Active Learning (Motivation)

Being involved and concentrating
• Showing a deep drive to know more about people and their world
• Maintaining focus on their activity for a period of time
• Showing high levels of involvement, energy, fascination
• Not easily distracted
• Paying attention to details

Keeping on trying
• Persisting with an activity or toward their goal when challenges occur
• Showing a belief that more effort or a different approach will pay off, and that their skills can grow and develop (growth mindset)
• Bouncing back after difficulties

Enjoying achieving what they set out to do
• Showing satisfaction in meeting their own goals (I can!)
• Being proud of how they accomplished something – not just the end result
• Enjoying meeting challenges for their own sake rather than external rewards or praise (intrinsic motivation)

• Support children to look into what they are curious about and what fascinates them.
• Make time for quality interactions. Watch and listen carefully to try to understand what the child wants to know or achieve.
• Help focus young children’s interest through shared attention. At times sensitively introduce a new element if young children’s interest is waning.
• Help children to notice details.
• Model a growth mindset. Help children to see mistakes or failures as stepping stones for learning. Help children see there is more than one answer to a problem. Demonstrate openly how adults do not get everything right.
• Be specific when you praise, especially noting effort such as how the child concentrates, tries different approaches, persists, solves problems, and has new ideas.
• Supporting emotional resilience in the face of challenge, e.g. “That must have been frustrating after you worked so hard. I wonder how else you could try it.”
• Children develop their own motivations when you involve them. Give reasons for what you are doing and talk about learning, rather than just directing.
• Step back and watch what children are doing. Be sensitive to when to join in sensitively, following children’s lead, and when to leave them to it. Be careful not to disrupt their play and train of thought.
• Be aware that younger children may want to watch rather than take part in some activities.
• Look out for signs that young children show satisfaction in something they have done.
• Encourage children to listen to each other’s ideas as they play, have fun and think and learn together. Provide opportunities for children to celebrate with their peers what they are doing and learning – not just focus on the end result.

• A familiar environment and predictable routine gives children confidence to take charge of their own activities.
• Teach children how to use the areas of provision and tools within them appropriate to their age and stage, so they can use them independently for their own goals.
• Children will become more deeply involved when you provide something that is new and unusual for them to explore, especially when it is linked to their interests.
• Notice what arouses children’s curiosity, looking for signs of deep involvement to identify learning that is intrinsically motivated.
• Ensure children have time and freedom to become deeply involved in activities.
• Provide calm and reduce stimuli if children become over-stimulated.
• Children can maintain focus on things that interest them over a period of time. Help them to keep ideas in mind by talking over photographs of their previous activities.
• Make space and time for all children to contribute.
• Setting leaders should provide opportunities for staff to actively engage in their own learning to better support children’s activity.

Statutory ELG: Managing Self

Children at the expected level of development will:

– Be confident to try new activities and show independence, resilience and perseverance in the face of challenge

Statutory ELG: Self-Regulation

Children at the expected level of development will:

– Set and work towards simple goals, being able to wait for what they want and control their immediate impulses when appropriate

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