One way of helping students become motivated to work hard to improve their learning is to develop a growth mindset in them over a fixed mindset.
Fixed Mindset means that people are born with or without certain abilities and talents and that cannot be changed. That’s why I often have some students saying, “I can’t do it. I’m not good at English!” However, a Growth Mindset learner believes that abilities and talents can be improved through hard work. They enjoy challenges and know that struggles and failures are necessary to succeed. They are the students intrinsically motivated to work hard.
One of the most powerful things you can do to stimulate your students’ growth mindset is to praise them for their efforts and hard work, never for the result. That tells learners that they have the power to improve their academic success. And they start using that power! EZStickerbook allows teachers to set goals for their students where they can be rewarded for their progress, and not just for completing a goal. Students can even work with teachers to create their own goals to work for and set it within the app. Most importantly, students develop intrinsic motivation for learning!
Use a “hook” to engage them
I start every lesson with a “hook” to get the students engaged. Sometimes it’s a story, or maybe a Youtube video, or a game, or 5 minutes to share their “Good News.” It’s always something I can tie to their real life. Therefore, this makes them more willing to participate in class than before.
More ideas I use in my school
- I make English learning personal by connecting language to something in my students’ lives.
- We integrate current topics, music, and movies into lessons.
- I use personalized tasks, journals, and speaking circles.
- We play games. Games stimulate motivation, reduce anxiety, and allow for the integration of all language skills.
- I ask students to create short movies on topics of their choice using digital cameras.
- Finally, in my school we use real-life English when celebrating holidays, sharing anecdotes, asking and giving directions, having 5 o’clock tea, and even role-playing a job interview.
High expectations and clear goals
Setting high expectations and supporting students as they work hard allows them to grow to meet those expectations. Having daily, monthly, and even yearly goals to reach gives students a purpose and a meaning for working hard. Moreover, we must outline these expectations very clearly and support our students as they work to meet them. Importantly, EZStickerbook has easy goal tracking and data reporting that allow teachers, parents and students to collaborate and track goals throughout the school year.
Importantly, students need a safe classroom atmosphere where the struggle is acceptable and encouraged as part of the learning process; where they can take risks and make mistakes while trying to take something in. Kids digest information through collaborative pair work and group work to help each other understand. Finally, students feel like they they are active participants in creating their knowledge. It reminds them that hard work, risks, and mistakes, are part of their success as learners.