Careers & Education

Motivating students to learn

Info Guru, Catalogs.com

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bored student
A bored youngster isn't going to learn
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Motivating students to learn is what an effective teacher does

Some children are eager beavers when it comes to learning while others may need a bit of a push. This doesn’t mean that the kids in the latter group are intellectually inferior to those who are inherent learners and it also doesn’t mean that these youngsters are lazy. They just need something that piques their curiosity and interest. Staring at an assignment written on the blackboard may not do it for them.

Motivating students to learn is a rewarding experience for educators and parents because they observe that "ah-ha" moment when the child grasps a new concept.

Those individuals who have gone on to achieve great things in their profession of choice are likely to recall that exact moment when a teacher or parent introduced them to a subject in a way that it suddenly and forever fascinated them and took hold of their intellectual imagination.

Granted, a teacher has a Herculean task because he must try to meet the needs of a group of children who may have very little in common except their age. Incorporating learning tools, games, graphics and other learning aids into the school day helps even the most lethargic and disinterested learner become engaged. Once engaged, he’s learning even if he’s not aware of it.

Giving rewards when a student accomplishes something or wins a contest for example is a good way to motivate children, even if the reward is nothing more than a Gummy Bear. That Gummy Bear was hard-earned and is valued by the youngster.

Rewards don’t have to be in the form of tangible objects; praise, encouragement and/or a pat on the back are also forms of rewards that prompt children to do their best.

When a teacher takes the time to place a ‘good job’ sticker on the child’s assignment this is positive reinforcement and a reward which encourages the child to keep doing his best.

Tangible rewards --- stickers and stamps, a new pencil, a Gummy bar – are extrinsic motivators that, in time, yield intrinsic motivation.

When someone is acknowledged for doing a good job he is more likely to keep doing a good job because humans like to be recognized and rewarded.





BOR-ING

If a teacher stands in front of her students and drones on and on, the kids are going to get bored. Participation in the classroom is one key to keeping the classroom alert and wanting to learn. When children can actually get physically involved --- building something, painting a picture --- this is beneficial to them. Hands on learning is a great tool and works quite well particularly with those children that aren't that interested in sitting and reading about how to do something. They would far rather do it.

When visual aids are used in a classroom, kids like that, especially this up and coming generation which has been weaned on visual images. Furthermore, some children simply learn easier and better when they can see the object that is being discussed and can observe how it works or the way that it was built. Many students like touching the object. Consider using lots of graphics in our class room to keep your kids excited. A room full of color is invigorating, stimulating and interesting.

It’s okay for kids to have fun while they are learning. Not only is it okay but it is recommended. A bored child who is forced to stare at assignments on a black board all day long, with little interaction with the teacher or other classmates, is not going to do well because, well, he’s bored and will drift off.

An effective and savvy teacher has some tricks up her sleeve. If she keeps the classroom environment interesting and perhaps even unpredictable within reason, her students are going to be excited to come to class each day because they want to see what's going to happen. They don't want to miss out.

An innovative teacher that takes the time to go the extra mile and incorporate some really cool teaching methods and aids into her classroom is the teacher who is going to see her students have success.

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