Author Topic: Motivating Young Learners  (Read 3155 times)

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Offline jmerchant88

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Motivating Young Learners
« on: February 25, 2014, 12:10:02 AM »
This motivation strategy is geared towards younger learners and does not only apply to reading and writing. It's a reward system that could be adapted for any class/subject. When I was working in an elementary school, my co-teachers and I used a sticker motivation system. Each student had an index card with her name on it. If she came to class with all homework complete and cooperated during the lessons, she would get to put two stickers on her index card. If one or both of those criteria was not fulfilled, she would get one or zero stickers for the day. It's important to let the students pick out their stickers, especially if they're really fun ones. They like that part. Once the student reached 20 stickers (or whichever number the teacher wanted), she could go pick a prize from the treasure box. There's usually a variety of things in the treasure box, like cute erasers, stencils, stickers, notepads, little toys, etc. They really enjoyed this system and it helped to teach them how to take responsibility for their actions. For it to work, teachers must be consistent with the process. I hope this idea will help some of you!

Offline helen6952

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Re: Motivating Young Learners
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2014, 08:09:29 PM »
I agree that this method of motivation are best for the younger learners.
When I was teaching at a private ESL academy, we motivated the younger students with the sticker system (similar to the system you have mentioned in your post) and once they got 50 stickers they could get a prize (which ranged from pencil cases to color pencils...etc).
The bilingual class that I am teaching right now at Garden Hills Elementary, they use similar motivation system to encourage children to read more in English and Spanish. It is amazing how those little gifts can really motivate the little ones!
When my private ESL academy was trying to motivate the adult learners with these incentives it didn't work as well because they were very busy balancing work and studies and they were self-motivated to begin with since they were paying good money for the classes!

Offline adunse

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Re: Motivating Young Learners
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2014, 11:17:04 PM »
My post is slightly different than your practical in class strategies, but I want to categorize it under Jackie's topic: Motivating Young Learners.

The other day when many of us were working with JibJab in the Computer-Mediated Classrooms course, I came across this fun online program called StoryBots.  Parents can put kids' photos into online picture books that come with music and animation.  It could be a good way to give families an at-home project and encourage outside reading time.  I could see how kids would want to re-read a story with someone they knew (or themselves) pasted into it.  By the way, StoryBots is created by the same company as JibJab.  So you can register to log in and get access to one free book, but you've got to pay for the rest.

Though it's more fun to see the character bouncing around, I'm including a few of my favorite screenshots from the picture book that I made!
« Last Edit: March 14, 2014, 11:31:30 PM by adunse »

Offline jmerchant88

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Re: Motivating Young Learners
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2014, 11:05:22 AM »
StoryBots seems like such a fun way to get students excited about reading! Thank you for sharing! Students could even do a "Show and Tell" with their own StoryBots that they created. I think this is a great way to combine reading and technology.

Offline jcwells21

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Re: Motivating Young Learners
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2015, 02:07:44 PM »
Another great way to keep young learners motivated is to create various outside reward systems, to encourage students that it isn't just in the classroom, but that rewards can also be outside the classroom. For example, students who join in Meatheads program can get a free meal out of it. Or, the teacher can also find other programs that give rewards for students reading: more restaurants, public library programs, programs at ice cream shops. This way, students see that they can not only get rewards within the classroom, but also rewards OUTSIDE of the classroom. That way, students can have a group of programs that they are involved in, and perhaps in the classroom, the teacher can give a huge reward at the end of the term for the student that completes the MOST programs OUTSIDE of the classroom.

Offline Stephanie_Osborne

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Re: Motivating Young Learners
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2015, 10:36:09 PM »
I was actually a participant of this system in 4th and 5th grade ( I had the same teachers two years in a row). This system actually does work. The stickers were given for different reasons to promote different habits, some  such as: participating in class and getting the answer right to show you were paying attention, completing assignments, having your parents initial your planner, putting your name on the worksheet/quiz as soon as it is handed to you, reading in class voluntarily, and the list goes on. We had to earn a certain amount of stickers to get something from the "treasure chest" which was a closet full of different types of snacks and sometimes little toys, like bouncy balls, and stickers. Certain prizes were worth more stars. There was a 5 star box, a 10 star box, and a 15 star box. I remember always wanting more stickers so that I could "buy" a snack from the box for snack time some days. I feel this method is a great way to motivate students without making them feel pressured or as though they are competing against other students. Plus it is a reward system that promotes good behavior.
Stephanie O.