for the explanations themselves, I have used a combination of open responses and audio uploads.  The availability to do either opens up opportunities for those students that are more comfortable talking through an explanation as opposed to expressing themselves in writing.”

All of this is done using the TeacherMade app. We not only make it easy to create interactive worksheets, but your students have plenty of tools for annotation.

Have a good hook at the beginning of class to make the lesson relevant

Domain two is comprised of ways the Teacher manages the environment and behavior in the classroom. This includes Teacher and student interaction, learning culture, managing student behavior, and the physical classroom.

Domain 3: Instruction

The third domain of Danielson’s Framework is instruction, and it deals with how the lesson functions. This includes communication of instruction, questioning, discussion, assignments, instructional materials, structure, pacing, feedback to students, and responsiveness to feedback.

Domain 4: Professional Responsibilities

The fourth domain revolves around professional responsibilities that typically occur outside of the day-to-day classroom. This includes professional growth, record-keeping, communication, participation in professional development, contribution to the school environment, and professionalism.

TeacherMade is an online assignment creator with robust features. It makes instruction, assessment, and data accessible to all stakeholders in the educational process. Educators can use TeacherMade in all domains of the Danielson Framework.

Domain 1: Planning and Preparation

A large part of running a successful class is planning and preparation. Ingraining assessment strategies that collect data effectively help Teachers know where they are going. This should be step one in the planning and preparation step.

Domain 2: Classroom Environment

Teachers can improve classroom management by implementing digital tools like TeacherMade. TeacherMade prevents discipline issues in the classroom by freeing up Teachers’ instruction time. When Teachers assign work digitally, they are not spending time collecting work or passing out graded assignments. Instead, they are more focused on instruction and their students.

Domain 3: Instruction

Feedback to students can be so tough to demonstrate, but with TeacherMade, it’s effortless. Once you put your lesson plan to the test, collect the data from your lesson via a TeacherMade assignment. TeacherMade grades assignments instantly, but you can also leave personalized feedback on individual student assignments.

Domain 4: Professional Responsibilities

Part of the professional responsibility domain is demonstrating a commitment to personal growth. Using data collected from TeacherMade can help. TeacherMade presents data after student assessment. Use this data to inform decisions about ways to plan professional development opportunities.

What are Marzano Focused Teacher Evaluations?

Marzano Focused Teacher Evaluations are similar to the Danielson Framework, but we’ll break down how some nuances vary. Let’s look at Marzano Focused Teacher Evaluation Domains for a closer look.

Domain 1: Pedagogical Strategies

This domain looks at what Teachers are doing in the classroom for the lesson. This is the largest domain of the Marzano Focused Teacher Evaluation. It includes things like lesson characteristics, classroom routines, and the flow of the class. Marzano doesn’t expect to see all 41 characteristics he details here in one lesson, but there should be evidence that a lot of these characteristics occur in one lesson.

Domain 2: Planning and Preparing

Domain 2 is connected to Domain 1. This is because the success of pedagogical strategies directly relates to the planning and preparation done. Teachers need to plan lesson goals, activities, and assessments.

Domain 3: Deliberate Practice

Domain 3 is focused on how the Teacher grows. As Teachers develop their craft, their students benefit. A professional growth plan that is personalized to the Teacher will result in the most growth for the educator.

Domain 4: Collegiality and Professionalism

Marzano focuses a lot on Teachers’ growth within the school. This domain emphasizes the importance of active participation in PLC groups, Teacher-led professional development, and dynamic growth plans.

How can TeacherMade help schools make Marzano Teacher Evaluations meaningful?

Turn your Teacher evaluations into a meaningful process with the right tool. TeacherMade not only digitizes the assessment process but gives you meaningful ways to implement strategies emphasized in Teacher evaluations.

Lesson Planning

Implement a strategy for digital assignments in the lesson planning. TeacherMade makes it easy to convert PDFs into digital assignments.


Once your assignments are digitized, you have a simple way to have an goal-oriented assessment strategy that grows your students’ achievement over time. TeacherMade frees up Teachers’ time with self-grading. Instead, Teachers can zero in on more meaningful feedback on the learning targets that matter most.


Once the assessment is finished, Teachers can use TeacherMade to analyze data. Look at places that need improvement. Zero in on subgroups to tackle learning gaps.

Growth and Professional Development

Take your data and apply it straight to a growth plan that informs more meaningful professional development. Teachers will appreciate how productive TeacherMade makes them in and out of the classroom.

Gain more insight while making assignments digital with TeacherMade

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