4-Step Plan to Successfully Motivate Students
Teach Students that Success Results from Doing the Right Things with the Right Attitude
How to Give Effective Positive Motivation and Praise that Gets the Results You Want
Every Child Can Improve and Every Child Can Be a "Winner"

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Why Every Teacher Needs a Motivational Plan. One of the most important things I have learned is that every teacher, coach, supervisor and parent needs a motivational plan. Motivation is critical and the key to success. Motivation is what makes us want to do things. It is the difference between doing something with enthusiasm, giving 100% and having a good attitude, or just doing the minimum with a bad attitude.

4-Step Plan for Successfully Motivating Students - List, Incentivize, Praise, Reward (LIPR). Think of motivation as a 4-step process:

List - First, make a list of the actions and behavior you want. Make a list of the actions and behavior that will lead to the results you want. If, for example, you want your students to improve their grades, your list might include attending class, listening to the teacher, a positive attitude, doing their assignments, perseverance, and doing their best. Those are fundamental habits and a way of approaching a task that will benefit them for their entire lives. Train your students to consistently do the things that will RESULT in success... teach them that success results from doing the right things with the right attitude.

Incentivize - Second, incentivize your students by showing them the patches they can earn. The patches are an incentive and will motivate your students to do what you want them to do. They will be proud when they earn a patch AND they will want to earn the patches that other students have earned. If possible, either pin their patches on a bulletin board underneath their names for all to see OR let them collect them Or use an approach that works for your class or for your school.

Praise - Third, praise them every time they do what you want so they are getting praise AND feedback that they are doing the right thing. Give SPECIFIC praise in front of the rest of the class if possible. (See below for How to Give Effective Positive Encouragement and Praise That Gets the Results You Want).

Reward - Fourth, when they do the right thing, reward them with a patch at a ceremony in front of the class. That is positive reinforcement and a visible reminder of the rewards they will receive if they please the teacher. (See below for more about how to give the patches in a ceremony).

Tips for Developing Your Motivational Plan (Do's, Don'ts and Ideas):

  1. Attendance is critical, so you want to motivate and reward that.

  2. Create a Patch Motivational Program prior to giving out any patches. List the behaviors that will be awarded, how to earn them and show a picture of the patch. (You can copy and paste the pictures from www.SoccerHelp.com ).

  3. Provide a copy of the Patch Motivational Program to the parents and students. This is essential so that students and parents understand the purpose and motivation behind the patch program.

  4. Be sure to buy enough patches. We can ship quickly if you need more.

  5. Use the patches to motivate and reward INDIVIDUAL IMPROVEMENT, EFFORT and ATTITUDE. There are certain things students can do and can't do. Every student can try their best, have a good attitude, listen to the teacher and gradually improve. BUT, every student isn't a genius and every student can't be the "Best Student". That is the problem with giving a "Best Student" award - the smartest students will probably win it every time and a lot of the kids probably don't have much of a chance to win that award, so they aren't motivated by it. Consider an approach that encourages all of your students to improve and keep in mind that improvement might be gradual.

  6. Make a List of the Specific Individual Improvements You Want to Encourage From Each Student. Typical things might be listening to the teacher and following instructions, a good attitude, trying hard and improving weaknesses That way you can encourage improvement by every student. and every student can earn the patches Tell the kids how you would like to see them improve and if they improve, give them a patch and praise them. Try to find a reason to give EVERY student a patch. (A positive reinforcement approach). Continued individual improvement is your goal.

  7. Consider Whether Giving "Best Student" Types of Awards is Counterproductive - Every Child Can Be a "Winner". The reasons are stated in no. 5 above. You want every child to reach his or her potential. For example, one way the V patch is used is to reward "individual victories". That way every child can be a winner.

  8. Your Plan Needs to Be Specific to Your Students.

How to Use Iron-on Patches as an Incentive, for Positive Reinforcement, and for Motivation as Part of a Motivational Plan. Below are ideas for how to use the patches as incentives, rewards and for positive reinforcement:

  1. Develop a Plan. Think through what you want to motivate and use the patches to motivate and reward your students.

  2. Give them in a Ceremony in Front of the Students. For the best results, keep in mind the benefits of public praise, competition and group pressure. Everyone loves to be praised in front of a group and it is natural for kids to want to earn something that their classmates have earned. That is why it works best for the teacher to give the patches out in a ceremony in front of all the students in a class and be sure to PRAISE the students and tell them why they EARNED the patches. This will make them proud and will let the other students know the type of behavior that will EARN a patch.

  3. Positive Reinforcement. A positive reinforcement approach gets better results than a negative approach and is a lot more fun for everyone.

  4. Visible Symbols. The patches really work to motivate students and for positive reinforcement. They are a visible symbol.

The Iron-on Patches Are an Incentive, Positive Reinforcement and Motivation to Both the Student Being Rewarded and to Others Who See the Patches and Want to Earn Them. The patches are an incentive to motivate the behavior you want and when you give a student a patch it is positive reinforcement and a visible symbol that the student has done a good thing and was rewarded. Other students will know how the patches were earned and will be motivated to please the teacher and earn patches.

How to Give Effective Positive Encouragement and Praise That Gets the Results You Want. Words are powerful. Think about the effect words can have on you if they are said by someone you love or work for. Keep in mind that kids are "kids". Even if they are teenagers they are still kids. I look back and regret that there were times when I wasn't patient enough. In the future I will try to use positive encouragement and praise and avoid negative criticism. I am convinced that positive encouragement and praise gets better results and is more fun too. WHAT you say is important but equally important is WHEN you say it and HOW you say it. Here are some ideas:

  1. Encourage and praise the actions and behavior that you want from your students in a positive way and use the student's name. Try a positive approach such as "Billy, I know you can do it" and praise every small step of improvement Billy makes.

  2. Give your students lots of encouragement and praise in a visible way so other students see it or hear it.

  3. Give praise for actions you are encouraging at the time they happen.

  4. Give your praise in a way where everyone sees it and hears it so your students know that you are proud of them and the other students know what they can do to earn praise.

  5. Think about the SPECIFIC positive words and actions you want to use to praise and motivate your students. Remember that you need to be specific both in what you want to encourage AND when you give praise.

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