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5 Awesome Tools for Motivating Students

5 Awesome Tools for Motivating Students

By Linda Craig

You know the feeling: you present lessons in the most engaging and exciting way you can, but still look around the room and see sleepy, distracted faces that can hardly wait for the bell.

Luckily, there are many different techniques you can use for motivating students be more engaged in the learning process—pair these with technology and you have a surefire way to motivate students to take part in their learning.

1. Technique: Rewards

Tool: Whooo’s Reading

A good grade is always a great reward for studying hard, but sometimes it’s not enough. You should acknowledge proper behavior and good work on a daily basis. When you have a reward program for engagement, your students will be encouraged to follow the lead and focus on the goal or lesson.

A great tech tool for rewarding students is Whooo’s Reading. This online reading log rewards students with Wisdom Coins for logging reading, interacting with other students and answering CCSS-aligned questions. These coins can be “spent” in the Owl Store on virtual accessories for their Owlvatar. This motivates all readers to spend more time with a book in their hand.

2. Technique: Humor

Tool: Bitstrips

Take the time to think: what teachers did you adore in school? In many cases, it’s the funny ones. Making a lesson more fun with humor motivates students to stay engaged without them even realizing it. Remember: you don’t need to be a professional comedian; just let your humorous side shine and you’ll do just fine.

Don’t forget to encourage your students to be funny too. Don’t make them suppress the jokes; allow them to express themselves—making sure the humor is within the limits of good behavior. When they can hardly wait for your class, you can rest assured they will be motivated to listen to what you have to say.

Bitstrips, a simple web platform, is a fun tool for motivating students, allowing them to show what they know by making comic strips. Challenge them to see who can make the funniest comic strip.

3. Technique: Fun Quizzes

Tool: QuizWorks

Is there a way to reduce the fear and anxiety students feel when you mention tests? Set up your curriculum so that they take quizzes more regularly, but make the questions amusing. This will give them more practice with taking quizzes, while making it easy for you to gauge each student’s understanding of the material.

While you can use pre-made quizzes, like this English Literature Quiz, you can also make your own with QuizWorks. This allows you to text their knowledge on subjects from class, while adding your spin to the questions to make them more fun.

4. Technique: Acknowledge Good Choices and Sanction the Bad Ones

Tool: LiveSchool

This method works really well for younger students, who still don’t fully understand what behaviors and actions are good and bad. The stop light concept serves as a great tool for assessing daily behavior. All students start the day on green. When they make poor choices and act improperly, they move towards yellow and red. Good choices can move them back to yellow and green.

At the end of the day, evaluate the choices and write them on a behavioral calendar. At the end of the month, reward the students with most greens and think of a ‘punishment’ for the ones who have too many reds.

You can also use the tool LiveSchool to track and reward this behavior digitally. Students earn or lose points based on raising their hands, arriving to class on time and more. They can redeem their points in the “Reward Store” that you set up. For example, if a student has 100 points, they get to pick a pencil out of the prize box.

5. Technique: Make Small Adjustment

Tool: ToodleDo

You don’t have to reinvent to find simple ways for motivating students. All methods and tools are already out there; you just need to rely on the right ones. While these strategies can help you to turn the classroom into a better learning environment, where students are motivated and engaged, you’ll benefit from tracking progress to determine what’s working and what’s not.

Create a list of small changes you want to make, whether it’s introducing weekly (fun!) quizzes or a reward system, and track them with ToodleDo. You can use this tool to set goals, create lists and write notes, all of which helps you assess what’s motivating your students and what’s not.

WRforSchools
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