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The Socially Skilled Kids Blog

10 WAYS TO HELP YOU MOTIVATE AND ENGAGE YOUR CHALLENGING STUDENTS

 
How can you help your challenging students who are completely unmotivated and unengaged?  Having students who are bored, unmotivated and unengaged, is a huge challenge for teachers! Nothing is harder for a teacher than an unmotivated student.
 
Ugh! It can be so frustrating trying to reach them!
 
 

Here are 10 suggestions that I hope will help you motivate your challenging students.

 

1. Make It Less Painful: People are motivated to do something if it is less painful to do it than to not do it. When trying to motivate students, be sure to start by making doing the desired behavior, less “painful” than not doing it. In other words, try to make it fun, easy, and quick. 

2. Make It Successful: People are motivated when a behavior meets with success. It’s very challenging to motivate someone to do something if they always fail when doing it. If the child has a history or memory of failing doing it, you will need to back up in...

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IMPORTANT THINGS TO THINK ABOUT, BEFORE USING A BEHAVIOR CONTRACT

 

As a special educator in a public school, I see lots and lots and lots of behavior contracts!

The way I feel about behavior contracts is the same way I feel about Social Stories… They can be very helpful when used properly, but are often over relied upon and can end up being ineffective without important “pre-work” and follow through.

In order to be successful with a behavior contract, the student must have the ability to perform the skill asked of him/her. For example, even if you offered me a gazillion stickers {or dollars}, to join a pro wrestling team…I couldn’t do it. I just don’t have the skill. I might be VERY motivated to get the reward, but if I don’t have the skill, It doesn’t matter how motivated I am. I won't be able to do it. 

 

 

Often, we believe students lack motivation, when they actually lack skills. Of course, lacking skills, may then lead to a lack of motivation…after all, it’s...

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HOW TO TEACH YOUR STUDENTS TO GET ALONG

 

Do you work with students who struggle to get along with others? Do they argue over games and rules? Make other kids feel uncomfortable or annoyed? Act as though they are “in charge” of others?

While all children struggle to get along with others once in a while, for some, it takes explicit teaching and extra practice. 

 

In order to get along with others in a classroom, small group or play activity {sports team/recess/playdate}, children need to be able to engage in the following basic social skills: 

  • Sharing
  • Cooperating
  • Taking Turns
  • Using Kind Language
  • Respecting Personal Space

 

5 Tips To Help Your Students Learn & Practice The Social Skills Needed, To Get Along With Others

 

Tip 1: Create many opportunities for your students to share by making materials limited. For example, during a cut and paste activity, put out one less glue stick than number of children at the table. Support children in their efforts to share. *Note: Do...

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BACK TO SCHOOL! IT’S TIME TO TEACH SOCIAL SKILLS!

 

 

Back to school is right around the corner! How many days until you go back to school?! Summer break seems to go by faster every year. Soon we will all be checking off our school supplies lists and shopping for new school clothes.

As another new school year is about to begin, I’d like to share some of my favorite ways to help students build their social competence.

Of course academic are extremely important, and teachers are all very busy with overflowing academic plates, but I believe it is equally important {if not more} to grow our student’s social competence as well.

 

Why should we spend time working on social skills?

 

Because competent social skills are necessary for both academic and social success.  Students who have competent social skills will be able to engage with each other more successfully in the classroom, while working together on group projects, sharing space and materials with others, and while playing at recess.

Students...

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