Stagnation is the enemy of quality education. Unfortunately, many teachers may feel as if they’re struggling to connect with their students and end up covering the same ground again and again with little-to-no response from their class. Engaging students in the modern classroom is a difficult task, and it can sometimes seem like an uphill battle. Given the number of distractions available to young minds, it’s easy to see why student engagement is a problem for many educators. For teachers stuck in this rut, though, a little innovation can go a long way. In fact, here are four techniques you can use to engage students in your class:
Get Started with a Warmup
Before any sporting event, athletes stretch and warm up to prepare their bodies for the game. In the same way, teachers can help their students “warm up” mentally by introducing a little game or sharing exercise to begin class. Instead of jumping into a lecture or lesson at the very beginning of class, offer your kids the chance to express themselves. Or, you can kick off proceedings with a quick educational game using Alexa. Either way, remember to keep things light at the outset.
Break Things Up
No two children are exactly alike, but it’s safe to assume most young students’ attention spans only last around ten-to-fifteen minutes. Long, complicated lessons have the potential to frustrate, confuse, and/or bore students. And when students become frustrated, confused, or bored, they disengage quickly. You can prevent this from happening by breaking your lessons into smaller segments and adopting different tactics throughout a day. For instance, rather than giving an hour-long lecture or watching an hour-long documentary straight through, consider “splicing” the two together and interweaving them to form a more diverse lesson plan.
It’s imperative for children to get a healthy amount of exercise –– for many reasons. In terms of classroom engagement, a lack of physical stimulation can affect mental attentiveness. Simply getting your students off their feet from time to time can break up the sedentary monotony of the classroom routine. Stretch breaks, tossing a classroom microphone ball during a lesson, and group projects can help get your students’ bodies –– and minds –– moving in the right direction.
Make it Meaningful
This task is easier said than done admittedly, but anything you can do to make your lesson relevant to your students’ everyday lives will greatly increase their interest in it. Tying classroom topics into modern events, pop-culture trends, or simply displaying practical application of learning skills can all help students focus for longer and engage more meaningfully with a subject.