Student Engagement and Motivation Strategies

Introduction

For every student, motivation is a key component of effectual learning. Motivation eventually draws students to actively engage in the class activities. There are strategies that teachers employ to engage students in their studies and these include using critical thinking questions in class during a lesson as this will allow students to search their minds in answering the given questions as well as improve their creativity and hence motivation. They should also make the beginnings of the lessons interesting, as this will psychologically prepare the students for the subject, among others (Mastropieri & Scruggs, 2000). This paper will try to establish the strategies a teacher would employ to ensure achievement of higher motivation and engagement as well as relate it to the reading classroom.

Motivation can be defined as the internal process that triggers, guides and sustains a certain behavior over time. It is always difficult to assess or measure motivation since there are many factors involved. Teachers find it difficult to notice positive motivation as students may have other reasons for getting interested in some subject other than motivation (Slavin, 2009, pp. 295-362). Engagement is the process of getting actively involved in something. This is quite prevalent in motivated students. Students who are self-motivated and thereby engaged actively in class tend to develop a habit of self-learning. Therefore, if maintained develops into a reading classroom and at this moment the Teachers would be so close to achieving their objectives, a learning classroom.

Students’ Engagement and motivational strategies

There are various student motivation and engagement strategies that could be employed to achieve higher interest in lessons and class projects. They help students complete tasks given and may include assignments, reports and projects among others. Others are integral in building student responsibility, self-actualization, group work and evaluation.

Completing tasks

Tasks in classrooms may include assignments, reports and projects, among others. These tasks are rarely completed in time if the students are demoralized and uninterested in the subjects taught. It is therefore significant that the teachers implement various strategies of motivation and engagement for an effective environment of learning. These include the enhancement of intrinsic attractiveness to help students in completing their tasks. When students are internally interested, they can complete the tasks on time. By nurturing self-regulation, and setting of goals, students are able to respond by completing their tasks on time (Slavin, 2009, pp. 295-362). Enhancement can also be done by using extra programs in the classroom that would internalize learning in students. Providing students with choices is another way of encouraging them to complete their tasks.

Responsibility/autonomy

When students take responsibility for their actions, it is a good sign of them developing higher motivation and engagement in that activity. This can be done by fostering in them personal-best awards. This is essential in stimulating their desire to achieve higher grades. Other strategies include encouraging the students to develop and maintain plans that would promote task-goal emphasis; this is very vital in restoring their personal belief, which is a component of self-learning. Teachers should also recognize and thereby publish student’s schoolwork activities (Slavin, 2009, pp. 295-362).

Recognition – all students in the class being recognized for learning

It is always quite refreshing to be recognized by the teachers in a positive way. This can be used as a strategy to help foster effective learning. This include recognizing students’ progress in achievement of their goals, which greatly helps them to keep moving; creating an environment that, appreciates students and accepts them as well, this makes them feel part and parcel of the learning process. Innovations and seeking of challenges should be recognized as this would also build the students’ creativity and the urge to overcome challenges and hence motivation (Slavin, 2009, pp. 295-362).

Grouping that enhances social skills

Groupings are very important in establishing student’s individual knowledge and their personal expectations in a subject in question. Students tend to form different groups that relate to their likes and more often than not, some groups are based on selfish ambitions, like the ability, ethnicity and many other activity-based groups. These groups should be eliminated as a strategy to foster healthy groups. Creating leadership openings to students is also a key component of motivation and active involvement. Giving them time to interact with their peers is also another strategy, which helps in fostering confidence and a culture of learning when they are together as they can open up more easily.

Evaluation to support engagement and motivation

Evaluation is an integral component of students’ achievements. Without evaluation, it is quite difficult to measure students’ progress. When evaluating with an aim of improving students’ motivation and engagement in a subject or more, it is imperative to encourage participation of the students in the process of evaluation. This can be done by guiding them in finding the solutions to the problems while they have a direct opportunity of noting where they made a mistake (Slavin, 2009, pp. 295-362).

Other strategies for improving motivation and engagement through evaluation include permitting students to progress through to the next level at their own rate; this should be done whenever possible and helps in imparting confidence in them as they are assured that they moved when they were ready. It also helps them to focus and define their objectives with inspiration to move up the ladder (Slavin, 2009, pp. 295-362).

In grading the performance of students, teachers should consider incorporating exercises associated with the utilization of standardized tests. This will reflect the students’ true performance, which will in turn help the teachers understand the need to improve on their weak points (Slavin, 2009, pp. 295-362).

Relation to the reading classroom

It is the desire of every teacher to achieve success in their teaching career. This is one in which there is self-learning and does not come about easily. When teachers emphasize on strategies that trigger motivation, students becomes highly motivated in such an area and this develops into a habit. Interest and intense activities on the area of study by the students follow, thereby achieving engagement. Engagement ties closely to self-learning because the students spend most of their time researching more on the subject even without the teacher. This develops into self-reading, which is the beginning of a reading classroom. Maintenance of this achieves a reading classroom (Waxler, 2007, pp. 1).

Conclusion

Strategies of motivation are central to improving students’ overall performances. This is because it helps to increase their motivation and engage them more in the self-learning process. Consequently, the learning environment improves, in effect facilitating a smooth learning exercise.

References

Mastropieri, M, & Scruggs, T. (2000). The inclusive classroom: Strategies for effective instruction. Columbus, OH: Merrill.

Slavin, R. E. (2009). Educational psychology (9th ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon. Web.

Waxler, A. (2007). Strategies for Motivating Students to Learn. Web.