Motivating students is a frequently cited concern for teachers. Most teachers know that motivated students mean happy and academically successful students, but how do you motivate reluctant students to learn?
One way is to make every lesson one of a kind, making them memorable in their own right. You can teach to the book, but we all know that exciting students will promote lifelong learners. So how do you make learning memorable?
1. Personalise learning
Learn about the interests of your students and integrate them into your lessons. For example, some students might like reading adventure books. Incorporate this into your next reading lesson and even bring in pictures to set a scene.
2. Have a sense of humour
A good sense of humour is a great way of engaging students, activating learning and fostering a healthy learning environment – not to mention it keeps the lesson fun for the teacher as well.
3. Be yourself
It may sound a bit cliché, but this is vitally important. Every teacher teaches in their own unique way so there’s no use trying to emulate someone you’ve seen teach before. You are yourself and you have your own views, interests and opinions. For example, if you are a musical person, try to integrate songs into your lessons. If you like art, it’s possible to incorporate it even into a subject that is polar opposite – think maths.
4. Make learning real
“When will we ever use this in the real world?” is a phrase you’ve surely heard your students utter. Take this as an opportunity to show them just how concepts can be applied in a real life context. For example, the video below demonstrates how you can use Pythagoras’ Theorem to work out which block of chocolate will give the most amount of chocolate.
5. Integrate technology
It seems these days that children can download their favourite app and set new high scores before they can even walk. Tap into this love of technology and apply it to education. As an example, students love Live Mathletics and it’s competitive aspect which is designed to increase their maths fluency.
6. Let students create
Think about any time you’ve seen kids play with Lego. They are completely immersed in the activity, right? It’s true, kids love making, so why not let your students tinker and let their curiosity take over. Recently we wrote a blog about how makerspaces are inspiring innovation. Makerspaces offer a wide range of activities for students to explore and try new things. This makes for an extremely memorable school day.
7. Provide activities students can do at home
We know the importance of strong parental engagement in learning, so why not provide activities that students can do at home with their parents. You might be learning about recycling at school. This is an opportunity to have your students record what and how much their family recycles in a week.
As you can see, creating memorable learning experiences doesn’t have to be a challenge. Many of the above ideas, such as humour and being yourself, are things that you can do on a daily basis to foster positive learning experiences, and excite and challenge students.
Check out the infographic below and feel free to share it on your website. If you have any other ideas that you’d like to share, comment below and let us know.