No matter how interesting the subject, it will be difficult to teach children who are not motivated. The good thing is that if you can motivate the kids, then you can teach them practically any subject. There are certain techniques that can help you keep the kids interested in learning and paying attention. The following are some strategies that may work for you.
Give a lot of praise. It is amazing what a simple “Good job!” can do. Sometimes it seems like all kids do is receive negative attention. Don’t give praise out every second so that it seems fake, but frequent praise for things the kids did right can make them feel very proud. You should find something good in every child. Even the children who have more difficulty do have things that they do correctly – find whatever you can to commend them on, and they will be more likely to want to continue.
Another way to keep kids motivated is to have hands-on activities. Children learn better and pay more attention when they are “doing” compared to when they are just being lectured at. The more that they can actually get involved, the more they will be motivated. The best thing is when you can find projects that are both educational and fun to do.
Giving rewards can also be motivational. It doesn’t have to be a big thing. Sometimes even a sticker on a well-done paper will do. Alternatively, you can have a chart with the children’s names and put stars on them. When they get a certain amount of stars you can have a treasure box filled with little trinkets and you can let them pick a prize from it. Another thing you can do is to recognize the kids if they do something particularly well.
Display well done papers. A lot of times kids feel pride in what they do if you make a big deal of it. If there is a paper or a drawing that they did well on, you can have a “Wall of Fame” where you put up the good papers. Seeing those papers up there might motivate the child to continue to try hard and do well.
You can also let the children help you. Giving them different roles helps keep them involved. Even if it’s just passing out papers, it may feel important to them. You could designate certain people helpers for the day, and this might make them feel special.