Wednesday, November 10, 2010

How do I help a student who won't do ANYTHING?!

Ms. Dorothy -
I have a little boy who does NOTHING. Like literally does nothing all day long. UNTIL everyone leaves for specials, then he gets everything done in like 7 minutes! So he is very capable of doing the work; he just doesn't. So how do you motivate him? We attempted to bribe him with a toy car (loves cars) and maybe it worked a little, but he still got close to nothing finished! Help!
- Student Teacher

How frustrating that he doesn’t want to engage in the learning! 

Is he possibly gifted? Sometimes a lack of motivation despite the ability to do the work is just a symptom that the student is bored.

I know it's really hard to leap out of the mold completely, but rather than fighting a losing battle with him, could he possibly have a different assignment from the others? Maybe if he had to read and write about a particular car (or something else that interests him), and present his learning to the class, it might engage him. It might even give him a chance to shine.

Of course the danger is that someone else will want to do an independent project...and then more of them... but then again, I don't see that as a problem. :)

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