Every so often I receive an e-mail with a question from my readers. Today’s question was “How do you motivate students that give up easily (particularly in math)?”  Below I have given you strategies, challenges and outcomes for that specific issue.


Student that gives up easily:

Tangible Educational Strategies

  1. Strategy 1: Have the student break the problem down into easier to understand parts. Have the student then solve the problem step by step, compounding as the student progresses towards the answer.
  2. Strategy 2: Tailor the problems towards the students learning mode (Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic and/or technological)
  3. Strategy 3: Give the student a physical representation of the problem (hopefully one that pertains to the student’s interests). Preferably color coded to help the student recognize what parts should be grouped together.

Expected Challenges:

  1. Student’s attention span: Students that give up easily often have short attention spans. This will make spending prolonged time on an activity difficult.
  2. Student’s Emotional State: Students that give up easily often also have an underlying self-efficacy issue. This has to be lack of efficacy can lead a student to feel like no matter how hard they try they will fail.
  3. Student’s environment: In the modern classroom there are many different distractions. This can lead to an inability for a student to maintain focus. Sounds, smells and visual distractions can greatly hinder a student’s focus.
  4. Time Constraints: Accommodating individual students can often take a large amount of time. In the modern era of standardized testing and district initiatives many teachers find that they don’t have a plethora of time to devote to each student.
  5. Financial Constraints: Teachers do not always have access to a budget. This makes it difficult to get items that can become physical manifestation of the represented problem.

Expected outcomes:

  1. Overtime the student should begin to display a higher efficacy in their own work. Resulting in prolonged attention and focus.
  2. Overtime the student should be able to assist other students that have the similar attention deficits.