How do I explain a teaching style

Motivating lessons: tips and ideas

Successful lessons can be much more than just the prelude to the following 45 or 90 minutes: They can act as "appetizers" and make the students want to take part in the lesson. They can make it easier to arrive at the lesson and arouse the willingness to learn. You can clear your head for new topics, motivate and arouse interest. You can spark enthusiasm for a topic and arouse the spirit of discovery.

There is therefore enormous potential in a good start into the classroom, which you should use for your classes. Five concrete alternatives to the simple "Please open your books on page XY!" we have compiled for you here. All suggestions are based on the collection of ideas "Productive teaching beginnings - 100 motivating methods for secondary levels" by Arthur Thömmes (Verlag an der Ruhr, ISBN 978-3-8346-0022-6), in which you - if you like - many more Can find impulses.

At the beginning of a one-to-one lesson or at the start of a new lesson, starting a lesson can effectively introduce the students to a new topic. Introducing the topic, goals and course of the lesson can also provide orientation and give students an idea of ​​where the journey should go. He can also show the connections to topics that have already been worked on or future topics - and thus link old and new knowledge.

In order for all of this to work out, you need to pick up the students from where they are. In addition, when choosing a method, you should always consider the specific situation in the particular learning group. The group dynamics are an important factor for the question of which method works and makes sense in the respective class. Not every entry suits every group. The start of the lesson that you choose should ideally also reflect the individual knowledge, experience, abilities and skills as well as the strengths of the students. In this way you can leverage previously unused potential. Make sure that the start of the lesson is actually comprehensible for all students - so you have to find a common denominator even with heterogeneous learning groups.

Your students and you yourself have to arrive at the lesson first. Anyone who is still thinking about the last lesson, was annoyed during the break and is still grumbling to himself or had to hurry in such a way that he is completely out of breath, will find it difficult to get involved in the following lesson. A pleasant learning environment and a clear head are crucial for learning success.

Start by uncovering motivation killers and specifically questioning your weaker self. For this purpose, give students aged 14 and over a worksheet on which they should write down what is slowing their motivation. They should not read the result out loud, but think about ways to increase their motivation. An example could be: "I don't feel like doing math today. But I plan to report at least three times and after the lesson I'll buy myself a chocolate bar at the kiosk." It is important that the students themselves find possible solutions for their "motivational brakes". This is the only way they can actually overcome their weaker self.

Alternatively, you can also start with the "current hour", for example. You can read a current newspaper clipping, show a photo or simply bring up a topic that is currently being widely discussed in the media. Ask students what they know and how they think about it, but if necessary, simply let them express concern. Current topics often move the students very strongly - from the age of 10 they can express themselves well in the classroom.

So that you can motivate the students for the specific topic, they must first become familiar with it. Ideally, you awaken the students' "instinct" so that they develop questions of their own accord and want to investigate the matter.

For classes with students aged 10 and over, you can start as a storyteller, for example: you tell a short story, an anecdote or even a fairy tale to introduce the topic of the lesson. The key message and the background to the story can then be examined in more detail in the following lesson. In every subject there are famous personalities - for example Albert Einstein, Franz Kafka or Marie Curie - to whom you can contribute exciting anecdotes. However, if possible, make sure that you actually tell and not just read aloud - that makes the story livelier and more impressive.

Alternatively, you can start with a demonstration to show students an abstract content through objects or media. The more senses you address, the better - the students should dare to see, hear, smell, taste and / or feel the matter.

If you'd rather start with a worksheet instead of using demonstrations right away, think about a few exciting lies for once: You can hand out an introductory text on the subject of the lesson to students aged 10 and over. In it you mention a lot of interesting facts, but not all of them are true - some are exaggerated, others are simply wrong. The students now become active as detectives: they have to find out which of the statements are true and which are not. To do this, they do their own research in the appropriate information source, for example in textbooks, specialist books, encyclopedias or on the Internet. The solutions are then discussed together.

You should take inner barriers seriously and not just ignore them - this applies to both your students and your own inner attitude. Not every entry suits you and not every method suits your class. So keep observing how your students and yourself feel about the start of the lesson and whether or how they work. Start with what you feel confident about and stay open to new ideas. Because only when you have tried something do you know whether you and your students like it.

With the activities that are easy to use, you will be able to quickly pep up your tired or demotivated students for language lessons.