Week 4 breadcrumbs

Week 4 Breadcrumbs

Student Motivation

I have spent countless hours trying to put together lesson plans and the question that I ponder the most is “What can I do to get the students to want to learn this concept?”.  I search the web and look through books to try to find activities or games that I think will be interesting to them.  When I finally execute the lesson I always get mixed reactions from the group.  Some get into the lesson and seem to enjoy it while others look like they couldn’t care less about what  is going on.  I have come to accept that I will always get mixed reactions because kids learn differently and have different interests. Until now I haven’t given much thought as to the motivations behind the responses that I am seeing.  

It is easy to  assume that students who activity participated in the lesson were enjoying the lesson and grasping the concept. While others who were not engaged were just not interested in the lesson and did not get the concept. However, reading the piece on Motives as Behavior has given pause for thought.  Are the students whom you assume to be getting the concept just putting on a show or are they getting the concept? This is why checking for understanding and assessments must be incorporated throughout the lesson.  This allows the teacher to be agile and adjust the lesson as need.

I think this is where the challenge is for most teachers, myself included. I have come to understand that It is important to have a good understanding of your students in order to do this effectively.  A good understanding of your students strengths and weaknesses help to inform your decision on how to adjust a lesson. A good understanding of your students personal interests, whether that be sports also the arts, also helps.