I find that it can be really difficult to encourage children to become more self-motivated, especially when they are in the younger year levels. In my classroom we use the Spelling Matrix program, which allows children to be more independent and in control of their learning. While this has been a really positive system within our class, it relies on children's own determination and self-motivation.
I have tried since the very beginning of the year to encourage children to take more responsibility of their learning, which in turn I hope is increasing their own motivation to succeed.
Techniques I have used
- allowing children to be a part of our class decisions e.g. making classroom rules, setting up tables, choosing their own groups to work in (at times)
- comments that are written are directed at what specifically they did well. Writing "Good work", while it does make a child feel good, it doesn't make it clear what they did well.
- discussing areas of improvement or the direction they may want to move in
- applauding all children's efforts. Each child stands up and explains what task they have done or even part of a task they have completed. Other students then acknowledge their effort by clapping. This is done for many learning areas, however it is emphasised as part of the Spelling Matrix process.
- having a list of things on the board to be done during packing away time. Students can read this and see what is left to be done, without having to come to ask me.
- when praising students I often use the words 'You must be very proud of yourself' instead of "I'm so proud of you". You put the emphasis back onto them and away from doing things to please you. Telling children you are proud of them is a positive comment, just ensure that it is not the only thing you say to them. You may also want to focus/comment on their resilience, persistence or confidence also.
- setting behaviour, social and academic goals.
If you have anymore that you implement in your classroom or centre, please add yours in a comment.