As a teacher, one of the biggest challenges youâ€™ll face in the classroom is keeping your students captivated throughout lessons. It doesnâ€™t matter whether youâ€™re teaching primary, secondary, or even older students â€“ engaging them is nerve-wracking. Keeping the entire class interested and engaged can be a huge challenge, no matter what your subject is or how long your classes are.
If any students are bored or disengaged, not only can it affect their performance, but they can also start disrupting the rest of the class. However, ensuring your students maintain their interest day in and day out can be baffling, even for the most experienced teachers. We know it can be extremely demotivating if youâ€™ve been struggling with discipline and interest. However, we have some excellent tips that can help you teach your students how to focus better and make your lessons more interesting.
If you want to learn more, keep reading below:
Teach active reading
Passive reading is one of the biggest reasons your students can find classes dull, and itâ€™s a huge thing to watch out for if your classes have a lot of reading material. When we read passively, we go over the words without ever taking in or comprehending whatâ€™s happening. If this becomes a practice in your classroom, your students will have difficulty retaining information and staying updated on whatâ€™s happening. Luckily, an easy solution can be teaching active reading, which can help students integrate everything they read and stay updated.
There are several ways you can teach your students active reading. For starters, teach them to keep note of any unfamiliar phrases or words that might make the reading material challenging. Having all the meanings down can make comprehension much easier. Additionally, asking students to make notes consistently as they read can lead to more attentive reading. Itâ€™s also important to implement different learning strategies and ask students to visualize storylines, make diagrams, or narrate the message to keep things memorable. Employing these active reading strategies can make your students much more attentive and help them enjoy each class.
Let them make presentations
A lot of the time, your students may lose interest in the class if youâ€™re continuously droning on about the topic without letting them engage. Students want to be able to present their viewpoints on topics, and without doing so, they can quickly lose all interest. One of the best ways of getting every student to think and analyze the topic is by making presentations. Presentations allow students to take charge of the class and present their arguments in an organized, well-researched manner.
Presentations are more immersive than simple class participation as they require ample research to develop. When preparing presentations, you can ask the students to work in groups or even individually. Knowing that you will ask them to present later on can keep the students attentive throughout each class, and the research can further expand their knowledge. Moreover, presentations teach students how to hone their speaking skills and can teach them how to present their viewpoints concisely.
Use supplementary materials
One of the biggest reasons students start feeling bored and uninterested during classes is due to lack of variety. If youâ€™re merely reading aloud or explaining the subject constantly, even the brightest students will likely stop paying attention. Instead, supplementary materials can switch things up and help students understand the topic from different perspectives. Supplementary materials can include movies, videos, presentations, pictures, audio clips, and more. You can also get creative and bring in guest speakers if possible.
Using additional materials can also help you bring in a new perspective and allow your students to see the topic from various sides. Additionally, it can reduce the load on you and give you a chance to relax. When you bring in additional materials, you can ask the students how it changed their perspective or helped them understand the subject better. Moreover, supplementary materials can be excellent for students who learn differently than others.
Ask for feedback
Sometimes, despite implementing new teaching strategies, you might still fail to keep your class attentive and engaged. In such cases, the best way forward is through a collaborative approach, where you ask your students how you can make the learning experience better. Feedback is essential; with time, it can help you do your job much better. When you ask students what they want most from the class, you can start a streamlined approach that benefits all.
If your students are hesitant to provide feedback, you can make anonymous questionnaires asking them to rate the teaching experience in several domains. You can also add sections for qualitative feedback, where your students can tell you what you need to change. Incorporating student feedback can help you tailor your lessons to your studentâ€™s unique needs and can help you keep everyone attentive. Taking your students onboard can help create a healthier, more proactive environment.
Give attention breaks
Often, students may lose focus throughout classes, no matter how engaging the lecture is. Sometimes youâ€™ll find yourself zoning out of class too. For an average 15-year-old, a healthy attention span is only 40 minutes maximum. Anything after that, and you may be pushing it. However, classes are normally designed to be at least over one hour in duration and may be mentally exhausting for your students.
To counter this effect, giving occasional attention breaks will prove worthwhile. It can help divide your class into two sections, with a small break in between. Allowing your students ten minutes where they can go out, grab something to eat, or relax can prepare them better for paying attention in the second half. Without such attention breaks, your students will start feeling fatigued pretty fast and may become unfocused after a certain point.
As a teacher, youâ€™ll always want ways to make your classes more engaging and give your students more to learn. Following these tips can do just that and push your students to achieve the most through your classes. Implementing these techniques can be easy and help make your classroom a much healthier learning environment. So, implement active reading techniques, get on with student presentations, use supplementary material, and seek feedback. Eventually, youâ€™ll be able to create a captivating classroom environment effortlessly.