Strategies that Motivate Middle School Students

Presenter: Mark McLeod

Session Description: Student engagement is the key to learning for middle school students. This session will explore many teaching strategies and techniques that encourage students to get excited about learning. The presenter will model various strategies that can be used immediately in the classroom. Both veteran and new teachers will leave this session with many powerful, yet practical strategies to motivate today’s middle school students.

MY THOUGHTS IN ALL CAPS

What is the #1 Quality you want in your students?

  • Positive Attitude
  • Treat Others with Respect
  • Motivated to Want to Learn

Am I treating everyone in here with the attitudes I expect?

We can’t change other people, we can only change ourselves…so make sure you do that and enjoy what you do.

No one forces anyone to have a great attitude.  It’s your choice.

Has everyone spend a few minute encouraging others…return to seats when we hear YMCA, and do YMCA together.  FUN TIMES!!

Teachers have to be willing to step out and take risks. Take ideas, tweak them to work for yourself, and take the chance to use them.

Many teachers are afraid of embarassment and failure, so they never take risks.

BIGGEST MOTIVATOR: RELATIONSHIPS

Kids bring enough baggage, teacher doesn’t need to bring more into the picture.  Make desposits into kids emotional bank accounts. Are we making deposits or withdrawals from our kids accounts?  These are not accounts we want closed.

You can’t change what’s in the past, so don’t let it stop you. If you’ve made too many withdrawals in the past, don’t dwell on it, just start making deposits from then on.

Sometimes we have to INTENTIONALLY make deposits until it becomes habit.  WE ARE SO INGRAINED AS TEACHERS TO LOOK FOR THINGS TO CORRECT, SOMETIMES WE JUST NEED TO FOCUS ON WHAT ALREADY IS GOOD.

Developing positive relationships doesn’t just happen in the classroom, we have to do it everywhere in life so it becomes habit.

It’s not the teacher that sends students to the office, it’s the environment. Free time and inappropriate conversations happen when positive relationships aren’t established.

AGREE WITH A TWEET BY @MSMATTERS…MARK MCLEOD IS GIVING GREAT ADVICE FOR LIFE AS WELL AS THE CLASSROOM

Students AND Adults both need deposits into their emotional bank accounts.

What are some ways to make deposits into students emotional bank accounts?

  1. ATTEND GAMES
  2. GIVE JOB IN CLASSROOM
  3. POSITIVE PARENT CONTACT
  4. DISCUSS INTERESTS
  5. PRAISE
  6. RECOGNIZE BIRTHDAYS
  7. STICKERS (haha)
  8. REWARDS
  9. FOOD
  10. NOTICE THINGS FROM OTHER CLASSES SUBJECTS

Adults

  1. FOOD
  2. SHOW UP FOR SIGNIFICANT EVENTS (DEATHS, ILLNESS, WEDDINGS)
  3. LISTEN
  4. REWARDS
  5. KNOWING WHO KIDS ARE
  6. RECOGNITION

Practice attention getting strategies in the classroom…bells, sayings, etc…don’t just tell them, actually practice it.

Students don’t know how to make deposits…we have to help teach them.

“Cha-ching” shirts…on the back “Have you made a deposit today?”

2nd Biggest Motivator: Success

Set up students for success…self-motivated students blurt out because they want the thrill of victory

Don’t worry about the blurtter-outers…they’re self-motivated and will learn anyway. Target the kids who never raise their hands and set them up for success.

#1 Questioning Technique to add Tension: Ask, Pause, Call…Tension keeps all engaged, don’t start question with “Suzy, what is…” everyone else tunes out and learning stops. Random name generators add to tension as well. This keeps kids engaged…and no one has to know for sure who’s name is pulled out if you really want to call on a particular student.

#2 Questioning Technique is “Volunteers”…This gives a bad sampling because you get the same volunteers every time.  Ask Pause Call with random name generator causes more thinking, from a larger number of students, and allows you to climb up Blooms.

#3 QuestioningTechnique: Choral Response…Have a signal when you want students to respond together, otherwise they won’t know when to start or stop.

#4 Questioning Technique: Signal Response…Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down/Windshield Wiper…Whiteboards…SHOWING WHITEBOARDS WITH A HANDLE, MARKER, AND 4 DIFFERENT COLORS…HELPS WITH FORMING GROUPS, PAIRING, ETC…NEED TO SEE WHERE I CAN FIND THESE.

WOW INTENSE SESSION…LOTS OF INFO…KIND OF SCATTERED, BUT STILL GREAT INFORMATION!  NEED TIME TO PROCESS THIS ONE AS WELL!

 

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