teacher tips

5 Tips to Motivate Your Child to Learn

5 Tips to Motivate Your Child to Learn 805 612 admin

Not all kids are excited to get in the classroom and participate in lessons. Inevitably, some children will need a little push to find their love of learning. Here are five tips to motivate your child to learn.

1. Explore Different Learning Styles

Children don’t all learn the exact same way. Some are more visual, while others need to work kinesthetically to understand a lesson. Help your child try out different styles of learning to see which best helps them understand concepts. Once you figure out what method helps your child learn best, put it into action. They will be able to grasp lessons better, and that success will motivate your child to keep trying.

2. Focus on their Interests

Everyone has their own unique interests, including kids. This is a great way to start building motivation to learn for students really struggling to find it. Ask them what subjects or topics they find exciting, then focus on developing their love for learning around those. Use this as a way to get children to motivate themselves, as well. Encourage them to explore their favorite subjects on their own outside of school.

3. Be Enthusiastic about Learning

Your child looks up to you, and if they see that you are enthusiastic to learn, they will develop their own enthusiasm for learning. Be authentic. If you personally love history, math, or reading, share that genuine interest with them. Your child will see the joy you get from discovering new information about subjects that thrill you. They will then absorb that joy from learning into their own life.

4. Celebrate Accomplishments

The trick here is not to celebrate based on grades or other performance benchmarks. Instead, focus on what they’ve learned, no matter how small. By focusing on the content and not the scores, you show your child that the act of learning is more important than the results of an assessment. This positive reinforcement is a great way to motivate your student to keep up the good work!

5. Empower Your Child

Provide your child with the materials they need to feel in control of their education. If they like to read, take them to the library to pick out a book for themselves. If they like science, ask them to choose some fun science activities to do. Some children will withdraw from learning if they feel pressured or controlled in their participation. By allowing them to have input and a choice in what and how they learn, your child will feel more motivated to engage.

Keep the Learning Going

Once you have found the best way to motivate your child, keep the learning going all year long!

You don’t want your student to lose all of the precious knowledge they worked so hard to learn at school over the summer. Provide your child with a Summer Learning Program to keep their minds sharp all vacation long. This way, they can start the next school year off on the right foot. 

Find your child’s Summer Learning Program here.

Five Outdoor Learning Benefits

Five Outdoor Learning Benefits 1000 699 admin

As spring moves across the country and the weather begins to warm up, all this sunshine has us wanting to be out frolicking in a field somewhere. With longing eyes staring out the classroom window, the best course of action is to just take the learning where the students want to be: outside! Not only will students love the change of scenery, they will reap the many other outdoor learning benefits!

The Benefits of Outdoor Learning

So, what exactly are the benefits of outdoor learning?

1. Increased Motivation

According to a recent study, students who participate in outdoor education, particularly in science, reported they felt significantly more motivation to learn the material. The students also reported feeling more competent in the material they learned outside afterwards.

2. Decreased Stress

Cortisol is a stress hormone, and students who spend part of their school day learning outside report healthier daily cortisol levels than those who spend the entire school day inside. This means that students who have the opportunity to learn outside have the regular plateaus and dips of cortisol, while those who do not have a steady level of cortisol all day.

3. Better Grades

Multiple studies have documented that students who participate in outdoor education have increased performance in school. This includes better standardized test scores, better attitudes about school, better behavior in school, better attendance, and a general enhancement in student achievement.

4. Healthier Students

Outdoor learning supports healthy child development emotionally, intellectually, and behaviorally. Students feel more confident, independent, creative, empathetic, and improve their decision-making and problem-solving skills. This feeds into their increased school performance.

5. It’s More Fun!

We all need a change of scenery every now and then to keep things interesting. Taking a trip outside can increase student’s enthusiasm for whatever the lesson is. Bonus points if it’s a science lesson that directly relates to the outdoors (like planting an herb garden)!

Take Learning Outside

If you have the chance, bring those stir-crazy students outside for a little outdoor learning. They’ll be more focused, motivated, and enthusiastic, and you as a teacher can enjoy the academic benefits.

What happens when spring moves into summer, however, and students leave the classroom entirely for vacation? Then, you can send them home with an outcome-driven, incentivized summer learning program to keep all those skills they learned during the school year fresh for the next one! Subscribe to our Summer Newsletter to fill student’s summers with exciting enrichment activities from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

7 Ways to Close your Classroom Achievement Gap

7 Ways to Close your Classroom Achievement Gap 1000 622 admin

With around 15-30 students in the same classroom listening to the same teacher explain the same subject, you’d think they would learn the same too. That’s not the case.

As teachers, you know the achievement gap exists on a large scale, moving and expanding from year to year. It also exists in a miniature form within classrooms. The performance disparity among students seems inescapable at times, but we have a few tips to close this small-scale achievement gap.

Track Student Progress

By keeping up to date on each student’s progress through the year, you’ll know exactly when one starts falling behind. Tracking data will show you exactly when you need to intervene. This could mean taking extra time to check in with that student and ensure your method of teaching addresses their best method of learning.

Set Goals with Students

Similar to tracking student progress, setting learning goals with students allows them to be active contributors to their learning. Knowing their own goals helps them better understand when they begin to fall behind. Then, they can alert you and work with you to find their way back on track.

Reflect on Lessons

Building a culture of self-reflection in the classroom gives students the chance to become aware of their mistakes so they can work to correct them. Self assessment is a powerful thing when it comes to remembering what exactly they learned and how. A great place to start is simply going over last night’s homework.

Get the Family Involved

The National Education Association recommends creating a relationship with students’ parents. This creates an environment where parents feel welcome to participate in their child’s education, and thus are more likely to do so. Depending on the local community, creating a partnership with parents could require picking up the basics of a new language in order to fully open the line of communication.

Make Learning Personal

Personalized learning ensures that every student can learn in the way that best suits them. Each student works at their own pace, with the right amount of challenge, towards a bigger academic goal. Independently or collaboratively, students each have their needs addressed in their education. Varied, effective strategies have a greater chance of reaching every learner.

Incorporate Students’ Cultures into the Classroom

Diversity is an asset. Create opportunities to learn about and embrace each student’s culture. With a little creativity, cultural education can mesh right into regular curriculum. Use books with characters that look and live like your students, or create writing prompts to learn more about students’ families.

Make Closing the Achievement Gap a Priority

By making it important to you, your students already benefit. Help other teachers learn how they can close the gap in their classrooms. Make it a school wide movement. This will make it easier to find and allocate resources for students falling behind, and keep every student on the same footing. This may involve creating extended learning opportunities before or after school, and into the summer with a summer learning program.

The classroom achievement gap, though smaller in scale, hurts each student just as much. It is a game of equity, not equality. Not every student needs the same instructions and materials to reach the same finish line. There are invisible obstacles at work — like race, gender, and socioeconomic status– that set students ahead or behind right at the starting line.

As their teacher, it is your responsibility to ensure children learn and grow under your advisement. Each student deserves the same shot at success. Give them the greatest gift: that chance.