Sunday, July 17, 2016

ABC's of Teaching...Keep Kids Learning and Motivated!

I think a goal for EVERY teacher is to keep their students MOTIVATED and LEARNING.  
These two aspects go "hand in hand" because students who are not MOTIVATED may not retain concepts being presented, fail to listen carefully, and in many cases become disruptive.
So as an educator what can you do to keep your students MOTIVATED and LEARNING?

In my classroom I have found the following things to work.

1.  Take time to relate learning to "real world" experiences so that the student realizes the importance of the concept.
This is one reason I LOVE "theme teaching" in my classroom.  I understand that we all have basic curriculum we have to follow BUT those skills and concepts can be embedded right into your "theme".
Here is a favorite Back to School "theme".
It begins with a literacy story.
If you have not picked up this book yet do so!!!
It is so worth the read.

Instead of Oliver feeling sad and nervous on the first day Oliver's dad is sad and nervous.
It is a stitch.
Following the reading students can WRITE and DRAW how they think their parents felt.
Word work can take place using vocabulary from he story.
ABC Order is introduced.
These are the "FREEBIES" for you but there are many other activities.

It includes a compare/contrast about Oliver's first day and their first day.
A How do you get ready for school? cut and paste
Sequencing the story.  Read, cut, order
Story Elements
Writing includes a story about Summer Fun!
What did Dad and Oliver do?  What did you do?
Word study with definition of nervous and again vocabulary from the story on emotions.
Then there are two math games to focus on simple addition.
What a fun day for students!! Not only will they LEARN they will be MOTIVATED!
 This can be done with any piece of literature or "theme".
Let's look at how we can embed literacy activities into a science theme.
Most every grade has written in their standards some study of animals.
In this packet used in my classroom I embed literature, research, and science.
My class loves participating, making choices, AND presenting.

Here are some samples of a small portion of the Mammal section. (Covered are Mammals, Amphibians, Reptiles) The packet also includes mini books on the different animals in each group for information gathering and learning to use TEXT to GATHER FACTS.

2.  Be creative in your lesson planning!
It is so easy to fall into the "same ole, same ole" pattern.  
Paper, pencil, skill based, BORING!!
You can see how the materials above provide connections, choices, and skills related to a topic.
As much as we hate to admit it matters ask yourself this question...ARE YOU MAKING LEARNING FUN AND MEANINGFUL?

3.  Make sure your students are achieving.
Plan for progress to happen and when you see progress happening let the student know!
Good Job!!
Way to go!!!
Check out the progress you've made!!!!
This is wonderful!!!!!
Make them want to continue to grow!

Note:  How do you feel when parents, administrators, and students praise YOU?


  1. I agree with your post completely, but cannot emphasize number 2 enough. I taught with a lady who asked me why I didn't use the same math tests year after year. My answer, "I don't have the same kids." Thank you for bringing this to the attention of educators. I love your work!

  2. I agree! Thanks for sharing your input!