You've seen it all before, you're teaching a class about a truly exciting subject. One that should inspire them. The lesson is planned meticulously and you hope that your student's revel in the information presented to them - But they don't. Instead, you have to fight for the attention of a group of students staring blankly at the ceiling or outside the window. Why aren't they interested? Why aren't they inspired?
In this blog we will detail how you can improve your student's level of engagement to create an exciting and progressive classroom atmosphere.
1 – Make Learning A Game
We've heard tales of many students staying up till the early hours of the morning just to play video games. If only they had that determined mind-set to their work in school and outside of school. Games are thrilling, inspiring and add an element of challenge which attracts students to want to try them constantly. If you can bring this into the classroom, your students will show a whole new level of focus and will absorb all aspects of the game as well as the lesson content surrounding it.
To further emphasise the competitive aspects of classroom games, be sure to hand out a small prize!
Examples of classroom games include:
- Hangman – This is good for students to understand many topics such as spelling, topic vocabulary and definitions.
- Get Out Of Here – Stand by the doorway and ensure that students answer three questions about the lesson or the specific topic before they are allowed to leave.
2 – Relate Lesson Content To The World
Students may sometimes struggle to grasp highly technical and subject specific aspects. But, students are very much in tune with what's going on in the real world and what experiences they have encountered. One exceptional way to engage students is to relate your lesson topic on something that they can relate to.
One example of this was when my Business Studies teacher illustrated how brands geographically segment there range of products. Sounds daunting. But, my Business Studies teacher described it with a brand and example that the majority of students can understand and relate to, McDonalds.
My teacher showcased how in Asian countries, McDonalds has a greater range of vegetarian products due many people in that part of the world not eating meat. In comparison, McDonalds in the UK and US have less vegetarian options due to that population having a greater preference for meat products.
By relating a difficult concept to something widely relatable, the entire class was able to understand this element of our business studies course with great success.
3 – Increase the Amount of Independent Learning
Independent learning has many benefits in terms of engagement and progress. Independent learning allows students to take control of their own learning where they can work at their own pace and level. Independent learning also enables students to make effective choices about how to develop their independent learning task as well as developing ideas creatively. There are many ways you can encourage independent learning such as students creating their own resources or presenting information on a specific topic they are focusing on.
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