Your students are not taking care with their learning, such as handwriting and the general quality of their work.
Overtime, students can become complacent with their effort. If you look over their notebooks, at the start of the year their writing and presentation can look immaculate; however, by the middle of the year the writing can appear disorganised and unstructured.
To tackle this problem, you need to conceptualise to students the importance of their hard-work and how this relates to their growth as an individual.
Try the following:
- Provide students with a image of the brain that they can colour in. For example:
2. Ask students to take their colouring in stationary and fill in the brain. They can colour it any way they like! They can be as creative as they want! Tell them that this needs to be their best work. Provide students with ten minutes to complete the task.
3. Afterwards, ask students to hold up their work to you. You will see the quality in their colouring in. For example, colouring in between the line.
They may have colours in perfectly. They may have used only one colour. They may have coloured outside of the lines.
4. Now show them what they could have done. For example:
Or even if they felt like being a little more inventive and creative.
5. Now explain to students that the way they complete their work in class is how they are treating their brain. Their brain is a muscle, or much like an operating system (Perhaps compare it to an iPad). If I do not look after my brain than I am not operating at my best. This could mean the types of food I eat, the amount of sleep and the amount of work that I complete in class. School is a way to look after your brain as it is a form of training. If you do not train hard then you are not working your brain to reach its peak. If you take care in your work, you feed your operating system (brain), you are more likely to reach your potential. The work they complete is a reflection of their effort to do their best.
However, if you do not take care of your operating system, it won’t run very well. If I do not complete my work to the best of my ability, it will absolutely show – as they might see in their own work.
This is a simple little metaphor, but I hope it is a visual way to demonstrate that students need to work to the best of their ability.