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How do You Keep Your Young Learner Motivated?

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by , 09-12-2012 at 11:43 AM (3698 Views)
How do You Keep Your Young Learner Motivated?
by Jamie

The first day of school found my little kindergartner anxiously waiting for me to join her at her desk. She had her notebooks and pencils out and was ready to learn!

Now... flash forward to a week later and we find a little girl who snuck outside with her bicycle helmet for an early morning ride down the driveway. I had to call her 3 times to get her inside to her desk. What happened?

Obviously, motivation levels have waned! I had to think of something to keep her motivated and wanting to learn. It was awesome those first few days of school, I love it! Isn't it wonderful to teach to someone who WANTS to learn? I wanted that feeling everyday. So, I started to think what I needed to do to keep the motivation to learn going strong.

I started by going back to my lesson plans and reviewing them for things that could get... well... just plain boring. I thought if I kept the basic structure the same (to help with making good habits) and just changed how and what we did within the time frame it might help. So, each day I vary what and how we do our lessons. I also allow for the fact that my kindergartner still needs to be moving. So, some days we start the day with that bike ride! She also does puzzles and other activities like jumping jacks or Simon says between each of the "sitting" learning times. We even do lots of mini field trips to our back yard for science since we are studying botany this year. Overall, the last week has been a great success - Motivation was high!

I believe the key is to remember that kindergartners have short attention spans, and they NEED to be moving! What do you do to keep you young learners motivated?