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Hi im currently a first time summer school teacher for a remedial math course, i find that a lot of my students lack the motivation to try in class or in anything at all. how do i help them

I've tried appealing to their own personal interests, and some of them can't seem to come up with any, i've offered them incentives like internship opportunities and given them talks about their future beyond high school, but everything i've tried has only had fleeting effects. can you please help me #college #teaching #teacher #education #coaching #career-advice #guidance-counselor

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Paul A’s Answer

Hi Danial! Play Monopoly and use it as a learning too. Acquire the Cash Flow Game, a game created by Robert Kiyosak. It is a paradigm changing game that is about getting out of the rat race and acquiring an acquaintance with how money works. Have them read Rich Dad Poor Dad. Maybe have prizes for those voted most improved, most fun, most likely to succeed, etc by there classmates each month. Mexican Train Wreck is great waker upper. Playing poker with chips would also get them involved and having fun with Friday used as a day for integrating things they've learned the other four days of the week. Give each of them $10,000.00 or a million in play money and let them go wild on spending it. Have them search catalogs for items that appeal to them to buy. Sporty cars, musical instruments, watches. Tune into stimulating videos on you tube by Robert Kiyosaki Kyle Cease or Mike Dooley to see which ones appeal to you. Have them do the same thing as home work and have them share what they watched and why they picked it. You have a great opportunity to add hope to some pretty discouraged minds. I was one of those kids at 14,15,16 and 17 both in Math and English. Google me and go to my Linkedin profile and you can see what a difference one person made in my life experience beginning at age 17. The best! If I can be of any further help please contact me. :-) Paul

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NANCY W’s Answer

Hi Daniel - first, let me commend you for caring enough not to give up on your students! I know how difficult this can be, having worked in an alternative high school for over-aged, under-credited students. And because this is summer school, you're limited by the amount of time you have to push them. Let me make a few suggestions: first, encourage students individually. Many times, students do not want to stand out as needing - or accepting - help, or being seen as a person who wants to do more. I know this may seem counterintuitive, but it's an unfortunate reality. As Assistant Site Director, I had a LOT of individual conferences with my students. Second, and this may be difficult, appeal to their humanity or their personal obligations. What I mean here is, I often talked to students from the perspective of who motivated them to want to be better - whether they had children or a sibling looking up to them (I called it "going for the emotional jugular,") I would as them what message they were giving to that person who they thought the most of, for who they really did want to succeed. And, again, this has to be done on an individual basis, not even in a small group so as not to shame them publicly. Next, let them know that you believe in them and their ability to actually do/be better. Often times, students who seem to lack motivation have had little or no encouragement or someone who has actually said to them, "yes, it's hard, but I believe you can do it." It seems so simple but yet, for some students, it can be a real catalyst to change how they see themselves. And site example from your own life, about things that were hard that you didn't really want to do, but you kept at it until you made it. That personal touch let's them know that you are really WITH them, not just teaching them.

I hope this helps you. And again, stay with it!

Nancy Campbell

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Esther’s Answer

As a student, I took a lot of math classes and wondered "am I ever going to use this information?" Later in college when I took a statistics class, I remember thinking, "this is how you apply math in the real world!" And I wished my teachers had taken the time to explain how math would help later in life.

My suggestion would be to show your class scenarios or real life situations that requires them to use their math skills. For example, one high school class assignment I had to complete was creating a budget for life after high school. We had to research costs for renting an apartment, buying food, paying for our car etc. It was a fun assignment that required us to use our math skills too.

Good luck and thank you so much for working hard to help your students! Your desire to make an impact on their lives is wonderful!

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Stephanie’s Answer

Hello Daniel,

Excellent advice so far .... here's my input .....

I have taught remedial math to older teens and adults - it can be challenging! What I have found is that they don't have a good grasp of basic math ..... Ask "What is 3 x 8?" or "What is 9 + 7?" It can be embarrassing to not know the answer. So, please review the facts with drills and then ....

Make a game with these basic math skills - addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Bingo? When a student feels more confident in their basic skills, they can then try percents, decimals, fractions, and more. But you have to start at the basics. Here are some websites I use:

For Drill that is confidential: http://www.aaamath.com/
Game show templates to make fun games for math: http://powerpointgames.wikispaces.com/PowerPoint+Game+Templates

Good luck and stick with it. You are a blessing to your students!