Motivating Students to Learn

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Motivating Students to Learn. Melinda Barnett Region 5 ESC Summer 2012. The Motivation Breakthrough. 6 Secrets to Turning On the Tuned-Out Child By Richard Lavoie. Student Motivation:. What It Is and What It Isn’t. Motivation is the key to learning. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Motivating Students to Learn

Motivating Students to LearnMelinda BarnettRegion 5 ESCSummer 2012

The Motivation Breakthrough6 Secrets to Turning On the Tuned-Out Child

By Richard Lavoie

Student Motivation:What It Is and What It IsntMotivation is the key to learningWho was your favorite high school teacher?

Reflect for a moment on your favorite teacher in high school. The chances are that he was an effective motivator. He inspired you. He was not merely a teacher, he was also a leader. He did not necessarily make learning fun, but he made learning attainable and purposeful. Whether you serve children as a teacher, parent, coach, or instructor, you will multiply your effectiveness immeasurably if you learn how to motivate your charges and maintain that motivation throughout the learning process.

4Myths and Misconceptions about Student Motivation Do Something. If it works, do more of it. If it doesnt . . . Do something else.

- Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Be open and willing to try something else if what you are attempting to use with Little Johnny isnt working.

5Myth #1 That Danny ... NOTHING motivates him!FALSE All human behavior is motivated!

The trick is to motivate the student to do that which you wish him to do!

Students who refuse to do their work or appear to half try are usually extremely motivated. They are motivated to avoid embarrassment, avoid failure at attempting the task, etc.

Start reading on page 8

6Motivation Myth #2That kid! One day he is motivated, the next day he is not!

FALSE The field of psychology recognizes motivation as a relative constant. That is, if a child is motivated to learn math, he is motivated to learn math all the time. If he is NOT motivated to learn math, he is not motivated to learn math ALL of the time.An analogy may be helpful. Lets substitute love for motivation. You love your husband. That love is a constant in your life and his. Now, as in any marriage, some days are better than others. On any given day you may be angry or upset with him as a result of an argument or disagreement, but despite these temporary feelings, you still love him. Annoyance is temporary; love is permanent. Poor school performance and productivity are temporary; motivation is permanent. It is important to understand and embrace this concept because it provides insight into the frustration that children often feel when they have difficulty mastering information and skills despite their motivation to learn.

7Performance Inconsistency: Children with Learning DisordersThey have bursts of forward movement wherein they make observable, measurable progress for a period of time, then through no fault of their own, they hit an invisible wall.Parents and Educators view this as a motivational problem rather than a neurological problem.

One approach file folders individualized with the struggling students name. Inside the folder a worksheet with or concept the particular student struggles with. On good days, give them the folder. That may be the day he learns i before e, except after c!

If we arent careful, we as educators will label these kids lazy or unmotivated. Doctors receive intensive training in differential diagnosis and utilize the concept on a daily basis. Two men come in with headaches one has a cerebral tumor, the other seasonal allergies. One gets radiation and the other an antihistamine. As educators, we tend to view all children with similar symptoms as alike. One problem, one remedy but it isnt that simple.Page 29 file folder explanation8Overcoming Learned HelplessnessMembers of the animal kingdom (that would include us) can be taught to be helpless or taught that they can help themselves.We all have areas of learned helplessness. Adults can usually avoid these areas and still function. Children cannot avoid theirs.Chronic academic struggles and failures creates a mindset of Learned Helplessness.

My area of learned helplessness is computer technological issues, car troubles, etc.93 Steps to Assist Children with Learned HelplessnessYou must come to fully understand and embrace the nature of learned helplessness. It is credible and treatable.It is necessary to change a childs thought processes and adjusting his belief that failure is inevitable. You must replace his expectation of failure with a more positive and effective thought process. - Make the child aware of his automatic, negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones.-Provide the child with concrete, measurable evidence that contradicts and refutes his negative thoughts.Consider the elephant who is taken to his open-air pen, with a chain around one ankle attached to a stake that is driven only about 6 inches into the ground. As a baby elephant, his trainers put a chain around his ankle and attached it to a stake in the ground. He was too small and weak to budge the stake. He struggled and struggled for awhile until he realized he could not alter his situation. He learned he was helpless against the chain, and even as an adult he will not attempt to break free of the chain.#2 Adults need to continually foster the idea that the child can control his progress and performance to a degree and that intensive and consistent effort will eventually, result in academic progress. If there is no adult intervention, his feelings of failure at reading will expand into his feelings that he is a total loser. The childs teacher and parent must work closely together to provide the student with consistent reassurance and support. Your encouragement must be at least as strong as the childs self-discouragement.10Step Three in Assisting Children with Learned HelplessnessAsk the student what he would do if he were falsely accused of something. (Hed probably say he would defend himself..) Tell him that in essence, his negative thought patterns are accusing him falsely.- Provide a supportive, non-threatening learning environment- Teach them that mistakes are inevitable, but useful.- Utilize corrective techniques that keep the students self-esteem in tact.- Eliminate the word wrong from your vocabulary as much as possible.Role Play the scene on page 3711A Different Approach to LHDo It For HimDo It With HimWatch Him Do ItHave Him Do It

Motivation Myth #3Give him something; that will motivate him.

Extrinsic rewards (stickers, money, etc.) have little impact on motivation. They will do little to improve or enhance motivation.

It may temporarily modify behavior, but it does little to modify motivation.

Grandmas Rule: If you eat your vegetables, you will get dessert.

13Motivation Myth #4Competition: The Great Motivator NOT!

Classes that incorporate special needs students do NOT need to utilize competition in their teaching strategies.

As educators and parents, we must downplay competition and emphasize the concept of personal best.If Special Needs children are going to be placed in general education classes, teachers need to downplay and decrease the use of inherently unfair competitive activities. Recent surveys conducted by the University of Massachusetts in suburban American school systems indicate that competitive classroom activities (games, quizzes, test, bees) occupy nearly 80 percent of the on-task time in elementary schools. It is, by far, the most widely used classroom approach. Teachers utilize competition in the belief that it motivates children to do their best. However, the most important and profound reality regarding the link between motivation and competition is this: The only person motivated by competition is the person who believes that he has a chance of winning.Think about the Boston Marathon. Twenty thousand runners participate in a grueling twenty-six mile course. They exhaustingly train for a year if not multiple years to run the race which gives only two prizes, one for the man who finishes first and another for the first woman to complete the course. How many think they will actually win that race? Probably only twenty or thirty world-class runners go to Boston expecting to win. The rest compete against themselves, pushing themselves to do his or her personal best. Thats when we do our best when competing against ourselves.

14Cooperative Education, YESCompetitive Education, NOCooperative classroom active learners working busily in small groups, sharing ideas, initiating discussions, reinforcing one another.Competition is replaced by collaboration and every students active participation is assured. Positive feedback, support, praise and affirmations are encouraged.All small group work does not qualify as cooperative learning. (Teacher-directed remedial groupings are not cooperative learning groups.)Criteria for Cooperative Learning ActivitiesInterdependence students share ideas, information, skills, materials.Accountability students have assigned tasks to complete for success of project. Tasks are tailored to each childs strengths, skills, and interests.Social Component strategies promote positive social interaction. Students talk, plan, discuss, share, and praise.

Interdependence Each students success and progress is largely dependent upon the performance of his learning partners.Accountability Each student has assigned tasks that he must complete in order to ensure the success of the project. These tasks are tailored to each childs strengths, skills, and affinities. This ensures that each child is an active participant in the process.Social Component Cooperative strategies promote positive social interaction among children. The children talk, plan, discuss, share, and praise.

16Motivation Myth #5Punishment is an effective motivator.

Desensitizes kids eventuallyBehavior changes only while punishment