Motivation to Learn.
Encourage Students Early!!

Motivation to learn should be developed and encouraged from an early age.

Young children have a natural curiosity to explore and learn about new things.

As they grow older their motivation may diminish (if not properly nourished), so you as teachers have a responsibility, to find ways to motivate students and further develop motivation in your students.

Student motivation is a necessity so that their learning becomes a continuing,improving, interesting and enjoyable process.

You have great lessons to teach your students and you are well prepared! All you need is for your students to have that motivation to learn.

You're always thinking of a "gimmick" to motivate your students - where they are accountable to themselves and others and also having fun at the same time.

Teaching strategies that offer praise and involve a reward system have proved to be extremely beneficial in motivating students. I have used and passed on these strategies to my mentees and student teachers. They have also found these methods to be extremely effective and definitely successful.Try them - you have nothing to lose and everything to gain!

Motivation To Learn - Primary Division

For the primary division (Kdn. to Grade 3) this method of student motivation has been quite successful.

The Programme

* When you first introduce this praise reward programme, always explain the criteria to the students and include them - ask for their input - e.g. suggestions on how to gain or lose a point (actually its a sticker).

* Print the positive and negative suggestions on chart paper, continually adding and deleting. (Try to have many more positives than negatives.)

* Leave up in the classroom for all to easily see at all times.

* Some examples for getting a sticker: - sitting on the carpet quietly, not moving around, raising your hand and not calling out, walking not running, not pushing, working co-operatively - the list goes on and on.

* It's your class - you know what you're looking for - how you want your students to act.

The Setup

* Use either a bristol board (width wide) or large graph paper (easier).

* Use the bristol board or chart paper for a month, so divide it up into the number of weeks in that particular month. Print the student's name down the left side of the chart.

* Get stickers (from the $ store) associated with the month, for example, December - Christmas, January - Snowmen, April - Umbrellas, or use a different stamp or sticker for each month.

* Each time a student does a positive thing (on the list of suggestions), he/she puts a sticker by their name.

* But, if they do a negative thing, they must put an "X" on the last sticker or stamp with a special pen (that only you have in your desk).

The Prize

* At the end of the week, students who have accumulated the number of stickers that you set (say 10) as the goal for the week, get to choose an item from the "Treasure Chest".

* The "Treasure Chest" are items you have collected or purchased (from the $ store) for example, pencil, highlighter, marker, pad of paper, eraser, etc.

* At the end of the month, students who have accumulated 40 stickers or stamps (10 x 4 weeks), receive a better prize, for example a marker set.

* As the months go by, you can increase the number of stickers/stamps that students need to get.

* Remember to keep a record of what each student gets each month, so that certain students receive a grand prize at the end of the year, for example a book from Scholastics.

The Teacher's Payoff

* The reason that I have suggested that you give prizes weekly, monthly is because students especially primary ones lose interest quickly - they want and need instant gratification.

* It is additional work for you - BUT it truly works. It's been proven time and time again.

* Make it work for you and your class. Believe me, even the behavioral students crave positive reinforcement and want to participate. Never give up on those students ever!.

Motivation To Learn - Junior Division

Motivation to learn in older students in the Junior division (Grades 4 - 6) obviously require a slightly more sophisticated reward system.

Classroom team building activities are a key component in developing student motivation especially in the junior grades. Team building activities may also attract the unmotivated students you have in your class.

Remember that you must gain students' respect which is vital in creating an atmosphere where learning is a positive, meaningful and valuable experience.

One year, one of my mentees was given a very difficult class - there were a lot students with behavioral problems and it was a very challenging situation.

Watch my video and read about the classroom rewards system we came up with. This reward system started off slowly, but by the end of the year, proved to be quite successful and the students loved it! This reward system played a large role in building student motivation in my classrooms, for me, my mentees and my student teachers.

Classroom meetings are another very useful tool for developing student motivation and for classroom team building. How?

Read about my classroom team building activities where I talk about "Special Talk and Student of the Week" that will be sure to end the week off on a high note.

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