Motivating students to do their personal best work can sometimes be a challenge. Often times students will want to just finish something quickly, regardless if the quickness of finishing the activity compromises the quality of the work!
One strategy we use to help motivate our students to do their best work is to offer them an audience to share some of their work. The audience is generally an audience of their choice, which may include, a friend, a group of peers, our whole class, a group from another classroom (such as younger students), another teacher, our principal, or even the entire school at one of our Celebrations of Learning. The kicker is, the students know they may not share work with a special audience unless it is their personal best work!
Public exhibition of work is not only a great way to help motivate students to work at their highest potential, but it is also has another benefit. It can actually be a way to motivate other students who are in the audience!
For example, at our Celebrations of Learning, our whole school gathers, and students share something they have learned in the classroom. This can be a research project, a math activity, a field trip experience, a writing piece...anything that reflects something the student(s) have learned in the classroom.