Get creative #mystudentmotivation

Get Creative: #MyStudentMotivation Part 3

Monotony is one of the biggest reasons why students feel bored or demotivated in the class. Why? Imagine the daily routine of average grown-ups. We cringe and whine about our jobs throughout the week starting from Monday, all the way till Friday evening. That weekend feeling keeps us motivated. The different things that we plan to do during those 2 days with our loved ones motivate till the clock strikes 6 on a Sunday evening.

(P.S. I’m that grown-up who loves Mondays. Because I love my job and the different teaching methods that I apply with my students)

It’s the same with children. But unlike the grown-ups, children can have an option to change this situation. It’s the school’s responsibility to take out the monotony from the classrooms and make the lessons interesting for students.

What can teachers do?

We teachers can do a lot to change the way the lessons are taught in the classroom. It’s up to us and a little interest from our side to make learning interesting.

Incorporate technology

Children spend most of their time browsing the internet and with their smartphones. So the best way to appeal to them is to do things their way. The source of entertainment is unlimited and that’s what appeals to them. So Use mobile apps and games that they can enjoy using in the classroom.

For example, I use word games to engage my students. There are apps like Cram that let you create flashcards and your own version of their inbuilt word games.

Make the lessons visual

As I said before, things that stick to your mind firmly are the ones that appeal to you visually. Start using visual aids effectively in the classroom. Diagrams, videos, colorful charts, or even movies that explain the topics well. They all help solidify the understanding of the concepts whilst making them interesting.

Create a stimulating environment

Children spend more time in the classroom than they do at home (not literally). If you want them to love coming in every day, make their space attractive. use posters, models, student projects and seasonal themes to decorate your classroom, and create a warm, stimulating environment.

I agree that you can’t always be exciting but maybe you can do it once a week. We as teachers are responsible not only for completing the syllabus but also to understand our students, nurture their minds and keep them motivated throughout the lessons.

It’s a challenge that in turn, motivates me to up my game and keep learning.

realistic-goals My Student Motivation

Set Realistic Goals #MyStudentMotivation Part 2

Setting goals or rather setting realistic goals contributes a major part in motivating students to do more. They begin to show interest in what they do and start to believe that things can be done if only you focus and work on it.

How I set realistic goals?

Realistic goals can be anything. It can be solving a simple question paper, reading an online blog and writing their interpretation, making a PPT, or even just coming up with an idea for a fun classroom quiz.

Setting timelines:

As a teacher, you must know and understand your class and your students’ abilities. Accordingly, you must set timelines to complete each task that you give them.

Pairing and teaming

Every class has a set of students who are academically brilliant and another set who are not so brilliant and take time to understand the lessons. We have to make pairs and teams of students who can help each other complete the task.

This gives a chance for the brilliant kids to teach and the not so brilliant kids to learn their ways of studying.


There’s ought to be a best project or task. Use it as a benchmark for the rest of the class without belittling other students. A simple “Good job Bryan” should do it.

SMART Goals for classroom

The Goals which you set should be SMART. That a marketing abbreviation for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely.

SMART goals can be something Specific to train a particular skill, Measurable where you can see and rate the performance and improvement. Attainable as the task be something that the students can finish with simple guidance, Relevant meaning the task should be Relevant to your class and subject, and Timely for the tasks to finish within a particular time limit.

The results…

By practicing this method, we can see that the students slowly get independent, efficient, focused, and motivated. Once you notice the students performing well, you can gradually raise the level of difficulty for each task.

So start simple, notice the change, and gradually, raise the bar.

Student blog MyStudentMotivation

The Classroom Blog: #MyStudentMotivation Part1

AS an ESL tutor, my very first suggestion (that greatly worked for me) would be to set up a personal classroom blog for your students.

How does it motivate students? I’ll get to that in a minute. But before that, let’s get over the technical part. Setting up a blog.

Today, that’s nothing easier than setting up your own blog. There are so, so many platforms where you can get your own little place on the web. WordPress, Tumblr, Edublogs, etc. give you options to host and personalize your blog for free without having to write a single line of code.

Once you’re done setting up the blog, you’re good to go.

How does it motivate the students?

Students spend between 8-10 hours on the internet every day. Why? Because there’s so much entertainment on the internet. They watch videos, play games, chat, share and like pictures, etc.

So it’s obvious that the best way to reach your students will be when they are online. People love being a part of a community. They want to be seen, want to be heard, and want to voice their thoughts.

A classroom blog does just that. But for your blog to be effective, you must make it engaging with content that would bring your students to the blog, contribute and share their thoughts.

Post your class discussions on the blog, invite students to share their learnings, what they understood, what they didn’t what they’d like to be changed, etc.

How I did it

I set up a students blog on Edublogs 5 days into my teaching career. I invited my students to subscribe to the blog for updates. They hesitated initially but did it just to play along. I was happy to get them aboard and it was now up to me to make them come in and stay.

I started posting the lessons with some humor and youtube videos. I opened the comments section for the students to engage and sat back with my fingers crossed. To my surprise, students did exactly what I planned. They were motivated to share. They were motivated to speak up, ask questions, answers other students, and post suggestions.

The next morning, I woke up and was thrilled by their interaction. I got some useful insights that I then incorporated in my future lessons.

This slowly became our routine and I’d hang out with my students almost every day even after going home.

This is the power of the internet. #MyStudentMotivation

My Student Motivation

The Student Motivation Series #MyStudentMotivation

We, teachers, love teaching. We really do. Teaching is what gets us to wake up motivated and go to bed satisfied. The best part about teaching is that you keep learning and the fun of working with the young minds gives us the much-needed rush.

But it’s not always fun when your students are not as involved in learning as you are in teaching. It’s definitely not motivating to look at students scattered around in the class with equally scattered thoughts, staring back at the board wishing they were somewhere else. It breaks you as a teacher.

When you’re done picking up your broken pieces, the first thought that plays inside your head is “Am I a bad teacher?” Nope. Not even going there. I tell myself that I’m a great teacher. With that note, I sit down to analyze the real problem.

Lack of motivation and how to fix it?
Students are not always motivated to study. There are very few who enjoy learning something new. Most of the kids perceive learning as a task that they have to do or are forced to do. We can totally relate to that right? We too were students at one point and wished for studying to be interesting.

Now as the tables have turned and since we are officially responsible for teaching the students, why not make our classes more interesting? Why don’t we get the students motivated and excited about learning?

After a lot of research, reading through blogs, talking to my students, ex-students, the parents, I’ve built some strategies to make learning fun for my students. I’ve tried them in my class and seen positive results.

I’m starting a weekly series of articles where I will share my methods of motivating students in the classroom. I’m positive that it will be helpful for teachers who want to make their classes interactive, and exciting for students.

Follow #MyStudentMotivation

Teachers “Without a Life” Trying to Teach About Life — Addie Williams

A friend and I met up to eat Mexican food the other day, because who doesn’t like stuffing fried tortilla chips topped with cheese dip in their mouth? She also is a teacher. She is on year seven of her teaching career, and I am on year two. She said something to me that has […]

via Teachers “Without a Life” Trying to Teach About Life — Addie Williams

An overview of STEM Education

An Overview of STEM Education – Guest Post by Thomas Down

What is STEM

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.

STEM is a system of education that’s designed in a way to integrate the four disciplines of the school curriculum together. Here, students get to learn through real-life applications and examples.

A curriculum that is STEM-based has real-life situations to help students practice while learning. Programs like Engineering for Kids integrates multiple classes to provide opportunities to see how the concepts relate to life and hopefully spark a passion for a future career in any of the STEM fields.

Example: Imagine an architect designing a building. He doesn’t use the individual skills of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math separately. They are interwoven in a practical manner that allows the architect to make complex designs.

STEM activities provide hands-on and minds-on lessons for the student. Making math and science both fun and interesting helps the student to do much more than just learn.

What are the different subjects in STEM?

It’s almost impossible to list down all the subjects that fall under each of the STEM disciplines. But to get a good idea, here are the most common areas that a STEM student can expect to venture into.

Besides the basic Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Math, STEM gives you a taste of a vast array of subjects.

Aerospace engineering, astrophysics, algebra, astronomy, biochemistry, biomechanics, chemical engineering, chemistry, civil engineering, computer science, mathematical biology, nanotechnology, neurobiology, nuclear physics, physics, and robotics.

Why should you pursue STEM?

 Early STEM learners are proven to be better problem solvers, logical thinkers, and self-reliant
 Hands-on learning offers essential skills for a future within the STEM sector
 STEM drives the technology of our future and there is a rising demand for STEM
educated employees
 STEM salaries are on the rise and are expected to be the highest paying jobs in the future

If you’d notice, STEM is literally, all around us.

Science is present in even the simplest activities that we do.

Technology is continuously expanding into our homes, work-spaces, and daily life.

Engineering gives the basic designs for roads and bridges but also tackles the challenges of changing the global weather and environmentally-friendly changes to our home.

Mathematics in its basic form is a part of every occupation and every activity that we do in our lives.

By exposing students to STEM and giving them opportunities to explore STEM-related concepts, they will develop a passion for it and hopefully pursue a job in a STEM field.

List of Best 25 STEM Colleges Of 2018

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
2. California Institute of Technology
3. Harvey Mudd College
4. United States Naval Academy
5. Rice University
6. Johns Hopkins University
7. United States Air Force Academy
8. Carnegie Mellon University
9. United States Coast Guard Academy
10. United States Merchant Marine Academy
11. Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art
12. Lehigh University
13. University of Rochester
14. Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus
15. Worcester Polytechnic Institute
16. Case Western Reserve University
17. Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
18. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
19. Colorado School of Mines
20. Clarkson University
21. Stevens Institute of Technology
22. Stony Brook University
23. Illinois Institute of Technology
24. Missouri University of Science and Technology
25. Michigan Technological University

Is STEM for me?

Having said how good the curriculum is, the big question that may arise in your mind is “is STEM the right choice for me?”

When Americans are asked why more students don’t pursue a degree in science, technology, engineering or math, they are most likely to reply that “the subjects are difficult”

According to a new Pew Research Center survey. About half of adults (52%) say the main reason young people don’t pursue STEM degrees is they think these subjects are too hard or “boring to study”.

To be ready for STEM, you must be interested in:
– Thinking and creating “outside the box” (Artistic)
– processing, organizing, & record-keeping (Conventional)
– helping other individuals and the society (Social)
– leading, persuading and selling (Enterprising)

Investigative people who are interested in finding out answers, knowing facts, thinking and analysing situations, and willing to explore often succeed at STEM.

You need to be realistic and interested in work that demands hands-on tasks, physical activities, practical solutions and tool-oriented problem-solving.

Can you solve these questions without looking at the solutions? (JK! You can look.)

Why don’t individuals simply force the FDA to do what is best for consumers of prescription drugs?

– The following conversions occur frequently in physics and are very useful. (a) Use 1 mi = 5280 ft and 1 h = 3600 s to convert 60 mph to units of ft/s. (b) The acceleration of a freely falling object is 32 ft/s<sup>2</sup>. Use 1 ft = 30.48 cm to express this acceleration in units of m/s<sup>2</sup>. (c) The density of water is 1.0 g/cm<sup>3</sup>. Convert this density to units of kg/m

– Terms that apply to the backside of the body in the anatomical position include:
A. (a) ventral; anterior
B. (b) back; rear
C. (c) posterior; dorsal
D. (d) medial; lateral

Yes? Looks like you’re ready for STEM.

Using a Scaffolded Approach to Help Students with Research Topics

Scaffolding-Topic-Selection-with-Research-Papers(Image sourced from Reading and Writing Haven)

My students have often felt stumped when I asked them to write a paper. They get stuck at the very initial phase of deciding what to write on. I’ve even had some of them spend the largest chunk of their time just trying to pick a topic, which took away from the time they could allocate to their information gathering, idea organization, and the actual drafting of the paper. I decided that I needed a more organized approach to this problem so I could help my students more effectively with their writing. This article by Melissa Kruse has been of great help!

How do you help students choose research topics? I used to approach every class the same way. It only took me one year to figure out that approach didn’t work. Scaffolding the topic selection process is important, but not all students need the same scaffolding. Here are some things to consider when beginning a research paper. These approaches have become my go-to’s over the years.

Via How to Help Teens Choose Research Topics: A Scaffolded Approach

How Urban Dictionary and Slang have impacted Modern English?

Change is the only constant in the world.

Over the period of time, the English language has undergone so many changes and it will continue to change in the future. The English language of Shakespearean era transformed into a simpler form in 20th century. You don’t hear words like thy, thou, thee etc. anymore. Continue reading “How Urban Dictionary and Slang have impacted Modern English?”

How to create a positive classroom atmosphere

What do you do when a class gets off on the wrong foot? Or a vein of negativity, underlying snickering or contentious comments characterize your take-away after a session with a group of students? I just ran a 3-day event with a classroom packed with 34 kids, ages 9-14. There are plenty of challenges to […]

via How Do You Change a Negative Classroom Atmosphere or Create a Positive One in the First Place? — Renee Lannan’s blog