Phrases To Motivate Students To Do Homework

10 Ways to Motivate Your Students to Learn

Over the years I’ve had various students who just don’t seem that interested in learning. Some of them appear lazy, others are disorganized. And occasionally there’s one who just seems completely apathetic. I have to admit there have been times that I haven’t really been the best at motivating these students. I really do try, but sometimes it’s just overwhelming, isn’t it? Sometimes we feel like nothing we’re trying is making a difference.

But these students need us to invest in them, believe in them, and inspire them to learn. It will not be easy, but oh what a joy when we see a previously unmotivated student start to make progress! That smile when they start to realize what they’re capable of us just invaluable!

So how can we inspire our students to learn? Here’s a few ideas….

How to Motivate Your Students to Learn

  1. Believe in them. If you don’t believe that a particular student is going to complete his work, he probably won’t. So stop assuming they won’t and start believing that they can and will. For more thoughts on how to do this and why it’s so important, check out the post Can We Really Believe in All Our Students?

  2. Be extremely encouraging. Sometimes students who appear lazy are actually discouraged or frustrated that they are having trouble learning. Our words can be extremely powerful in inspiring them, but more importantly, we can encourage them by giving them one-on-one help and showing them that they can indeed do the work and be successful. It can make a world of difference when they see that they are capable of even small successes.

  3. Make sure your students are the ones who are working. The one who is working is the one who is learning, so if you want your students to learn more, make sure they’re actually working in your class, not just listening to lectures all the time.  Plan times when the students are working and you walk around to help them one-on-one. Incorporating writing-to-learn is also another easy and powerful way to increase student engagement. See the post “5 Easy Ways to Incorporate Writing in Your Classroom” for ideas of how to do this.

  4. Use memory work and recitation. I know memory work has fallen out of favor in recent years, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not a powerful tool. When your class recites facts or passages together, the students simply cannot help but learn them. And you don’t have to “drill and kill.” You can make it interesting (dare we say “drill and thrill”?) By saying them quickly, varying the voice that the students use, varying who says it, saying it throughout the day, etc. you can add variety and interest to recitation.

  5. Make learning fun. You don’t have to constantly be doing intricate activities to make learning fun. Just be passionate about what you’re teaching and let that passion shine through. Tell relevant stories and add in some humor. And simply show the kids that they can do it – Students enjoy learning when they feel that they are successful.

  6. Be wise with your homework. More homework does not necessarily mean more learning. So be considerate of the students’ family time by only assigning homework that is truly valuable and necessary. When you limit the quantity of homework you assign, you can focus on quality and expect more of your students. Expect them to complete every assignment and have logical consequences for when they don’t (preferably something more than simply taking points off. If possible, require them to complete the assignment at some point during the day.)

  7. Have one-on-one conversations. When a student has a chronic problem, pull them aside and talk to them. Ask questions to try to understand why they are struggling, and ask them what needs to change so that they can be successful. Develop a plan together and then help them stick to it.

  8. Get the parents involved. I realize that this may sound impossible, but don’t give up on this one quite yet. Sometimes parents who seem to just not be interested in helping their students are actually just at a loss of what to do. So give them some specific things they can do to help their student, and see what happens. And when you talk to them, be sure to focus on solutions, not the problems.

  9. Help your students be more organized. Few things are more demotivating for students than finishing their homework and then losing it. So do everything you can to help them organize their bookbags, binders, lockers, and folders.

  10. Consider whole brain teaching. If you’re not familiar with whole brain teaching, you should really check it out. It’s hard to explain but the basic idea is that after you teach a concept your students then explain it to each other. It’s pretty fascinating and definitely gets the students engaged! Check out this video for a demonstration or grab a copy of the book! Then, even if you don’t want to use the entire whole brain teaching system, consider incorporating parts into your classroom.

What other strategies do you use to motivate your students?

Photo by woodleywonderworks

This post contains an affiliate link, but I only link to products that I honestly recommend.

September 22, 2014 in Academics (Teaching) , for New Teachers , Teaching

Autumn Leaves
Image courtesy of Corel Photography

Motivational Quotes For Everyone, Including Teachers and Students

Everyone needs some inspiration sometime! Here are some quotes that you may enjoy, or find useful in your work, play, or everyday life. The starting point for this was an energetic conversation on the ESPRIT listserve for Earth Science teachers. Enjoy!

We will soon be making it possible for you to submit your favorite quotes to the list. Note that all quotes will be reviewed for appropriateness before they are posted. We will also be adding a link for corrections, in case there are any mistakes in the quotes or attributions.

"Always and never are two words you should always remember never to use."
Attributed to Wendell Johnson

"Everything that needs to be said has already been said. But since no one was listening, everything must be said again."
Attributed to Andre Gide

"Never, never, never give up."
Attributed to Winston Churchill

"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take."
Attributed to Wayne Gretzky

"Even Einstein asked questions."
Author unknown

"Success comes before work only in the dictionary."
Attributed to Vince Lombardi

"If we intend to live on this planet, we truly need to know how it works."
Thomas McGuire

"Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up."
Attributed to Thomas Edison

"Nothing exists except atoms and empty space; everything else is just opinion."
Attributed to Democritus

"Losers quit when they're tired, winners quit when the've won."
Author unknown

"Try not. Do or do not. There is no try."
Attributed to Yoda

"Even if you are on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit there."
Attributed to Mark Twain

"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence"
Attributed to Carl Sagan

"Gaze Upward, Look Inward, Reach Outward, Press Forward."
Attributed to Thomas S Monson

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read."
Attributed to Groucho Marx

"A calm sea does not make a skilled sailor."
Author unknown

"When the time to perform arrives, the time to prepare has passed."
Author unknown

"Chance favors the prepared mind."
Attributed to Pasteur

"It is not the answers you give, but the questions you ask."
Attributed to Voltaire

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."
Attributed to Martin Luther King, Jr.

"You wouldn't send text messages or talk with your friends on facebook during a sports practice.... so why do it during your science practice? (homework!)"
Author unknown

"Be in the moment! Focus on what you're doing, when you're doing it!"
Author unknown

"I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you."
Author unknown

"Only when something becomes a problem for "me" as one of my goal orientated actions, do I pause in full stride, as it were, in order to learn the competencies that I lack."
Attributed to Klaus Holzkamp

"If you don't like something,
Change it.
If you can't change it,
Change your attitude.
Don't Complain."
Attributed to Maya Angelou

"Truth against the world - and right, harms no man"
Author unknown

"For when I find truth, I become a better me..."
Author unknown

"The greatness of a nation and it's moral progress can be judged in the way its animals are treated."
Attributed to Ghandi

"Those who can, teach. Those who cannot, pass laws about teaching."
Author unknown

"If by some fiat I had to restrict all this writing to a single sentence, this is the one I would choose: The summit of Mt. Everest is marine limestone."
Attributed to John McPhee

"You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand."
Attributed to Woodrow Wilson

"The important thing in science is not so much to obtain new facts as to discover new ways of thinking about them."
Attributed to William Bragg

"I do not think there is any thrill that can go through the human heart like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success... Such emotions make a man forget food, sleep, friends, love, everything."
Attributed to Nikola Tesla

"The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' (I found it!) but 'That's funny....' "
Attributed to Isaac Asimov

"I love fool's experiments - I am always making them."
Attributed to Charles Darwin

"Things should be made as simple as possible -- but no simpler."
Attributed to Albert Einstein

"Education is the ability to perceive the hidden connections between phenomena."
Attributed to Václav Havel

"You can't fix by analysis what you bungled by design."
Attributed to Light RJ, Singer JD, Willett JB

"When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe."
Attributed to John Muir

"The greatest surprise of human evolution may be that the highest form of selfishness is selflessness."
Attributed to Robert Ornstein

"I have yet to see any problem, however complicated, which, when you looked at it in the right way, did not become still more complicated."
Attributed to Poul Anderson

"Nearly all of our disasters come from a few fools having the courage of their convictions."
Attributed to Coventry Patmore

"The conservationist¹s most important task, if we are to save the Earth, is to educate."
Attributed to Sir Peter Scott

"It is a puzzling thing. The truth knocks on the door and you say, 'Go away, I'm looking for the truth,' and so it goes away. Puzzling."
Attributed to Robert Pirsig

"Science is made up of facts like a house is made of bricks, but a pile of facts does not make science nor a pile of bricks a house".
Attributed to Henri Poincare

"If you cannot solve the proposed problem try to solve first some related problem."
Attributed to George Polya

"Only ignorance! Only ignorance! How can you talk about only ignorance? Don't you know that it is the worst thing in the world, next to wickedness? And which does the most mischief heaven only knows. If people can say, `Oh! I did not know, I did not mean any harm,' they think it is all right..."
Attributed to Anna Sewell

"It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it."
Attributed to Upton Sinclair

"The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn."
Attributed to Alvin Toffler

"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example."
Attributed to Mark Twain

"...human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe"
Attributed to H.G. Wells

"It is in the unquestioned acceptance of things as they are now that keeps people from being creative; it is an attitude of mind rather than a lack of ability to create."
Author unknown

"Now there is one outstandingly important fact regarding Spaceship Earth, and that is that no instruction book came with it."
Attributed to R. Buckminster Fuller

"The moment one gives close attention to any thing, even a blade of grass it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself."
Attributed to Henry Miller

"It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change."
Attributed to Charles Darwin

"Explore, and explore. Be neither chided nor flattered out of your position of perpetual inquiry. Neither dogmatize or accept another's dogmatism."
Attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson

"All of us could take a lesson from the weather; it pays no attention to criticism."
Author unknown

"There are no passengers on spaceship Earth. We are all crew."
Attributed to Marshall McLuhan

"A diamond is a chunk of coal that made good under pressure."
Author unknown

"In the end,
We will conserve only what we love,
We will love only what we understand,
We will understand only what we are taught."
Attributed to Baba Dioum

"Where the world ceases to be the scene of our personal hopes and wishes, where we face it as free beings admiring, asking and observing, there we enter the realm of Art and Science."
Attributed to Albert Einstein

"Facts do not cease to exist just because they are ignored."
Attributed to Aldous Huxley

"Science is basically a matter of coming to grips with the real world. In accomplishing this, it's only rival has been evolution."
Author unknown

"Give me a lever long enough, and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world."
Attributed to Archimedes

"A good scientist (or student) knows the right answers. A great scientist (or student) knows the right questions."
Author unknown

"The answer is never the answer. What's really interesting is the mystery. If you seek the mystery instead of the answer, you'll always be seeking. I've never seen anybody really find the answer -- they think they have, so they stop thinking. But the job is to seek mystery, evoke mystery, plant a garden in which strange plants grow and mysteries bloom. The need for mystery is greater than the need for an answer."
Attributed to Ken Kesey

"I'd rather be a lightning rod than a seismograph."
Attributed to Ken Kesey

"Humans live on earth, subject to nature's consent, revocable at anytime, without notice."
Author unknown

"In the confrontation between the river and the rock, the river always wins...not by strength, but by perseverance."
Attributed to Louis Agassiz

"Good science is done by being curious in general, by asking questions all around, by acknowledging the likelihood of being wrong and taking this in good humor for granted, by having a deep fondness for nature, and by being made jumpy and nervous by ignorance."
Attributed to Lewis Thomas

"The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity."
Author unknown

"If you think you are indispensable, put your finger in a bowl of water and watch the hole that remains when you remove it."
Author unknown

"Losers quit when they're tired. Winners quit when they've won."
Author unknown

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."
Attributed to -Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure Science."
Attributed to Edwin Powell Hubble

"Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing."
Attributed to Wernher Von Braun

"The important thing in science is not so much to obtain new facts as to discover new ways of thinking about them."
Attributed to William Lawrence Bragg

"Science, in the very act of solving problems, creates more of them."
Attributed to Abraham Flexner

"Science is simply common sense at its best."
Attributed to Thomas Huxley

"We shall never cease from exploring, and when we return to the place from which we started, we shall know it for the first time."
Attributed to T.S. Eliot

"Science is a simple as finding patterns in the world around you, nothing more nothing less."
Author unknown

"There are risks and costs to a program of action, but they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction."
Attributed to John F. Kennedy

"To see the Earth as it truly is, small and blue and beautiful in the eternal silence where it floats, is to see ourselves as riders on the Earth together, brothers on that bright loveliness in the eternal cold - brothers who know now they are truly brothers."
Attributed to Archibald MacLeish

"Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed."
Attributed to Francis Bacon

"We stand on the wrong side of the tapestry - a confusion of colors, knots, and loose ends. But, be assured, on the other side there is a pattern."
Author unknown

"We don't inherit the Earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children."
Attributed to David Brower

"Earth does not belong to man - man belongs to the Earth. Man did not weave the web of life; he is merely a strand in it; whatever he does to the web he does to himself."
Attributed to Chief Seattle

"Be very, very careful what you put into that head of yours, because you will never, ever get it out."
Attributed to Thomas Cardinal Wolsey

"Success comes before work only in the dictionary."
Author unknown

"We travel together, passengers on a little space ship, dependent on its vulnerable reserves of air and soil, committed for our safety to its security and peace, preserved from annihilation only by the care, the work, and I will say, the love we give our fragile craft.
We cannot maintain it half fortunate, half miserable; half confident, half despairing, half slave to the ancient enemies of mankind, half free in a liberation of resources undreamed of until this day.
No craft, no crew, can travel safely with such vast contradictions. On their resolution depends the survival of us all."
Attributed to Adlai Stevenson

"The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it."
Attributed to Chinese proverb

"The impossible missions are the only ones to succeed."
Attributed to Jacques Cousteau

"We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology. This is a clear prescription for disaster."
Attributed to Carl Sagan

"Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle."
Author unknown

"You are capable of more than you know. Choose a goal that seems right for you
and strive to be the best, however hard the path. Aim high. Behave honorably. Prepare to be alone at times, and to endure failure. Persist! The world needs all you can give."
Attributed to E.O. Wilson

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."
Attributed to Aristotle

"We are drowning in information, while starving for wisdom. The world henceforth will be run by synthesizers, people able to put together the right information at the right time, think critically about it, and make important choices wisely."
Attributed to E O Wilson

"It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change."
Attributed to Charles Darwin

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."
Attributed to Martin Luther King, Jr.

"The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little."
Attributed to Franklin Delanore Roosevelt

"We still talk in terms of conquest. We still haven't become mature enough to think of ourselves as only a tiny part of a vast and incredible universe."
Attributed to Rachel Carson

"We are just a speck, on a speck, orbiting a speck, in the corner of a speck, in the middle of nowhere."
Attributed to Bill Nye

Last modified November 29, 2013 by Roberta Johnson.

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