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09/07/2019

How to motivate middle school students?

QUESTION
How to motivate middle school students?
It will be my first year teaching middle school students (8th grade math). Teachers/inspired teachers: What are great incentives you use in your classroom?
(computer time, board games…)

ANSWER
I am not a teacher, I am actually a high school student. But I had a excellent English teacher back in the 8th & 9th grade. What she did was all of the students sat at a table, and she sat at the front of the table, and she basically just connected with the class on a level of our understanding. She made lectures fun and learning fun. All that she did was put herself in our shoes, and help us all learn at our own pace. We also did occasional games and writing essays on fun subjects. We did board games on fun days, reading on Wednesdays ( where you could bring in a pillow and relax while read on the floor or lean against the wall), and writing, literature, grammar on other days. It is a shame the class was only 50 minutes, I wish it was the whole day. But those are some things she did, that you might be able to apply to your Math Class. ( Not the reading part, but maybe for homework) just make sure nobody sleeps. As for lectures you can try that. Also try computer games. Math computer games. What makes Math boring is always doing stuff out of books too. Try using the computer, chalkboard, or lectures. Mix it up. Have fun with it. Maybe have a fun day too. For example, have a math competition. Whoever can solve so many problems in so much time correctly wins this, but the prizes have too be well worth it. Have a nerd dress down day. Review the basics of math for those students struggling to. Use flashcards to review basics. Most important do not push any student unless you feel that they are lazy. They might get overwhelmed if you press too much homework or are learning impaired/slow learners. Make sure everyone is understanding the concepts and working at his/her pace. Make up creative ideas and use them. Make class fun. Good luck. Also having a pizza day once every nine weeks is a great way to reward a group of hard working students.