Transcript - AI Generated
Creating a Positive Learning Environment for Student Motivation
[0:19] Hey everyone, welcome to the Effective Teaching Podcast. I'm Dan.
Today, you're getting 20 ways to motivate your students.
People often ask me, how do I motivate my kids? I've got kids, they're stuck, I can't get them to want to learn.
And often to that, there's a massive context in the background that needs to be addressed.
But I'm going to give you 20 different ways that you can motivate your students to learn.
If you want to get it, I'm going to give this to you as a checklist as well that you can just print out a little PDF thing to help you as well.
So you can easily refer to it later, put it up in your classroom if you like, or put it next to your desk or your desk somewhere to help you to think of ways that you can motivate your students for the next lesson or while you're planning out your units and stuff.
If you want that you just have to be subscribed right so go to the teacherspd.net.
[1:03] There's a subscribe button in the top right hand corner hit that button subscribe and then you will get this for you to listen to, for you to read and refer back to. Okay let's dive in them.
Number one is to create a positive learning environment and this is super important for us to create an atmosphere that is inclusive, where students can take risks and know that it is safe.
Because learning involves taking risks, okay, and when you present a task to a student they always have this risk.
They look at it and go, am I likely to achieve this?
If they think they are likely to achieve it, then they're probably going to be motivated to do it.
Okay, as long as it's not too easy. If it's too easy, they're going to go, that's nothing, it's way too easy.
Then that demotivates them too. It's going to be something that's kind of challenging but not too challenging and they need to know that if they take a risk so they're basically weighing this up, they're weighing up I can take the risk and try and get this learning done.
[2:05] Which they might go I'll probably succeed but if I don't what's going to happen?
And that's the that's the thing that's going to really hinder their motivation, because what's going to happen is that they're putting they're really weighing up this idea of you know if it's too much of a risk if I do this and I miss right and they might go I'm 70%, chance I'm going to get this right but there's 30% chance I'm going to fail.
If I fail I know Johnny over here is going to say something my friend over here is going to you know laugh at me the teacher might even say something right they might laugh as they come down to help me and that's not great right we need to make sure that the environment is a positive learning environment one where we encourage kids you know in my class you are going to take risks you're going to fail and I'm going to celebrate the fact that you got it wrong okay I'm gonna make this that's part of learning right so you teach the kids we're all gonna get stuff wrong no one's allowed to laugh at anyone because everyone's gonna get stuff wrong in my class and I expect you If you don't get stuff wrong, it means I'm not helping you enough. I'm not teaching you enough, right?
You can set things up really well in your class for this positive learning environment that is going to help motivate your students to take the risks that are involved in learning.
[3:16] Okay, that's one, right? I've got 20 of these, so I can't spend too long on each one.
Setting Clear Expectations for Student Motivation
[3:20] Number two is to set clear expectations. Clearly communicate the learning objectives, the expectations, provide a roadmap for the students that they're going to follow to get to the point where they're achieving it.
Basically you're saying this is we're going to get to and this is how I'm going to help you or this is the process you take to get there and these are the steps you can expect to achieve on the way.
And that helps the students know what to expect, it helps them to know when they're successful, but also gives them the motivation to go okay you know when I talked before about that they're tossing up between the risk and the whether or not they're gonna be successful you're basically showing how you're going to make sure that they are successful.
That's essentially what you're showing them when you're giving them the clear expectations and the clear expectations around a positive learning environment that's also a clear expectation but as you're going this is what we're going to learn this is what it looks like when you've achieved it and this is the steps we're going to take to get there they go right okay well we're doing step one I can do step one step two step two and they all build up and then they've reached that bigger goal and that helps them with their motivation.
Using Varied Teaching Methods to Motivate Students
[4:21] The third tip to motivate your students is to use varied teaching, methods right so don't keep using the same thing don't always come into your class and you know here's the worksheet or read the textbook or you're going to present a PowerPoint or come in and they all know well the first five minutes we can spend reading right we're gonna do our silent reading and then after that we're gonna do some comprehension questions or you know every lesson we start with a bit of a recap from last one lesson and then we're gonna get into groups and discuss stuff and we're gonna go and do this.
[4:53] If it's always the same, it's boring.
You can't have things always the same. So vary it up, change things up.
Present stuff, have group tasks, get them to debate things.
Use technology one week, no technology another time. Like just keep things changing and different.
It'll help to mix it up to motivate your students, right? So you get them, and it motivates them because one, it's different, right?
And people generally like to do stuff that's a bit different, not massively different, right? but two different, but different enough that they're like, oh, actually, you know, I've been sitting at desks all day, listening to other teachers talk and doing book work.
Finally, I'm in a class that's not that, right? And so they get excited, like, oh, fine, I can get out of my seat, right?
These kids are sitting down all day, get them out of their seat, get them doing stuff, change up your methods.
Number four is to make the learning relevant. So we need to be clear with our students about how what they're learning in the classroom relates to their life outside of school.
I think this is something that we neglect a bit and it's why we get our students asking you why we have to learn this.
[5:58] Give them the why, it's important. Okay we need to start with why in order to motivate people.
There's a whole talk about it on TEDx or something, it's one of the most watched TED talks around.
I think it's called the Golden Rule or something and the guy I think it's Simon, I can't pronounce his last name is Snenok or something.
He talks about you know why needs to be first right start with why then tell me how and what right so you're moving your way out of this kind of golden circle thing that he does.
But the same applies for our students to motivate them for their learning we need to tell them why they are learning this how does it relate to read the real world to their real life we need to make sure that we're clear on those things for our students and makes a big difference for their motivation.
[6:42] Number five we need to provide constructive feedback. Okay, now this is different to being critical.
Okay, don't just criticize your students, right? We're gonna provide constructive feedback, offer timely, specific feedback to help students understand their progress, right?
And how they can keep going, right? So you basically go, oh, this is where you're at, right? You've moved from here to there, and we're heading in this direction. So the next thing you need to do is this, okay?
That's constructive feedback. Don't just go, well, you didn't get here, right? Go, you were here and you've moved forward. Congratulations, right?
And now this is the next steps as we continue to move forward.
[7:17] Because for our students to see their previous success and the fact that they are making progress is very motivational to keep going.
Reflecting on progress and motivating with constructive feedback
[7:26] Okay, one of the things we forget to do is to look back and go, hey, when we started this year, you guys didn't even know how to do algebra, right? You didn't know that you could do maths with letters.
But here we are, we're doing algebra and we're now at this point, right? We're doing multiplications and divisions and whatever else using algebra.
And you know how to understand now Pythagoras' theorem of A squared plus B squared equals C squared, all that kind of stuff, right?
We can show them their progress and that helps them to be motivated and go, I am improving and I will keep improving if I keep doing the work, right?
And that's one of the things that providing that constructive feedback of where they've come from and what to do next in terms of achieving the next goal, right, be specific about what's going on.
Number six is to encourage collaboration, okay? actually give the students a sense of working together with each other to achieve something.
Because we do find like when you put students in like a group of three for example to achieve a common goal, okay, the collaboration becomes motivational.
They don't want to let their friends down, they don't want to let other students down, right, and so they want to work together to achieve it and that's how they bring other people up because they don't want to fail and they don't want that person to fail so I'm going to help you, right, to catch up to where we're at and then we're going to move together and go forward.
And so collaboration can really foster a good community which then builds that level of motivation because they motivate each other then.
Incorporating technology and varying teaching methods for motivation
[8:48] Number seven is to incorporate some technology.
So kids generally like lessons that involve technology so if you.
[8:54] Have lots of lessons that don't involve technology, doing a couple with technology can help motivate them.
I will say though, if you always use technology, then that is kind of like going back to constantly doing the same thing as a teacher, and you need to vary that up. Okay?
Sometimes I see students get really motivated because, hey guys, we're not using computers today. Here's some paper, here's a pen, right, here's some books.
Okay, we're going to do some research old school way. Right, I want you to read stuff, I want you to take notes, I want you to share your notes.
Okay, and you can change. So it doesn't have to be using them, But just by that breaking up and so if you've been doing lots of Kind of paperwork or book work or whatever By bringing in technology or bringing in different technology even is beneficial.
One thing to show a movie that's kind of not exciting And the kids might get excited about it, but they're not so motivating for learning necessarily But then you want to shift to you know, how teaching them how to do specific things if you're like in Creative arts and stuff.
Maybe there's a new camera that your school just got That's and that you're gonna let the students have a look at and you're gonna show them all the benefits of using it and what It can do right kids can get excited and motivated about that. Oh, we're gonna have to use this cool new camera.
Awesome Right, or maybe there's something else that's you're bringing in VR Maybe and they do some virtual reality You got these goggles on for students for the first time and it's something like I've never done this before my life This is weird, but it feels a bit strange my head I don't do it for too long because there is actually stuff about how it affects them long term.
[10:18] Five, 10 minutes maybe, but incorporate some new technology, right?
So if you're always on the computers, don't always be on the computers basically, and vice versa.
[10:29] Okay number eight, you can offer the students some choices. We want to make sure that our students are getting a sense of autonomy in their learning and so if they can choose, and they can do lots of things, right?
They can choose sometimes the content, sometimes, right?
Other times they can choose where they're applying the skills that they've learned or where they're applying the knowledge that they've learnt and so giving them as much choice as you can allows them autonomy and that helps to motivate them in their learning.
So offering choices for our students even if it's just you know do you want to do A, B or C but they get to choose it'll increase their motivation.
You know you guys you chose to do this learning so you should be able to get that done.
It works okay it's amazing but it works. It also helps reduce fights and stuff.
Even with my kids and if I'm talking to my daughter about getting dressed for the day rather than going, you know, go and get yourself dressed or here's, go put this on, I tell you. Look, here's three dresses, which one do you wanna choose?
And she's like, oh, I'll choose that one, put it on, right? No tantrums or anything about, I don't wanna wear that dress, whatever, right?
She chose the dress that was provided, so give us that motivation.
Number nine, we're gonna set some goals. Make sure our students know what the goals are, the steps to getting there, all that kind of stuff, right?
So setting goals is motivational.
It is strange, though, like the setting of the goals is exciting.
[11:43] Then when they start to get into working towards those goals it becomes hard and they get discouraged a bit.
So go back to them regularly and go remember those goals, have a look at them, refine them, right, and keep focusing on them.
It helps to improve the motivation for the learning.
Number 10 is to use positive reinforcement.
[12:02] So recognize and reward the positive behaviors, right, so when students are engaged, when they're doing the right things, that's really awesome guys you're doing this amazing yeah and you don't have to give them like lollies and treats or anything or tell them they can now go outside and play, no just give them some kind of recognition, praise, go wow you guys are working really hard I love seeing you work hard it means that you're learning right it means you're going to get something new means we're working towards our goals but that kind of talk.
[12:30] Is a sense of positive reinforcement for our students as well with their learning.
Okay, number 11. 11, I can't do that with my fingers anymore, is to connect learning to personal interests.
Okay, so this is part of the reason why it's so important for us to get to know our students is that we start to know the things that they really like.
And so if we can then connect what we're teaching to those personal interests, so maybe you'll come across a student and they really really like cricket okay and so you're gonna go okay you really like cricket so I'm gonna let you create a story that has to do with cricket I'm gonna let you read a biography about a famous cricket player I'm gonna let you do your maths calculations with cricket related questions or you're gonna come up there to create the questions maybe and try and stump you as a teacher and you try to answer them or something I think you can utilize that interest to them motivate them in their learning.
[13:28] Number 12 provide autonomy giving the students control over their learning.
You can give them control over the design of their learning, you can co-design learning with them, you can co-design a lesson with them if you don't want to do a whole unit or something.
You could give them the choices. We've talked about choices already but that's about providing autonomy to our students as they go forward.
Number 13 is to create a sense of ownership and so actually helping our students to see that this is their learning okay and so we can talk to them about you know I mean providing choices and Autonomy helps with that, helps to create that sense of ownership but you want to involve students into the decision-making, processes that are happening that are related to classroom activity, help them to come up with the rules right.
Now you want them to be focused and quiet at times, hey guys what should we have as our rule when it comes to noise, which points in time for what activities that are happening, where do you want to do you know get individual learning, where might we do group learning, how might we structure that, give them that sense of...
[14:27] Ownership over what they're doing. It will help motivate them and encourage them with their learning Number 14 is to make learning fun.
Please take whatever you're doing and make it fun There's nothing worse for learning than a student who is bored in your class, And that means if you're doing the same thing over and over again All right, it's gonna get boring if you're doing the same thing that all the other teachers are doing that's boring Okay, if you're standing at the front talking the whole time, kids are bored.
If you're giving them textbooks to read, they are bored.
Okay, you need to find things that energize your classroom, that makes the learning fun, right?
Get them doing really hands-on practical things, take them outside, change the environment, all kinds of stuff, right?
Start to embed fun into your learning in your class.
Utilizing Competitions for Motivating Students
[15:16] Number 15 is to utilize competitions, right? So to kind of gamify your class a it.
Now whether you're pro or against competitions it's not really like I'm not going to get into that debate so much but competition does motivate students in learning okay and I've done competitions where it's not so much about you know one key like yeah they're not versing each other so much but it's about who's going to improve the most as a group right and so there's a collaborative nature to them working together and so there's like a pre kind of where they're at and then who's gonna improve the most over the next three weeks.
And so the groups work hard together and to help each other improve the whole time.
And then, all right, when we get to, all right, awesome, you got this much better, you got that much better, that's amazing.
There's kind of competition, but also collaboration in that.
Or you can just have straight out competitions. It does motivate at least some of your students, definitely doesn't motivate all of them.
Some of them will look at a competition and go, nah, I'm not gonna do this, I'm not into competitions because I always lose, right?
It motivates those higher achievers to have a competition. So maybe you'll take the high achievers inside and go hey, let's make this a bit of a competition So you can you can do this the best or whatever I can whatever the context of your class allows for.
Showing Enthusiasm as a Teacher to Boost Student Motivation
[16:27] Okay, 16 16.
I think it's kind of a no-brainer, but I've seen plenty of the unexcited teachers giving lessons So 16 is to show enthusiasm for what you're doing.
Okay, so don't go into your lesson and go guys this is I've got a headache and I want to do this but here's a lesson.
No kid's excited to learn, and that's not going to motivate your students, but if you are enthusiastic, if you go into that, go like, dudes, we are going to learn, don't say dudes.
Guys, we're going to be learning this amazing thing today.
I think this is going to blow your mind, like this is so cool, and then I've got this awesome thing planned for this awesome activity.
It's going to be so much fun when we do this together.
I love this topic. I'm so passionate about this topic, and it can be stuff that isn't generally cool, but If you are enthusiastic about it, it will generally improve the motivation of your students to get the learning done anyway, even if it's something that they are not enthusiastic about.
If they sit there and listen to you go on and on about, oh, I love poetry, man, poetry's so cool, we're going to write poetry, right?
Some kids sit there going, I hate poetry, this is the worst, but because you're enthusiastic, it will improve their motivation, right?
It won't necessarily make them as enthusiastic as you, but it will improve it, so they might get something done for that lesson.
Facilitating Self-Reflection and Progress Evaluation
[17:47] Number 17, facilitate some self-reflection.
[17:50] And particularly I'm going to encourage you with your self-reflection to look at you have the students look at where they were, where they are now, where they want to go. Where were you before?
What have you learned since then? What have you learned this week? How have you improved?
What are you looking forward to improving as we work towards our goal next?
What's the next step for you?
That kind of stuff helps our students to see the progress which motivates them, right? that self-reflection, what got in my way, what's hindering my learning, what can I do about those barriers to my learning, right?
So I got stuck, I got distracted trying to find this particular article, it took me half an hour, so I'm just going to ditch that article now, I'm not looking, I'm not going to chase that thing, that'll help me go forward and make sure I'm more profitable, more effective really in their learning.
[18:32] So we can build in that kind of stuff. 18, building in real world examples.
So actually having questions and stuff that are based on the real world, giving scenarios of the real world scenarios where they're applying concepts that they're learning, making sure that these things relate to their real life, really.
So this kind of goes back to one of the earlier things, but providing real world examples helps them to see the connections to their real life.
And so you can see how you can kind of stack some of these motivational strategies on top of each other that'll really help massively increase the motivation for your students by stacking things.
We're gonna have students making their own choices, they're involved in the decision making, taking ownership of their learning and being more autonomous.
And I'm gonna also be enthusiastic and show the students how it really connects to their life and that's gonna motivate them as well.
And I have this real world scenario example that we're gonna use as well.
[19:22] That's all fantastic stuff to help motivate our students with their learning.
Number 19 is to offer supportive resources, right? So that's your scaffold your templates all that kind of stuff They help the students to see the steps and the processes are involved in Achieving success.
This is going to relate to that idea of you know They're balancing up this this risk that they've got to take and the safety of their classroom, right?
So by providing the supportive resource, you're making it more likely that they will be successful Which makes them less likely to be worried about the risk of not being successful, right? and so that improves their motivation.
[20:00] And finally, number 20 is to celebrate diversity, right?
Recognize and appreciate the diverse backgrounds, the different perspectives that are presented, the different talents in your class, and the different contributions that the students are making to the learning, right?
[20:14] Fostering a sense of belonging as a class, creating that kind of overall class community and celebrating the fact that someone has a different opinion to you, right, that helps drive deeper learning when someone has a different opinion.
And so you can show the students that when someone in your class, a student in your class goes, sir that's not right because blah blah blah you go right come up here and explain it to me I want to understand why you think this is, wrong, why you think this is better, right, have them do that and go oh that's cool I like your a different opinion, I like that you suggested that I'm wrong, but maybe if you can see it from my perspective, right, I can see that why you've got that and then you can explain yours a bit more and together as a class you're going to see deeper learning happening because of the different perspectives that are being accepted and celebrated and not just going, oh you're wrong too, like if it's a kid, oh you're wrong, what would you know, you're a kid, right?
Just go, well explain that to me, right?
I want to understand why you think that's wrong. At the very least if they are completely wrong right this is a factual situation you go well do you know what I can see there that you have misunderstood this concept and then you can correct that concept for the student and that will also help motivate them go okay now that I've got that this now makes more sense going forward I now there the rest of learning for the lessons gonna be making more sense because they've corrected that previous misunderstood, prior knowledge that I may have needed for the learning.
[21:38] Well that's it that's 20 ways that you can help motivate the students in your classroom.
If you want to grab the PDF of this, just go to teacherspd.net.
[21:49] Hit the subscribe button and I'll send you a little PDF of this.
It'll also mean that you get the other emails I send out reminding you there's a new episode out or I've got a course that's going to come out early next year about helping teachers to reduce their workload and become more effective.
[22:05] And so if you want to know about that when that comes out.
Make sure you're subscribed because that's how you'll hear all about it at that as well.
So that's it for this week's episode I hope that you get to start applying these I would love to hear from you in the sense like if you've applied two or three of these strategies you're like wow it actually made a difference I saw this kid who I've been struggling to get motivated for ages suddenly go oh awesome right I sat down with them and gave them a sense of ownership over their learning.
I co-designed their learning for the next five lessons right and so suddenly they're motivated they're doing the things that they helped design that they want to do, but also is achieving the outcomes and stuff that you need to be achieving, right?
That I want to hear those kinds of things. I love hearing stories from teachers.
And I would even love to interview some of you. If you're taking anything from any of these podcast episodes and applying them and getting success with that, I would love to interview and chat to you because that will help others to see how it works too and to be motivated to try things out as well.
Because one of the things that we need to keep doing as teachers is keep trying out the things that we're learning and testing them and seeing the differences that they make and reflecting on that kind of process.
But hit the subscribe I can send you this document with 20 ways to motivate your students and make sure that you come back and join me again in a couple of days time when I release the next episode of the effective teaching podcast guys.
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