Edutopia on Facebook
Edutopia on Twitter
Edutopia on Google+
Edutopia on Pinterest Follow Me on Pinterest
WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Motivation Strategies

Motivation Strategies

Related Tags: 6-8 Middle School
More Related Discussions
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Share
How do you handle students who are not motivated to learn? Do you have any ideas as to how to increase motivation? Many of my students will not even try to do their work. When it comes to testing, they mark anything to be finished or try to get someone to give them answers. What can I do?

This post was created by a member of Edutopia's community. If you have your own #eduawesome tips, strategies, and ideas for improving education, share them with us.

Comments (20) Sign in or register to comment Follow Subscribe to comments via RSS

Bob Sullo's picture
Bob Sullo
author, educational consultant

I began my career as a middle school teacher. For the past 25 years, I have been writing about and teaching the principles of internal control psychology. If you have discovered that the carrot and stick approach only woks to a point and you'd like to inspire kids to discover the joy of learning what you teach, I hope you check out some of my books. ("The Motivated Student: Unlocking the Enthusiasm for Learning" was just mentioned by Dan Pink in his expanded paperback edition of "Drive" as a recommended book.)

Especially when working with middle school kids, we need to find ways to engage and make learning relevant.

Nakia Walcott's picture

I have been out of the classroom for 6 years now and I decided to go back, does anyone have any advice for me?

Hubert V. Yee's picture
Hubert V. Yee
social media and marketing manager of startup

Hi Nakia,

I would highly recommend you to join the Twitter chat #ntchat. This will be a great networking and supportive group for your transition. For reseources, visit our groups and stay in touch with us through FB, Twitter, YouTube, and our enewsletter. We wish you the very best!

Bob Sullo's picture
Bob Sullo
author, educational consultant

If I own a company, I don't want my employees simply working for a paycheck. (Does anyone remember the song "Working for the Weekend"?) Of course, pay is important, but if I want quality work from my employees, there must be more involved than the paycheck. The same applies in the classroom. If kids are only working for pizza parties and filling up the marble jar, I have failed to help them connect with the most important "reward:" the joy we get from working hard, mastering what we previously couldn't do, and the sense of accomplishment we experience when we are successful. External rewards are great if you want to foster compliance and have a lot of pizza parties. If you want to foster high achievement and excellence, we need to transition from a system that uses external motivation into one that emphasizes internal motivation.

Selina's picture
Student Teacher: Visual Art -I am also a teacher assistant.

Maybe you could teach form a perspective of their interest. Or start lessons out with activities that relates both to students reality that they will face in the real word and the actual material they will need to learn. It's all about connections and connecting to them. :)

shanebravo's picture
In the world the parent-child relationship is one of the longest lasting so

The motivation is technique to encourage people for any work. The teachers and parents are always motivated to children for doing some special activity related to study, get some extra knowledge for with the help of internet. The motivation is a decision-making procedure, during which the individual select the preferred outcomes and sets in motion the behavior suitable to them. So motivation is very important to increase the self improvement.

Things to do with Kids

cary nadzak's picture
cary nadzak

I reward non-academic behaviors on a "Thank You" wall in the hall. I write 2 or 2-sentence thank you's to students and post them on the wall. For instance "Daryl I luv the way you smile when you come into the classroom!" Kids round the corner every day looking to see if I've given them a thank you shout-out. The positive attention begins to extend to the academic side of the classroom and kids work harder. I think success in academics, especially at the middle and high school level, revolves around building relationships with kids - when they know you care - they care.

Jamie Armin's picture
Jamie Armin
Health Science & Life Skills Middle School teacher from MA

Cary, Love the "Thank you" wall idea! I always look for the + in kids! I look forward to trying out this idea! Thanks, Jamie

cary nadzak's picture
cary nadzak

it's like riding a bike !!! u just get back on and speed away! there are lots of links to cool websites on my website looneyteachr.com and classroom strategies!!

cary nadzak's picture
cary nadzak

at beg of yr set ur expectations high and set up classroom routines - kids need that - many times the kids who don't want to do anything are scared - if they know what's coming and u build relationships with them they'll work hard - also implement a daily read aloud - choose an adolescent novel and YOU read a chapter a day aloud to the class - they won't be tested - they just get the oppty to listen and enjoy reading - kids will start running to the library to get the book and it sets the tone for the rest of the class - i also bribe kids with Annoying Orange videos u can find on youtube - they are ANNOYING but kids will do anything for the promise of the 2 min video at end of class

Sign in to comment. Not a member? Register.

Join the movement for change