4 Strategies to Keep Kids Engaged At School
In the age of iPads, learning games and Baby Einstein from day 1, teachers often mention that students aren't interested in education —they want a personal entertainer.
Needless to say, keeping students engaged is one of the biggest challenges for teachers. All it takes is one bored student to be a major disruption for an entire class.
Don't worry, teachers —we're not about to suggested you pull out the face paint, make balloon animals and develop a song and dance routine. Here are 5 ways to keep your students engaged and alert.
1. Student Engagement Strategy: Student-Directed Learning
Learning styles and paces can vary greatly among students. As such, lectures, having students reading aloud and expecting others to follow along, or similar locked-in activities are too fast for some, too slow for others. They're also easy triggers for losing focus.
A strong mix of activities and assignments where students are allowed to work at their own pace are a solid compromise. There's no need to throw a due date (or time) out the window, but by allowing students to control the pace at which they work, their productivity is likely to increase.
2. Student Engagement Strategy: Hands-On Activities
With iPads and Angry Birds everywhere, it's important to mix it up with activities where students can move, work with their hands and interact with one another. Small group projects, role-play and science experiments are excellent opportunities to take advantage hands-on learning.
3. Student Engagement Strategy: Interactive/Multi-Media Content
Photos, videos and animation are more likely to keep the attention of students than say, reading assignments. Some students have learning disabilities, while others simply despise (and refuse) to read.
Motivate them by using content that is visually interesting. Bonus points for including narrated text so that all students not only see what's being taught, but hear the words as well.
4. Student Engagement Strategy: Interactive Games
Ah, the iPad (or tablet, laptop, etc…) Whatever the device, it need not be the bane of your teaching existence. Take advantage of technology by using drag & drop games, turning vocabulary lessons as a chance to double as art class and offer immediate feedback.
Learning will not always be 'fun' for students, and such an unrealistic expectation shouldn't be expected. With that in mind, these 4 student engagement strategies can go a long way in keeping your students learning new information without as many disruptions.
Oh! One more thing...
In the event you do opt to prepare a song and dance routine to preform for your class, please be kind enough to send us a link to the YouTube video.