Motivation in the Classroom

Motivation in the classroom plays an important part. There are many reasons why motivation is important and there are many different things that effect a student’s motivation. A student outside or home life may affect the student’s ability to perform in the classroom or the students social life while at school. When a teacher is trying to get his or her class motivated about learning there are many things that her or she needs to take in consideration.

Teachers should make sure that they know their students, get to know their likes and dislikes. Use this when teaching a lesson, if your students are active try and incorporate an activity that involves them being active, if there are students that like technology use the computer in your lesson, for your creative students has them create a project about the lesson. Somehow find a way to engage them all into the lesson. Don’t forget to change how you teach your lesson, “Variety awakens students’ involvement in the course and their motivation.

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Break the routine by incorporating a variety of teaching activities and methods in your course: role playing, debates, brainstorming, discussions, demonstrations, case studies, audiovisual presentations, guest speakers, or small group work. ” (Forsyrh & McMillan, 1991). Make sure that the students are active participants within the learning. Students learn better by being involved, they also get motivated when they are doing something instead of sitting there listening to a teacher lecture about a subject. “Students learn by doing, making, writing, designing, creating, and solving. (Davis, 1999, page 2). Allow students to participate in making goals, help them to make an achievable goal, but let them have a say in it. By allowing the students to have a say in their goal or how they are going to reach their goal will get the student excited about it, this will then get them motivated to reach that goal. “Students are more engaged in learning when they are active and have some choice and control over their learning process, and the curriculum is individualized, authentic and related to their interests. (N. d. , 2005, pg 1). One thing that I think that is a key to getting students motivated is their teacher. Students follow by example, if the teachers goes into a subject with the attitude that the students are going to be bored and are going to hate learning about the subject, the students sense that and are most likely not going to be motivated about learning. If a teacher goes into a subject, that may be a tough thing to teach or is boring, with a positive and excited attitude the students will be motivated to learn.

If the teacher goes into the subject with exciting and fun ways to get the students attention then that teacher will have more of his or her students motivated then the teacher that shows that the subject is boring and is dreading teaching it. Students are children they mold to their surroundings. If the atmosphere in the classroom is dull and boring then the students are going to be bored, but if the atmosphere is fun and energetic then the student are going to be that. If their teacher is fun and excited about a lesson most of the students will want to know why and will be motivated to learn.

There are many, many other ways to create motivation in your classroom, it is all about being creative and knowing your students. Motivation plays such a key part in education. “High motivation is linked to reduce dropout rates and increased levels of student’s success. ” (N. D. 2005, pg 1). It is also known that students that are motivated retain information and concepts longer and do not need as much review on the subjects. These students are also known to be students that continue to learn new things through out their life; they continue to strive on learning new things as well as to contribute their education in a school setting. N. d. , 2005, pg 2). In response to Aaron Cooke’s letter in chapter 17, I would respond that it is appreciated that he gave me his ways of motivating the students in his classroom. It is very common that teachers struggle with getting students motivated especially when they have to teach subjects that are not interesting to the students as well as to the teacher, more or less as Aaron states, subjects that are boring. In many cases the students are not motivated, as Aaron states that some students are motivated but many are not, I would suggest that Aaron takes some time to get to know his students.

Learn what their interests are and how they learn. “Not all students are motivated by the same values, needs, desires, or wants. Some of the students will be motivated by the approval of other, some by overcoming challenges. ” (Davis, 1999, para 2). Good examples are to create different ways for the students to learn the activity or lesson. If you have students that are motivated by visual effects, create something that attracts them, the same for students that learn better by being creative, create an activity that would pertain to them, and for students that are very active, involve them in something that has to do with them moving around. Aaron could also try to get the students excited about the lesson, by being creative and making up a fun way to get them involved. Set the example in the classroom, if your students see that you are excited about a lesson then they will be curious as to why. It’s the same the other way around, if you show that you are bored by teaching a lesson then the students will be bored. Show them that you are interested and they may surprise you by being interested and motivated, too. Another great way to get your students motivated is not to undermine them.

We read in the chapter about Kohn, he states that “we’re offering attention and acknowledgment and approval for jumping through our hoops, for doing things that pleases us. ” (Marlowe, 2006, pg 203). This can undermine a student’s motivation because they realize that they are doing all these things to just please us. It can also affect them because they become so depend on our praise, that when they reach something that they do not know how to do or are struggling with, they will give up because of that thought that there will be disappointment from us because they are not doing it right or they do not know the answers.

Although sometimes subjects are tougher to teach to students then others and that it is definitely a challenge when the subject is boring. Maybe try an incentive chart where every time they felt they did their best work or tried their hardest on an assignment (whether they got all the questions right or only a few) but they really tried, they got to add a sticker to their chart or a classroom chart and when it fills up you could give a reward, then eventually wean them off of the reward and allow the reward to be pride in themselves.

In Chapter 18, I would respond to Maria Dias letter by sympathizing with the situation she is in. It is tough to watch a child struggle with a problem and see them emotionally break down. My answer to her question, what do you think? Would be that I think that Sam has been praised on his intellect to often ant not on the effort he puts into his work. When students are praised on their intellect they eventually encounter problems when the studies or problems get too hard for them. “Students who had been told they were smart when they succeeded now feel dumb because they had encountered a setback.

They had learned to measure themselves from what people said about their performances, and they were dependent on continuing praise in order to maintain their confidence. ” (Marlowe, 2006, pg 210). The best thing to stay to Sam is that you appreciate the effort he put into figuring out the problem. Continue to praise him on his effort. This is also a great thing to do with all the students. Instead of praising the students on their intellect, praise them on how they solved the problem. Did they find a different way to solve the problem then the others?

Did he or she find a short cut instead of drawing all 19 stamps? Make sure to comment on this if they did. Even if Sam or the other students get the problem wrong, reassure them that it is okay to get things wrong, that is why you are there, to help them get it right. A great way to approach students that get frustrated when they are not able to solve a problem would be to really encourage effort. One way to do this is through a motivation chart or setting a goal to be reached. You can have your students have a self fulfilling reward.

Give each student a number, I would base this on your observations of how often they get frustrated doing work during a week. I would start out with a weekly incentive then move onto monthly. So if you notice that Sam gets frustrated during math time every day, and it is usually during the harder problem, you should make the incentive for 3 or 4 stickers or smiley faces for the week (make sure to leave room in there for a not so good day, you do not want him to get discourage because he does not fill it the first week). “Make sure that goals are challenging but achievable.

Encourage students to take ownership for their learning and to reflect on what they have learned and accomplished. ” (N. d. 2005, pg 2). Give him a paper with 4 boxes on it, when he completes that activity everyday, if he did his best work and really put effort into the problems he gets his smiley face, whether the answer was right or wrong. This will eventually help him understand that we get things wrong sometimes, but by putting the effort in and trying and not giving up eventually he will get the answer right. The incentive chart with just help im have the confidence he needs to push past the part of giving up and breaking down in tears, because he will know that his effort will be praised not his intellect. I would end my response back with pointing out a positive note, like the fact that she took notice to Sam having difficulty and decided not to ignore the issue but to write to her professor for advice. As teachers sometimes our greatest resources are not just books but fellow co-workers or other teachers. In chapter 19, Yousef Ibrahim has taken on a classroom with children that have not had their basic needs met.

When writing back to Yousef, I would congratulate her on getting her own classroom. Sometimes it is difficult to find a teaching job and it is always exciting when a teacher gets a job. You can tell from her letter she is very excited about it. Then I would go into expressing my concern for the students as she has. It is tough to work with children that live a very hard life outside of school. Motivation is not only something that can be influenced at school but is also influenced while not at school. “Students motivation is influenced by both internal and external factors that can start, sustain, intensify, or discourage behavior. (N. d. 2005, pg 1). A great way for Yousef to help her students in the classroom is to help them meet those basic needs that they are lacking. The most important or proponent of all the needs is the need for hunger. “A person who is lacking food, safety, love and esteem would most probably hunger for food more strongly than for anything else. ” (Marlowe, 2006, pg 219). I would suggest to follow in her co-workers foot steps, to provide some type of food for her students, if this need is met she will be on her way to making progress to get her students motivated in the classroom.

The next need the Yousef should focus on is the need for safety. This can be a need that can be easily accomplished in a classroom with a teacher that truly cares about her students. Make sure the classroom is a place where students can feel safe. Keeping an easy and comforting tone with you students may help. Making sure you students know that you are there to help them, whether it is to help solve a math problem or a home or friend problem. Maybe you can designate a special day to stay after school or free a lunch time to allow students the opportunity to come and talk.

Another good way to ensure safety in the classroom is to keep things to a schedule. Posting the daily schedule on a board or a wall will help eliminate as much unexpected occurrences for the students. Making sure that they know of schedule changes in advantage also will help. This will give them a sense of control over knowing what will happen next. Once the needs for hunger and safety are met, the need for love and self esteem will emerge. Continue to provide your students with the care they deserve, be there for them when they need you, and encourage them when they need to be encouraged and support and respect them.

When these basic needs are met, then you can concentrate on motivation in the classroom. A great way to help you students with motivation and self esteem could be to make a classroom goal. You could make a great big gumball machine and a whole bunch of gumballs. Set a goal for each student and make that many gumballs (example: 5 gumballs per students and you have 20 students so you need 100 gumballs). Explain that there are 100 gumballs and every time you catch a student putting their best effort into their work they get to put a gumball into the gumball machine.

Give the students a date as to when you would like all the gumballs to be in the machine and see if they can reach the goal. There does not have to be a physical reward, but you can have one, it can be a self-fulfilling reward. Not only would this be fun for the students but it will help get them motivated to learn and try. In chapter 20s letter, Lori Henault tells us her story about her student Sally. The first thing I would say to Lori is I would compliment her on finding the root of the problem and for her trial and error. Every student is different and what may work for one student may not work for another.

She took the time to try different approaches with Sally until she found one that worked. I had liked how once Lori realized threatening Sally with telling her parents didn’t work that she went with a positive approach like asking Sally to help her fellow students. Although it did not work for very long, I think it definitely helped with Sally’s self esteem. One thing that I would suggest to Lori to do is to record Sally’s progress on day to day basis. She stated that when Sally had a bad she would go back to allowing her to come in during recess or have lunch with her.

I would record these days to see if there is a pattern with them. Is it the first day of the month or after a certain weekend, this may be able to help her prepare for that bad day and she may be able to find out what is causing that bad day. As far as another suggestion for Lori, I can not seem to come up with one, she handled the situation appropriately. She tried different scenarios through trial and error and found the root to Sally’s problem. She makes accommodations for Sally that meet her needs and she is seeing results from this. She should continue to offer Sally support she needs.

In conclusion, we are shown four different scenarios where motivation plays a large part in how a student performs in a classroom. We are shown how students mimic a teacher’s attitude when teaching, how outside life affects a student’s performance in a classroom, and how student’s motivation to learn diminishes once the work gets too hard. All of these cases along with many more affect how a student learns. Motivation in the classroom can take a classroom and learning to another level. Students that are in school are there to learn, why not make it a fun experience.

You are guaranteed to make lifetime learners out of them. As a teacher your job is to educate the future, that does not mean that you stand in front of a classroom and lecture to your students and the ones that pay attention learn and the ones that do not are not your problem because you taught it and they choose not to listen. It means that you need to differentiate your teachings to your students. If it means that you need to take extra time to find ways to motivate your whole class or just a few students, then that is part of your job.

In the long run, your students will retain more information for a longer period of time and you will not have to spend more time on re-teaching the lesson or reviewing as much. If students are having fun while learning, there are more likely to remember the lesson then them being bored and not paying attention. Besides think about how much fun the teacher will have while teaching the lesson, if not only because it is fun but because your students will be excited and it will show when you assess them.

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