Education Innovation: Connect – Collaborate – Innovate
Keeping students engaged in class is something most teachers struggle with. To begin with every student is different and has a different way of being engaged. Student engagement can only happen when they are motivated and actively involved in their own learning. These 10 ideas can help you create and maintain an active learning environment.
By merely changing the arrangement of the desks in your classroom, from a linear format, where all the desks face one direction, to an arrangement with no obvious front you can help students to take a more active role in learning. In this sort of arrangement students need not constantly look to the teacher. If your room allows it, arrange the desks in small groups and you can teach from the center of the room instead.
Instead of making rules for your students to follow on behalf of them sit with them and design the class rules. They are more likely to follow class protocol when they have been involved with the rule making process.
Bob Pletka, the author of Educating the Net Generation: How to Engage Students in the 21st Century rightly said, “The quality of the relationships that students have in class with their peers and teachers is important to their success in school.” Sometimes, a teacher may not be able to get through to a student, but a peer might. At the beginning of the year, assign each student with a class buddy/ peer-to-peer teams of two. Throughout the school year, these two people can help each other with school work and support, and that occasional accountability. Internet behemoth, Google also assigns buddies to every employee.
It may take some work at the beginning of the year but is not going to be a waste of time. Some studies suggest that you could improve student learning by using their tests as a study guide to understanding the way each student learns rather than measuring learning for grading purposes. By your understanding of how each of them learns you will be better able to challenge students to move out of their comfort zone, but by doing so gradually so that they do not panic or become discouraged.
Creating a safe, non-threatening learning environment takes some work. Students will be more comfortable to give their inputs if they know that you are not just looking for the right answer. To do this you can create a reward system that recognizes and awards students who answer a tough question, unabashed, even if they are wrong. You can do a simple thing such as pinning a student’s name to a board to recognize his or her willingness to try on any given day. When you reward a student’s willingness to be wrong in front of the class, you level the playing field between the class toppers and those that struggle to keep up.
Delegate jobs to every student in the class. The first ideas that probably came to your mind might have been chores like erasing blackboards, passing out papers, etc., but why not assign a student with a more serious task like taking attendance, evaluating class tests or even teach a lesson? This way students will not feel a sense of responsibility but will also be able to increase their aptitude. It gives the other students a chance to hear from a different perspective.
Make lesson plans that allow your students some level of control of the class. For instance, if you are going to be teaching a lesson in Botany provide a list of different activities they can choose from to work on for the rest of the class. You could also allow them to vote on which topic they would like to do first. The idea is to keep them involved in the learning process. The more they are involved the class the more likely they are to stay motivated and feel engaged.
This is a great way to give your students feedback without having to say anything. Give one student the task of recording a lesson, group work, or some other activity in the class. At the end of the week your students can watch themselves. If there are kids who struggle to pay attention in the class, it’ll be perfectly obvious on the video and you need not say a word.
Create an evaluation sheet that students can use throughout the year. At the end of each day, your students can quickly evaluate how they felt the day went- in terms of assignments, lessons, effort, and behavior. This will cause them to reflect on their own progress. You can also intervene if necessary.
Let’s not forget that we are teaching the net generation so the internet should be used as a teaching tool. You can use a Facebook group or page for your class and post content that you would like your students to have access to after school hours. This will also be a great way for parents to have access to what goes on inside their child’s classroom.
EDINVERSITY IS LAUNCHING A CUTTING EDGE LEARNING – ENGAGING PLATFORM TO FACILITATE GLOBALIZATION IN EDUCATION A REALITY!
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