We’ve met them before, students who perform academically at a level below their actual ability or potential. Students who score well on standardized tests or surprise us with knowledge when talking about a certain subject but then fail to complete homework or participate in a class covering the very same content. Students who even when faced with failing grades or repeated confrontations from teachers and parents, just can’t get motivated when it comes to the classroom. These are the underachievers.While they appear disinterested, bored or apathetic, there’s often more going on than what meets the eye, like the need for a challenge, the existence of an undiagnosed learning disability, poor self-esteem or poor organizational skills. One of the most persistent questions facing educators has long been how to overcome these factors in order to engage students and motivate them to become successful learners.

Part of the answer to this question is perhaps best found in working individually with students, counselors and parents. But another aspect can be broached by incorporating creative tactics into a positive learning environment, like these:

  1. Think S-C-O-R-E
    Researchers have found that engaged and motivated students are driven by four essential goals: Success, Curiosity, Originality or Relationships. With this in mind, develop lesson plans that appeal to or meet each one of these goals, empowering students to work toward their full potential.
  2. Get excited
    Excitement is contagious. Educators who clearly express excitement over a subject can often inspire students to get excited, too. For example, when reviewing material for a test or a quiz, turn it into a game that models a television game and offer prizes, like fun Bentcils or a Tangle Puzzle, not only to those with the correct answer, but those who are the most participatory.
  3. Provide opportunities for success
    Disinterested or unmotivated students often need to succeed in small ways in order to be motivated to achieve in greater ways. Without lowering expectations, find ways to allow this to happen: Ask a few basic questions when introducing a new topic, call on students at random by drawing their name from a hat to ensure that all students have equal opportunity to respond, or present homework questions in an increasing degree of difficulty.
  4. Show honest appreciation
    Not only do students lacking motivation respond best to specific instructions, they also respond best to specific indications of appreciation. For example, when using “I statements,” such as “I think you are doing a great job” or “I appreciate your willingness to participate,” to convey genuine appreciation about a student or his or her work, you are communicating personal appreciation, rather than using a general or exaggerated response.
  5. Offer equal praise for all students
    Fairness in the classroom can play a role in student motivation in that all students should receive praise. Look for positive things to say about a student’s work, even when pointing out problems or mistakes. Some might receive praise for bigger accomplishments than others but even the under achievers need a regular pat on the back. Be sure to also give praise to your class as a whole to encourage students and build team unity. The occasional incentive doesn’t hurt, like an All-Pro Yo-Yo or a Rubik’s Cube, to reward the class for a particularly great week of participation and effort during a specific unit or lesson.
  6. Survey students and parents
    If you’re still struggling to help motivate students to give their full potential after getting creative with your teaching approaches, consider surveying the students who struggle and their parents. Create a short questionnaire to complete online or at home that addresses learning styles, obstacles, opportunities for improvement and more from their perspective. Then, work with them outside of class to create an action plan and set goals. Give students vinyl folders to easily transport updates to and from home to keep everyone on track.

Sometimes, a little extra effort and excitement in the classroom is all it takes to get students motivated to give their all. Incorporate new tactics and fun incentives today to see what differences you can make to turn your underachievers into overachievers in no time!

 

“What Really Motivates Middle School Students?” Welcome to MiddleWeb’s Middle School Resources! Web. 29 Sept. 2010.

Motivation.” Web. 29 Sept. 2010.

 

Share:    FacebookFacebook   TwitterTwitter

September
MonthlyWeeklyDaily
American Diabetes
Aviation History Month
Celebrate Empty Nester Month
Diabetic Eye Disease Month
Epilepsy Awareness Month
Family Stories Month
I’m So Thankful Month
International Drum Month
International Microfinance Month
Learn Chinese Month
Lung Cancer Awareness Month
MADD’s Tie One on for Safety Holiday Campaign (11/16-12/31)
Military Family Appreciation
National Adoptions Month
National AIDS Awareness Month
National Alzheimer’s Disease
National American Indian Heritage
National COPD Awareness Month
National Family Caregivers
National Georgia Pecan Month
National Home Care & Hospice Month
National Inspirational Role Models
National Life Writing
National Marrow Awareness
National Peanut Butter Lover’s Month
National Pomegranate Month
National Roasting Month
National Scholarship Month
Prematurity Awareness Month
Vegan Month
National Fig Week: 1-7
World Communication Week: 1-7
National Care Week: 3-9
National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week: 4-10
National Long-term Care Awareness Week: 4-10
Dear Santa Letter Week: 5-9
Kids’ Goal Setting Week: 5-9
World Kindness Week: 7-13
Green Ribbon Awareness Week: 11-17
Childrens’ Book Week: 12-18
National Hunger & Homeless Awareness Week: 12-18
Home Care Aide Week: 13-19
National Farm-City Week: 16-22
Natioanl Family Week: 18-24
National Game and Puzzle Week: 18-24
National Bible Week: 18-25
Better Conversation Week: 19-25
Travelers with Disabilities Week: 11/25-12/2
1st – All Saints Day
1st – National Authors Day
1st – National Family Literacy Day
1: National Men Make Dinner Day
2: National Ttraffic Directors Day
2: Plan Your Epitaph Day
3: Cliché Day
3: Fala Day
3: International Tongue twister Day
3: Sadie Hawkins Day
4: Daylight Savings End
4: National Chicken Lady Day
4: Use your Common Sense Day
4: Zero Tasking Day
6: International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict
6: Election Day
6: Saxophone Day
7: National Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day
8: Abet and Aid Punsters Day
8: Cook Something Bold and Pungent Day
8: National Parents as Teachers Day
9: Guiness World Record Day
9: 10: Kristallnacht
9: National Child safety Council
9: Vietnam Veterans Memorial Day
9: 11: National Donor Sabbath Days
10: Area Code Day
10: Marine Corp Birthday
11: Death/Duty Day
11: Veterans  Day
12: Birth of Baha ‘U’ Llah
12: I Need a Patch for that Day
12: World Orphan Day
13: National Young Readers Day
13: World Kindness Day
14: Loosen Up, Lighten Up Day
14: National American Teddy Bear Day
14: National Educational Support Professionals Day
15: America Recycles Day
15: Great American Smokeout
15: I Love to Write Day
15: National Bundt (Pan) Day
16: International Day for Tolerance
17: Homemade Bread Day
17: National Family Volunteer Day
17: Remembrance Day
18: Married to a Scorpio Support Day
18: Mickey Mouse Day
19: Have a Bad Day Day
20: African Industrialization day
20: Name Your PC Day
20: National Adoption Day
20: Universal Children’s Day
21: Pumpkin Pie Day
21: World Hello Day
21: World Television Day
21: What Do You Love About America? Day
22: Humane Society Anniversary Day
22: Thanksgiving Day
22: Turkey-Free Thanksgiving Day
23: Black Friday
23: Buy Nothing Day
23: Flossing Day
23: National Salesperson’s Day
23: Sinkie Day
23: You’re Welcome Giving Day
24: D.B. Cooper Day
24: International Aura Awareness Day
25: Alascattalo Day (About Alaska)
25: Blasé Day
25: International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women Day
25: Shopping Reminder Day
27: Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting Day
29: Electronic Greetings Day
29: International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People
30: Computer Security Day
30: Stay Home Because You’re Well Day
twitterFacebookYouTube
Submit your review
1
2
3
4
5
Submit
     
Cancel

Create your own review

Average rating:  
 0 reviews

Hot Products

Shop 4imprint's Hottest Products!

Shop Now

Sale Products

Shop 4imprint's Sale Products!

Shop Now

New Products

Shop 4imprint's Newest Products!

Shop Now

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *