Students love to learn. All that needs to be done is to find different ways of helping them learn, while having a lot of fun in the process.
My latest attempt at motivating students over the summer has to been to use Minecraft as an interesting teaching tool. Minecraft is a wonderful piece of software, which is already on most students computers. They use it for gaming and adventure. They can also use it for creating fun learning experiences. The simplest way of doing this is to assume each block is 1m x 1m x 1m. Get your children to recreate famous building using plans from online. Get them to think about how they would recreate a building. It is a lot of fun, and still helps them build up their maths skills as they follow a plan, and build up their English skills as they discuss what they need to use, where and why.
Staying with Minecraft, there is another way of using it to motivate students. Get them to create fun quizzes in their worlds, using signposts. The students then write out questions, such as maths questions for each other and then at the end of the quiz, provide all the answers for them to see how well they did.
My third idea using Minecraft is to get them to discover different mathematical online puzzles and recreate and solve these using Minecraft. They can share their ideas with others and build up entire mathematical challenge worlds for each other to solve.
Moving away from Minecraft, and onto Amazon Kindle books. I frequently come across lots of students with a real passion for writing, and explaining ideas. They love to write but don’t feel they have a real audience to write to. This is where Amazon Kindle books come into play. Did you know anyone can write a book, upload it to Amazon and they will publish it for you. If the writer is a child, then the parent runs the Amazon account on their behalf. It is a wonderful way for students to share their ideas about a topic or publish their first short stories, with or without pictures, and make a little summer money in the process… I can’t think of anything more motivating than fame and riches, all rolled into one!
There are also some great online learning activities for children. If you search online, you can find sites, supported by Google, called “Maker Camps”. These are a great idea as the children get a project task in the morning, using only common household objects, and in the afternoon, they need to present their final product to the rest of the world. They need to discuss what worked for them, what their problems were and how they overcame them. This is a real, fun set of challenges, which will make any child feel more confident in the future.
Final way of motivating students is the simplest. Simply take time out from your day, switch off all the computers, phones and tablets and enjoy each other’s company. Children are most motivated by parents who are paying attention and listening to them. Try it, and you will be amazed what you can achieve!