Thursday, April 16, 2009

Motivation 101

The following information was found in the March/April 2009 of Instructor Magazine from Samantha Cleaver.

Motivating students is a difficult skill to learn as a new teacher.  We all want our students to try their hardest out of their love for us, the teacher.  But how do you build that feeling of family?  Read on and feel free to add your suggestions to the comment area.

"Building Competency
When we're good at something, we're motivated to do it.  Especially after fourth grade, when there's an increase in content and pace, it's crucial that every student knows the basics and can do the work.

Stimulate the Brain
Make sure that students have had enough to eat, and get oxygen flowing with movement.  Change things up by letting kids lie on the floor while you project slides onto the ceiling.

Know the Six C's
Build creativity, community, clarity, coaching, conferencing, and control into the day, says Richard Lavoie, author of The Motivation Breakthrough.  Set group and individual goals.  Use conferences to learn more about your students, and let kids have control over some of their day.

Tap Into Television
When teacher Rick Ellenburg learned that his students watched Discovery Channel shows, such as How Stuff Works, he linked the programs to his science curriculum.

Talk to Other Teachers
If a student is motivated in art but won't lift his pencil during math, swap notes with the art teacher.  It takes effort, says Ashley Cooper, an elementary school counselor, "but it may save time you'd otherwise spend struggling with this child."

Set Clear Expectations
Michelle Harrison, a fifth-grade teacher, gives guidelines, uses rubrics, and allows kids some say in what's included in their final grade.

Make It Relevant
Teacher Laura Kabel tells her seventh-grade students how each skill she's teaching them now will pay off in college.  "If I knew this in seventh grade," she tells them, "I would have had it easier down the road." "

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