Motivating 5th Grade - ProTeacher Community





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Motivating 5th Grade
Old 09-24-2009, 03:12 PM
 
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This is my first year working in a 5th grade classroom. In other years, I have worked with second grade and younger and I'm finding it very difficult to motivate the older learners and get them interested in what we are doing. I was hoping anyone had some ideas on how to motivate 5th graders to learn while avoiding treating them like young children. I'm having particular difficulty in math. Please help!


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Old 09-26-2009, 12:55 PM
 
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Look into whole brain teaching--I bet your kids would love it. http://www.wholebrainteaching.com/ It is much more fast paced and has a call and response kind of method that even my first graders love. They have videos you can watch about it.
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Old 09-27-2009, 12:25 PM
 
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I was in a fifth grade classroom last year and I definitely know where you're coming from. I always found that coming up with a great motivation was the most time consuming part of developing my lesson. I came to find that anything involving technology was a great motivator. If you have a computer hooked up to the classroom television, you could use brainpop.com to show them a video relating to the day's lesson. I think it may require a subscription, but I know some of the videos are free. My fifth graders would also become motivated if they were able to move around the classroom - so any brain-based movement activities to get their blood flowing to their brains is always a safe bet!
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Get them out of their seats
Old 09-28-2009, 07:26 AM
 
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I am in 5th grade right now too and I see what you mean. I think what motivates them the most in my classroom is when they get to do something new, get out of their seats to do something, or do something hands on. The motivation could be in the middle of the lesson so doing any of these things could be tied into the core of your lesson. I hope this helps and good luck!
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real world math as a motivator
Old 09-28-2009, 04:49 PM
 
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I have found in grades 3 and 4 that when you relate math to what they use, see, play with in the real world it has a greater interest for them to explore. I went on teachershare.scholastic.com to see what they had for grades 4-6 and they had plenty of lesson plans for real world math. Some involve geography or other content areas. You can go to the site, it is free, look over the lessons and print out any you feel might work with your class. If you need to you can modify right on the site and save the lesson for the future.

I agree with the others that movement always helps kids stay focused. Just make sure they focus on the math and not the movement.


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Motivation
Old 10-01-2009, 03:24 PM
 
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I am interning in a 5th grade class this year and also worked in a second grade classroom last year. I too, found it very different to motivate older students as compared to younger students. I soon discovered that allowing students to participate in small groups, and participate in small, interactive activities. This allows the students to become very motivated! I just completed a lesson for the westward movement of the 1700s and allowed the students to move around the classroom, following the same path as the settlers did. My supervising teach loved this idea and so did the students. Hope this helps!
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Old 10-01-2009, 05:30 PM
 
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Thank you so much for all the responses! I'm definitely going to try some of these ideas in the future and I'll take a close look at the Whole Brain Teaching website. Thanks!
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Movement
Old 10-04-2009, 07:17 PM
 
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Movement ! Movement ! Movement !
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Old 10-08-2009, 12:38 PM
 
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I'm also working in the fifth grade, and have found motivation to be a major issue. What I do whenever I lead math lessons is provide multiple representations. For example, when working with decimals, I make a graphic organizer on the board. I also allow the children to come up to the chart/graph and write down their answers. This seems to be a huge motivator. I also work with manipulatives whenever possible. Prizes work well too!!!
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Old 10-17-2009, 04:33 PM
 
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Leikela305, what prizes have you used that have worked well?
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Old 10-21-2009, 09:56 AM
 
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I've used anything from crazy pencils to stickers, erasers, lollipops, pretty writing pads for the girls, plastic rings and necklaces, rub on tattoos, kazoos, and even free time. My main suggestion here is to ask the children what they would like as rewards. Then they feel as if you are really interacting with them and taking their advice. Once your class prize box is built, they know that there is something in there that is worth behaving for.
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