Thursday, April 8, 2021

Motivating Students

Recently I was asked this question about motivating students:

“I am in a 6th grade classroom. I have a couple of students who can do their work and succeed in their efforts, but just chose not to. I feel as though a lot of this is a result of the pandemic, and everything that went on with the pandemic, with the students thinking they can just coast by. My question is: What is a good motivating tool, activity, or any useful idea in general to help out with this dilemma in my class?”

Even as an adult, I sometimes hit this obstacle too and it would be good for students to know that it happens to everyone. But not doing what I need to do isn’t an option. Sometimes I need to jumpstart myself into getting things done.

I believe the students are old enough to have input into what would help them be more successful. Explain to them that you know they can do their work but just don’t seem to be motivated. Ask them what would help them be more motivated since not doing the work is not an option.

As you mentioned, this might be a learned habit due to the pandemic. If so, then they need to unlearn the habit and learn a better one. They might need to create a list of what needs to done and then check off the items as they finish them.

I would ask students to complete a survey that asks them what motivates them. Is it tangible rewards or movement activities? Try to find out what activities they like to do. Once you know what would help motivate them, have them help you figure out a plan on what it would take to get something as a reward. Write it out like a behavior contract.

It also would be a good time to involve the parents. They are part of the team to help your students succeed. They might have some insight into something that would motivate the students. Involving parents should not be seen as a punishment for the students. It would be good to involve the parents before the situation gets worse.

How would you motivate these students? Please share.

Photo by Olena Sergienko on Unsplash

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