***This content is based on a webinar presented by Reading Horizons Reading Specialist, Stacy Hurst. ***
Our students are naturally bright and inquisitive. They have a love for learning. But somewhere along the way they can lose that spark and begin to just go through the motions in academics. They no longer seem to have fun in school. They begin to care more about the grades than the subject matter and can lose the motivation to learn.
Although some (or most) of their motivation may have disappeared, Stacy Hurst has a few suggestions to nurture, regain, and even instill additional motivation in our students.
Here are four tips from Reading Horizons Reading Specialist, Stacy Hurst, which you can implement to help increase student motivation in your classroom:
1. Students must feel competent in their ability to master a subject.
Students need to feel capable in accomplishing everything we, as teachers, require of them. To do this, we need to fully understand class material so that we can effectively deliver instruction. We must also set clear expectations and learning goals for our student so they know exactly what is expected of them. Then once we’ve given them those goals we must provide enough time for our students to practice and apply new concepts. Along the way, we need to provide feedback to our students so that they know they’re on track.
2. Encourage autonomy in students’ learning environment.
Encouraging autonomy helps students take responsibility for their learning. What motivates us, as adults, isn’t so different from what motivates our students. When we are asked to accomplish a task but have the freedom to decide how we accomplish it we take a much more active role in the process. Like us, students want to have a lot of different choices (instructional materials and otherwise) for how they learn or accomplish a task.
3. Use real-life application as much as possible.
When you teach, pull from real-life experience as much as possible. For example, when I was a first grade teacher doing math instruction I’d always use real money. I knew that by using real money it would help my students make real-life connections to the math instruction. When you teach with real-life application your students are more likely to be intrinsically motivated in their learning. And, as teachers, we know that intrinsic motivation has much more power than extrinsic motivation—so we should be aiming to enhance intrinsic motivation 100% of the time.
4. Connect the dots for your students.
Sometimes we have to teach things in isolation, but the more we can connect the dots for our students the more they will be able to relate to other subjects. Learning is a very social thing, and our students want to intelligently participate in conversations. The more we nurture this, the more they will be motivated and excited to learn new things.
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Share Your Story:
What have you done to improve student motivation? Share your story by posting under the comments section, who knows, your ideas might just help a teacher in need. We’d love to hear from you!
Professional Development Credit:
Learn more about Stacy and student motivation by watching the webinar: “Boost Student Engagement and Motivation in Your Classroom.” After watching the webinar you can even apply for an hour of professional development credit!