4 Tips For Motivating Students

4 Tips For Motivating Students and Changing Lives

Let’s face it. Being a teacher is one of the most important jobs. You are teaching the future and what you do in the classroom has a HUGE impact on children and their life. Here is a very troubling fact. Low literacy is strongly related to crime. 70% of prisoners fall into the lowest two levels of reading proficiency according to the National Institute for Literacy. You have the gift of shaping the students in your classroom by teaching them well and motivating them to do and be their best! You aren’t in control of what is going on in their home life, but you ARE in control of the 6 – 8 hours they are with you.

Try these things today in your classroom to get your students motivated and believing in themselves:

1. Build A Relationship

The first thing that needs to be in place in order for you to be in the position to motivate a child is to build a relationship with them. Let them know you care by greeting them at the door every morning. Talk to them about what is going on in their lives. Children have a sense and know when someone cares about them and when they don’t. Show the children in your class they are important to you by being interested in them.

2. Give Praise and Encouragement

About 90% of the things student do in class go unrecognized. Spend one day paying attention to how much praise and encouragement you are giving students versus how much you reprimand. Praise and encouragement is a powerful tool to get children to succeed and it must be used consistently. Not once in a while. It also must be used for ALL students. Be specific with your praise. For example, instead of saying, “Nice job on your test.” say “You must feel great about the A you got on your math test!”

3. Set Goals

Sit down with each student and talk with them about setting a goal. It can be a goal in anything, academic or social. Help them to create the goal, write it down and then plan out what they need to do to reach that goal. Also discuss with them how they will know they are on track for meeting their goal and have them write that down too. During this meeting you are the facilitator. You are guiding their thoughts and where they are going.

4. Motivate Through Your Instruction

Nowadays children are stimulated by video games and computers. Teacher need to be energetic and show you are enthusiastic about what you are teaching. I have been in classrooms, I kid you not, where the teacher has made it very clear to the students that they don’t want to be teaching what they are teaching and guess what? The students end up not caring either! On the other side of the coin, I have also seen teachers who have made a subject that seemed like it would be very boring, come alive through their instruction and the kids sucked it up! You need to act as if what you are teaching is the best thing since sliced bread. Trust me! It works! Vary the way students learn by having them work in teams, using visuals and providing times for children to engage in their learning.

Remember, your job is VERY important so use the opportunity to make a change in a child’s life and put them on the path to success!

Tips for High School Teachers with ADHD Students: Presenting Your Lesson

Thank you to all of our professional educators who dedicate themselves to our children! We know how difficult it can be working with ADHD children, so here are your teacher tips for the week, brought to you by the ADHD Information Library and ADDinSchool.com. This is a sampling of over 500 classroom interventions for your use at http://www.ADDinSchool.com.

Here are some tips on presenting your lesson ADHD students. Remember, the best interventions are the ones that will help all of your students be more successful, not just the ADHD students.

Try to provide an outline with the key concepts or vocabulary prior to lesson presentation. The students can follow along and see the main concepts and terms as you present the lesson.

ADHD kids are easily bored, even by you. Try to increase the pace of lesson presentation. Resist the temptation to get sidetracked. Get excited about your lesson! And communicate your excitement to your students!

Include a variety of learning activities during each lesson. Use multi-sensory presentations, but screen audio?visual aids to be sure that distractions are kept to a minimum. For example, be sure interesting pictures and or sounds relate directly to the material to be learned. Many teachers are now using PowerPoint presentations or Astound presentations for their students with great effect.

Provide self-correcting materials for immediate feedback to the ADD ADHD student.

Use computer assisted instruction, both in terms of the student at a computer, and also in terms of presenting information via PowerPoint presentations.

Use cooperative learning activities, particularly those that assign each teen in a group a specific role or piece of information that must be shared with the group. Pair students to check work. Provide peer tutoring to help ADD ADHD student’s review concepts.

Let ADD ADHD students share recently learned concepts with struggling peers. Use peer tutoring whenever possible. Older students to help your attention deficit students, and perhaps allowing him to tutor a younger student.

The more exciting a subject is to an ADD ADHD students, the better he will learn.

Hopefully these will help the ADHD students in your classroom to be more successful. You can learn more about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity disorder at the ADHD Information Library.

Teaching English As A Foreign Language – 7 Tips For Using Popular Movies

Movies and Videos in the EFL Classroom

If you’re looking to expand the role of movies and videos in your EFL classroom, what better way to expand the learners’ communicative skills, grammar and vocabulary than by using clips from popular movies? Try using these seven tips for stimulating learner motivation while enjoying a favored pastime of children and adults alike, watching short scenes or clips from popular movies.

1. Use pre-viewing activities

Before the video, warm up your learners to the theme and grammar using pre-viewing activities. A variety of these might include puzzles, photos and images, short games like “concentration” or TPR activities, a story or anecdote, or activating the schema of the learners’ in a number of other ways.

2. Have learners complete a chart while viewing

While they are watching a short video or movie segment you might have the learners fill in key information in a chart. Items like names of characters, occupations, family relationships, clothing and settings can be easily recorded this way. This allows the learners to focus more on the communicative aspects and less on actually writing.

3. Select a grammar point repeatedly demonstrated in the movie clip

There’s no need to leave grammar out of a video-based lesson or stage. If a useable grammar point or structure is repeated or prominent during the movie clip you plan to use, all the better. Just remember to pre-teach that grammar or structural element, even a class or two before the video, so that it will be recognizable in context.

4. Have a list of six to eight lexis

Select a list of from six to eight or ten vocabulary words, idioms and expressions from the movie clip or video you plan to use. Pre-teach these during the pre-viewing stage of the lesson. When the learners then hear them used in context during the video viewing session, the lexis will have added impact.

5. Make use of visual input

A popular movie clip is an audio-visual experience, so use it as such. While learners are watching and listening for general and detailed spoken information, include visual aspects for them to skim and scan for as well. How many? How much? When? Where? Who? How and why are good starters for capturing visually-presented information from the movie clip or video segment.

6. Allow learners to select their preferred movie clip

It can be quite a dilemma. There you have perhaps two or three or more movies from which to choose, but you’re not sure which your learners would prefer. So I have an idea, do you choose, let them do it. Take three movies for example, show the learners only the first five minutes of each, and then let them choose which they’d like to work with. If you have a clip in mind from each of the movies, show each clip and give them a choice. You can work up your activities and lesson stage plans confident in having your learners’ interest and motivation.

7. For post-viewing discussion:

If not addressed during pre-viewing activities, now is the time to talk about favorite actors, actresses, similar plots and stories from other movies, and what might be different or better outcomes for what as seen. Stage re-enactments, altered dialogues and plot twists your learners might come up with. Be imaginative, be creative, be bold or even funny, but get them communicating about their experience.

Prepare a Worksheet

You can prepare a one or two page worksheet to be photocopied and used by the learners for the video session. Alternatively, learners can copy the format into their notebooks. Just be sure to plan your pre-viewing, while-viewing and post-viewing activities well and your English language video clip-based lesson is sure to be an award-winner.

12 Tips For Involving Parents in the IEP Process

As special education teachers one of our main responsibilities is to develop Individual Education Programs (IEP’s) along with a team of individuals including the child’s parents or caregivers. The process is very time consuming for Special Education teachers. It is not usual spend upwards to several hours just gathering information and getting ready to conduct the IEP meeting as well as write it. Some IEP’s are only a few pages long but others, especially for a child who needs many services, can be twenty or more pages.

The purpose of the IEP is for a team to develop goals and objectives as well as outlining services the child needs for the at least the next year. IEP’s are written annually and some require revising or writing more often.

Each individual on the team is supposed to have input into helping develop the IEP goals. The key term here is “supposed”. While some team members are more involved than others, the burden of producing and writing a correct IEP is on the Special Education teacher.

As often happens, the Spec. Ed. teacher arranges the meeting, sends out the needed notices to the participants and then will write the IEP. While the goals and objectives are usually written during the meeting itself, the Spec. Ed. teacher has a good idea as to what goals to include. She has also spent time writing the narratives for other parts of the IEP.

Team members who are invited to the meeting have little or no input into the process and will just show up to sign the document produced. Ideally, the team members who should have most of the input into the IEP are the Spec. Ed teacher, classroom teacher, key support personnel and the parents.

The struggle that most Spec. Ed. teachers face is how to get the parents to become more of a participant in the IEP. Parents along with their child are the key stake holders in developing an appropriate IEP. What can Spec. Ed teachers do to get parents more involved in the process?

Here are 12 tips for Special Ed teachers to get the parent involved in the process:

1. Prior to the IEP meeting, the Special Ed. teacher should interview the parent to see what their concerns are for their child and what goals and objectives they would like to see implemented in the IEP.

2. At least a week before the meeting, send home a list of possible goals and objectives for the parent to review and make additions to or corrections to them.

3. Probably the most important is to set a time for the meeting that is mutually agreeable to all but most especially the parent.

4. Be sure during the meeting to welcome comments and concern that the parent may have. Ask questions specifically addressed to them. Don’t let anyone interrupt them.

5. If a parent begins to speak, let them and be sure that others allow time for them to talk as well. If team members feel the need to talk among themselves while the parent is talking, ask them to go out of the room so that a parent does not have to compete with others attention.

6. Keep a steady flow of communication with the parents all the time – not just at the IEP meeting.

7. Keep the parent appraised of what is happening with their child. This means not just report card or parent conference time. This means at other times as well. This way the parent can know what is working and what isn’t working.

8. Let the parent know of successes their child has experienced as well as what things need to be done differently.

9. During the meeting be sure to acknowledge the parent as a part of the team and let the other members of the team know that what they are saying and discussing is important.

10. As teachers we get very attached to the children we work with, especially those that we work with for multiple years. It is important that we keep in mind that this child, for whom we are meeting, is not our child but belongs to the parent. We may not always agree with the parent but their wishes should be considered and acknowledged.

11. The most important skill we can develop as facilitators of meetings is to listen, listen and listen when the parent talks. This means active listening – with eyes and ears.

12. Lastly, let the parent know that you care about their child and about them as a family. Parents of children with Special Needs often need reassuring that their child is a part of the classroom, has friends and others who care for them.

Try these tips and see if they help to get parents more involved in the IEP process.

12 Helpful Tips to Pass the CELTA or TEFL Teaching Preparation Course

As a Trinity College of London post-graduate diploma holder in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) when a co-worker seriously queried me on the rigors and requirements of taking a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certification course for teaching English, I recommended an upcoming CELTA (Certification in English Language Teaching) teacher training certification program at the British Council. After several conversations with him I thought,

“Why not give the prospective CELTA trainee some advice right from a proven source?”

Having such teaching certification opens doors internationally for English teaching positions, enabling certificate holders to work in scores if not hundreds of countries worldwide. But the more reputable and highly-regarded 120+ hour programs are intensive, stressful and difficult regardless of the experience and amount of preparation trainees may have.

So, I contacted Nathan Jones, a CELTA graduate I knew and asked, “Look, can you do something for me? I’m tutoring someone to enter the CELTA training course like the one you did. Would you please give him some insight as to course requirements, the schedule, themes, difficulties, etc.? You’ll be able to provide this prospective CELTA trainee with some idea of what he’s in for this summer if he takes the CELTA.”

Sure enough, Nathan, the CELTA grad, offered some insights as to what might be in store for a CELTA trainee during the five-week intensive regimen. With my insight also included, here’s what our advice consisted of:

We offer you these tips for preparing to take the CELTA or other TESOL certification program. Try to remember these valuable key points:

1. Read everything you are given thoroughly.

This includes handouts, course outlines and requirements, etc.

2. Use your peers to assist you in every aspect of your

training. Get to know your directors, teachers,

administrators, and other personnel on the course

program

3. Complete every course program project on time – or early, if

possible.

4. Be open to being challenged and mentally exasperated, take

copious notes, and share them freely with other trainees.

5. Find another trainee or a small study group you can gel and

work well with.

6. Seek out the person(s) who have had friends or family

previously in the course, because they will likely have a

head start in completing course program tasks.

7. Get lots of sleep. You’ll need it. Don’t fall asleep in

class or get “burned out from stress and exhaustion. Take

some “relax” time daily.

8. Practice your teaching techniques regularly, whether

assigned or not.

9. Try to learn from the students you will be teaching.

10. Follow the required texts, books and materials explicitly –

ask questions if you doubt or don’t fully understand

anything. Make sure you understand the processes of what

you will be learning. This is crucial to your success.

11. Do everything in organized steps or stages and be

consistently persistent.

12. A few final Key Points:

o Ask questions – even the “stupid” ones

o pay rapt attention – everything is important

o follow directions explicitly

o listen carefully at all times

o study regularly, plan your time well – resist the urge

to “goof off”

o prepare well daily for each class or input session

o practice what you learn – that’s what your partner / study

group is for

o get help wherever and whenever you can – don’t allow yourself

to fall behind

Be sure to enjoy the experience and have fun. These people will be your friends for life. Remember that a course alone, while preparing you to enter an EFL / ESL (English as a Foreign Language / English as a Second Language) teaching career, does not in itself make you a teacher. Continue to grow, develop and learn throughout your TEFL teaching career.

Good Luck