Distracted students aren’t able to learn much. Plus, they’re a distraction to fellow students as well. On top of all this, distracted students in the classroom can be very discouraging for the teacher.
But poor student engagement is a reality teachers face every day. Especially when dealing with younger kids.
If you think it is just a result of children’s short attention span, and do nothing about it, it will result in poor learning.
Poor student engagement can be avoided just by using the right teaching strategies and engagement techniques. There is endless scope, and possibilities, in the methods that can be used for this. Following are some of the most trusted, result-oriented teaching strategies and techniques to keep your students engaged and attentive. Educators across the globe vouch for them.
1. Make learning attractive
Some teachers strive to grab children’s attention and yet, fail. The reason could be flawed lesson planning and presentation. Once you impart lessons in an appealing way, your students start finding them exciting. As they go from one class to the other, they need a reason to continue absorbing all the information that’s being given to them. So make use of colors, pictures, charts, models and other aids to help grab, and keep their attention. It breaks the boredom of just the written word on the screen. This helps students relate to everything they are required to learn. Remember, children get attracted to flashy, colorful objects and of course, variety.
You can also try building their interest in a lesson scheduled to be taught on a particular day by revealing its interesting aspects fragment by fragment on preceding days. This way, they will feel intrigued and be looking forward to the day of the lesson. Don’t hesitate to mix and match other proven techniques. Focus on bringing creativity and interactivity to the table. The more interactive a learning session can be made for children, the better is the learning.
2. Woo them with a touch of technology
Children are getting smarter by the day. Operating mobile phones, tablets, gaming devices and the like is a cakewalk for most. And the good thing is that they enjoy being part of this hi-tech world. As a teacher, you can capitalize to a great extent on the fact that kids today are familiar with so many useful technologies. By incorporating the most appropriate ones in your teaching strategy, you can achieve student engagement to a very large extent.
There are hundreds of educational apps out there that engage students effectively; you can make use of some to support teaching. You can also ask your students to prepare their presentations using their favorite presentation-making programs.
If you deal with smaller kids, you can probably help them draw information from the internet for their projects. But while you’re infusing technology into their learning, keep in mind to maintain a perfect balance of things to prevent children’s over-dependence on it.
3. Creating the right physical environment to boost attention
If you think your classroom has no role to play in how attentively students take lessons, then you couldn’t be more wrong. Ambiance plays a big part.
Take care that your classroom looks and feels right for your students. Starting from the colors used in the room to the space design and functionality, almost everything can influence student engagement. Like ensuring students have access to all available learning aids and resources, by keeping them within easy reach. Further, to prevent their mishandling, educate the students on how valuable for them such study aids are. Create a sense of ownership of the space as well. And always ensure there is correct lighting.
Don’t worry, you won’t need to spend a lot to create the right classroom environment; some thought and a little bit of tweaking and tuning in the arrangement of things can work just fine.
4. Encourage active learning
Children need to get their hands dirty to have a better understanding of things. Interactive and experiential learning have been giving great results. And that is why practical classes are such an important part of any academic curriculum.
When it comes to younger children, hands-on training is more effective, especially with a teacher’s own active participation in it. One of the best teaching strategies is to think of yourself as a student while teaching. How would you like to learn? Also, be a little vulnerable, a little less knowledgeable and join your students in the learning, through both the planned and unplanned practical activities.
5. Food, sleep and other habits play a major role
Despite the above, and no matter how attractive your lesson giving skills are, there will always be kids in the classroom who are tired, lost or uninterested. These students often show no improvement with any change in the teaching techniques. In such cases, they are mostly either sleep deprived, lacking in nutrition, or generally depressed.
What will help here, is educating them about the importance of proper sleep, nutrition, and practicing good and healthy habits. Talk to their parents if required. And track improvement regularly.
Engaging children in learning is no picnic, but with the above tips, things can become much easier. If you want to become a storehouse of magical teaching strategies that are great for student engagement, begin by understanding your students – their backgrounds, interests, strengths, weaknesses, apprehensions and fears. Once you figure out the pain areas, addressing them will be a breeze.
If you already know great teaching strategies and ways to keep your students engaged, or would like to improve on your skills and methods, we’d love to have you on-board. Get in touch with us here.