Top 10 Motivation Tips for the Classroom

Having trouble getting students motivated? Maybe you just need to shake up your everyday routine!

Check out our gallery of Top 10 Motivation Tips for the Classroom, and find ways to get students excited about learning such as strategies to keep students engaged, allow for creativity, change the daily routine, among many more ideas.
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Updated on: March 8, 2012
Teaching calling on students
Keep Students Active and Engaged

When students are interacting and engaged, they won't have to time to get bored. Choose students at random to answer questions, and make it understood that you value their input and ideas. Student interaction and sharing enhances instructional time and prepares students to function more effectively as a body of learners. We must recognize the importance of these dynamics and find ways to celebrate student intelligence.

From The Complete Idiot's Guide to Success as a Teacher © 2005 by Anthony D. Fredericks.

Girl writing
Allow for Creativity and Variety

Assigning a piece of writing? Allow students to pick their own genre—such as reports, poems, creative writing stories, plays, or songs—when assigning a topic. When students can pick their favorite form of writing, they'll stay intrinsically motivated.

Create a Class Newspaper

Inspire interest in current events by using a local paper as a model for reporting class events. Class projects in every subject area can be presented as news articles with headers, bylines, lead-ins, bodies, and summary paragraphs. Word games, weather, horoscopes, and after-school activities can be integrated with whatever content is being taught.

Boy writing outside
Get Out of the Classroom

Holding class or even just a short discussion in a new environment, whether a park, museum, or the school library, is a great way to stoke student interest. When you return to your classroom, they may see a new approach to a problem or assignment.

Students running in hallway
Create a Competition

Participate in a competition. As long as there is appreciation for everyone's best effort and not all attention is placed solely on the winner, a competition can be a great way to create excitement.

Teacher talking to her young students
Offer Differentiated Instruction

Knowing that you'll have students of differing abilities in your classroom, craft your lessons for everyone—taking into consideration the different ability levels.

From The Complete Idiot's Guide to Success as a Teacher © 2005 by Anthony D. Fredericks.

what colleges look for, male student getting help from teacher
Provide Feedback Promptly, Frequently, and Efficiently

Students must be able to see a direct connection between any effort or completed task (such as homework) and a response from you, both verbal and written. Make sure you mention each student's personal progress, rather than comparing his or her work with others in the class.

From The Complete Idiot's Guide to Success as a Teacher © 2005 by Anthony D. Fredericks.

Confused boy
Provide Multiple Opportunities for Students to Set Goals

Students should have multiple opportunities to set their own academic goals. Invite them to establish obtainable goals for a lesson, a unit, or even for the whole year. Ask them what they would like to learn about a topic and what they think they must do to learn that material. Psychologists tell us that the goals we set for ourselves (as opposed to the goals others set for us) are intrinsically more motivational. We're more inclined to pursue those goals and relish in the success that comes about when we achieve them.

From The Complete Idiot's Guide to Success as a Teacher © 2005 by Anthony D. Fredericks.

Woman calling on student
Start the Day with Fun

Start the day off on a pleasant note: a funny video, a trivia question, or fun fact will help students see the entertaining side of learning.

Kids with bulletin board
Share Accomplishments

Provide numerous opportunities for students to share their accomplishments with the class and the class to share their achievements with the larger school community. Use skits, plays, readers theater productions, library displays, bulletin boards, a class newspaper or newsletter, or other media to promote the efforts of the whole classroom.

Apple iPhone
Next: Top 10 Educational Technology Resources
Need more ideas for incorporating technology into your curriculum? Engage students in your classroom with our Top 10 (plus one more!) Favorite Interactive Educational Technology Resources. These websites will help you create new and captivating lesson plans for your curriculum.
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