Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Three Easy Ways to Make Your Lessons Motivating and Fun

Without motivation it is very hard to learn anything. If you don't want to learn then you won't learn. Let's face it, some school subjects aren't exciting at all.

The teacher could make it worst by lecturing on and on about a topic while making students sit and listen (while in actual fact they will be daydreaming about something else). Imagine, a full class period with only the sound of the teacher's voice droning on.

One example of this is when the teacher reads from the textbook. Or, the teacher tries to make it 'intereactive' by having some students read a few paragraphs. When you're reading from the textbook, or ask a student to read, while the rest of the students are to follow the reading, what do you think everyone else will be doing? Daydreaming. Not following the text. Pretending to listen. Doing their own thing...

Another way teachers can make their lessons boring is by making students copy a whole section of the teacher's writing on the board or a whole section out of the textbook. This will make the teacher feel as though students are learning because of the copious amount of writing but all students will get out of this is cramp in their hands.

If you are doing any of the above then you are making your lessons very boring and unmotivating. Your students will zone out and even misbehave. Is this student below representative of your own students?

So how do teachers avoid having bored and demotivated students? How can you make your lessons motivating and fun? Below are three of the ways.

1. Make the lesson interactive.
Teach but don't lecture. Teaching is about showing and demonstrating not telling. I've always warn others that you'll know you're lecturing when the only sounds you hear is your own voice talking uninterrupted for the last five minutes. So if you're teaching then you should ask questions to get input from students. In this way, you're not the only one talking. Other ways you can make your lessons interactive is by asking for volunteers to demonstrate, make the lessons hands-on so students can have practice and have students ask thinking questions by generating "how" questions.

2. Let students be the detective.
Throw the textbook out and get students to research the topic. You can use the textbook as a guide to what topics students should research on and at the end they can use it to check on whether they were on track or not. For example, if the topic is about heritage sites then have each group research about a different site each and then present it to the class. This si much more motivating then just reading it from the geography textbook.

3. Teach students to draw mindmaps.
Mindmaps are diagrams that show the connections of each part. If you need students to write into their books then one way to make the information more appealing and interesting (not to mention, more easily understood) is to draw mindmaps of what they're learning. 

This is an example of a diagram (more on mindmaps soon).

To learn more about motivating students, read about Motivated Learning.

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