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Classroom Activities to Boost Self-Confidence

Janelle Cox

You may have heard the old adage, “You either have it or you don’t.” For many children, self-confidence is something that they are born with, for other children it is something that is a daily struggle. For those children who aren’t so confident, learning new material can feel like they are swimming upstream. These students are usually shy and struggle with speaking in school. They constantly question their abilities and feel unsure of themselves. Here are a few classroom activities to build self-confidence and tips to help your students feel proud of themselves as well as their accomplishments.

Classroom Activities to Build Self-Confidence

Help your students recognize and appreciate their growth with these self-confidence builders.

Listing Accomplishments

Challenge students to keep track of all of the things that they can do and add to the list throughout the school year. They can write down things such as how high they can count, how far they can jump, how well they can play a sport, etc. For younger students, you can have them draw or paste a picture of themselves on a piece of paper. Then instruct them to write or draw all of the things that they like about themselves around their picture. Be sure to encourage them to add to the picture every time they think of something new they like about themselves. This is a great way to increase your students’ self-confidence -- by drawing what they like about themselves and what they are good at.

Goal Setting

Setting goals are another way students can gain confidence. You can start by challenging students to choose one thing that they would like to get better at. Once they choose this, then you can give them a timeframe to accomplish this task. For example, their goal may be that within one week they want to get an A on their math test, or within two weeks they want to be able to do learn how to skateboard, and so on. Remind students that they are in competition with themselves, not with anyone else.  

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It’s also wise to have students estimate how long it will take them to complete each goal. Students who think it will take them an hour to complete their homework are less inclined to actually do their homework. Once they figure out that a shorter time commitment is required to accomplish their goal, they will be more confident to complete it.

Making Connections

Help students see that there is a connection between how hard you work for something and how well you succeed at it. Oftentimes, less-persistent students think that other students are smarter than them. You can start by opening up a discussion in the classroom to talk about how long it took the students who got a good grade on the last exam to study. Sometimes all it takes is a quick conversation for students to really grasp that everyone has to work hard in order to succeed.

Reflection

Reflection is another self-confidence booster for students. Encourage students to reflect after each assignment that you give them. Ask students what they think went right with the activity as well as what they think caused them stress over the task. Then, have students share their responses with their classmates. This is a great way for students to see how their classmates and friends overcome their own problems, which in turn can help them with their own self-confidence.

Tips for the Teacher

When working on students’ self-confidence, it’s important that you, the teacher, do a few things to help your students along. Follow these tips.

  • Offer praise and acknowledgement for students’ accomplishments. If you are going to tell them to work on something, then make sure that you always start with a positive and end with a positive.
  • Set attainable goals for the student. If you set them at the beginning of the year, then you can see how far they have come at the end of the year.
  • Create opportunities for students to succeed by building on their strengths. For example, if a student knows a lot of information about sports, then ask them to tell you about it.
  • Give students the opportunity to choose what they learn. By doing so, it will help them build their own self-worth. Try learning a menu or choice board, where students get to choose which activities they want to learn about.
  • Always express a positive attitude to all of your students, not just the ones who lack confidence. This will show them that you are on their side and that they are worth your attention.

How do you build self-confidence students? Do you have tips or classroom activities to help build your students’ self-confidence? Please share with us in the comment section below, we would love to hear your ideas.


Janelle Cox is an education writer who uses her experience and knowledge to provide creative and original writing in the field of education. Janelle holds Masters of Science in Education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is a contributing writer to TeachHUB.com, TeachHUB Magazine, and Hey Teach. She was also the Elementary Education Expert for About.com for five years. You can follow her on Twitter @Empoweringk6ed, on Facebook at Empowering K6 Educators, or contact her at Janellecox78@yahoo.com.