What is the first lesson for teachers who want their students to understand, remember, and apply new information? According to Whitney Rapp and Katrina Arndt, it would help if you first recruited their attention, authors of the inclusion book Teaching Everyone. That involves figuring out how to make learning “relevant, genuine, and useful” in students’ lives.
In today’s post, we’ll show you how to actively engage your students and make them feel personally linked to their study by following these five steps.
Connect what you’re teaching to real-life situations
Ensuring the information speaks to students is one of the most effective ways to engage them in their studies. These techniques, derived from Belva Collins’ Teaching
Everyone and Systematic Instruction for Students with Moderate and Severe Disabilities can help you relate your teachings to real-life situations for your students:
Select resources that are culturally appropriate
According to the National Council of Teachers of English, students who do not see representations of their own cultures in texts are more likely to lose interest in school-based literacies.
(In this extract from Teaching Everyone, hear how one new teacher learned this important lesson.) Have your students fill out a quick survey on their outside interests, and use the results to help you organize your lessons. This will assist your students in seeing the links between what they’re studying in class and what they’re learning outside of class.
Make use of real-life examples
Talking about how they can use the content in real life is a simple method to make students feel intimately linked to their learning. Collins proposes that teachers explain how children may apply arithmetic principles to assist them in managing their finances, diet, and daily schedule in Systematic Instruction for Students with Moderate and Severe Disabilities.
Make a connection between learning and routines
Routines in the classroom can also help to enhance learning. During toilet breaks, for example, a kid can be taught science topics (body parts, cleanliness and illness prevention, water conservation), reading (bathroom signs), antonyms (hot/cold, left/right), and math (counting).
Make use of the students’ passions and interests
Find out what your students are interested in and utilize those passions as natural motivators to improve engagement. You may use numerous easy techniques to include a kid’s fascinations into your education, whether the youngster is obsessed with one subject or has a few areas of strong interest. What’s the result?
Paula Kluth and Patrick Schwarz provide these and many other ideas in their book “Just Give Him the Whale!” on how to leverage student passions to improve learning in key areas:
Allow a youngster to incorporate their favorite characters and items into their school reading time. When it was his turn to read, one kid could participate in the reading circle after being permitted to speak via a favorite puppet.
Find unique methods to incorporate standards-based knowledge into the activities that your students like. One history teacher, for example, used Super Friends characters to illustrate the United States’ position in the UN and its connection with other countries.
Consider asking a student to develop a problem, diagram, or pattern that connects to her area of interest if you’re working on a math lesson. The ideal approach to mix academic content with a student’s hobbies may not always be obvious—but your students may notice connections you don’t!
Few more approaches to involve students:
Allow kids to make decisions
Students’ involvement rises when they are given the freedom to choose how they learn, as Rapp and Arndt point out in Teaching Everyone. Here are a couple of ideas:
Students should be grouped
Everyone contributing to class discussion and problem-solving improves when the class is divided into groups. Poll your students to find out which method they like to work on, and then experiment with other ways to split them up. Divide the class in half, form small groups of three or four kids, or pair them up.
Allow them to dictate the tempo
Allowing students to select their beginning point on an assignment will keep them engaged and challenged. Try assigning tiers of arithmetic tasks to your students, with escalating levels of complexity. Students can take help from assignment help expert service and online essay writing help in Australia to complete the assignment on time.
- Find the surface area of a cube;
- determine the surface area of a rectangular prism;
- figure the amount of wrapping paper needed to cover a rectangular box;
- Determine how many cans of paint you’ll need to paint a house with specified proportions, from least to the most complex. Once students have decided on a starting point, the instructor can help them progress to higher levels of expertise.
Consider homework meals
A little variety and choice may go a long way toward alleviating the sense of struggle that some kids feel when it comes to homework. Instead of assigning identical homework to all of your students, why not provide a choice of options that correspond to your lesson plan? For an example of giving students a choice of homework tasks to do, look at this math menu.
Fun transitions will pique their interest
“All kids are more engaged when they enjoy classroom life, laugh, and interact with peers,” Julie Causton and Chelsea Tracy-Bronson write in The Educator’s Handbook for Inclusive School Practices. Transitions between tasks may be an excellent opportunity to inject more excitement and enjoyment into your daily routine–and to energize and enthuse your kids about learning.
Causton and Tracy-Bronson provide the following suggestions:
- Have a dancing party for 45 seconds.
- Find out the songs the chorus or music students are singing. Sing them while you clean up and transition from one activity to the next.
- Begin a new activity by physically entering the place fun and exciting (such as a crab walk or backward walk).
- Lead a firework cheer (rub hands together, sizzle, then clap hands and shout, “Oooh, ahhhh”).
- Plan a walk-and-talk exercise for your group (give the class a question related to the content, set a timer, and tell them to discuss the answer while walking around inside or outside for 4 minutes).
- Cue your students to new work or activity by playing a brief segment from an exciting song.
- Stretch your entire body for 5 minutes.
- Use a “45-second challenge,” such as jumping jacks, yoga tree pose, or similar physical activity, to energize students.
Use musical instruments to communicate transitions—a tambourine clap can imply stop, a light shake can suggest start moving, and a repeated tap can mean get stepping!
Teach students how to self-monitor
Helping children acquire stronger self-regulation abilities is a more sophisticated approach to immersing them in their learning and keeping them interested. Children with low self-awareness may not recognize when they’ve strayed from the work at hand or are acting in disruptive ways. When students are taught to control their behaviour and work independently, they establish habits that will help them succeed, allowing them to be more flexible in the classroom.
To help kids with self-regulation, use the following methods from Linda H. Mason et al. book Building Comprehension in Adolescents:
Attention self-monitoring (SMA)
At random times during the school day, instruct students to evaluate whether or not they’ve been paying attention. This is generally achieved by using an aural signal, such as a chime or tone, which causes each kid to consider questions such as “Am I at my desk?” Is it true that I’m paying attention to the teacher? Students fill out a basic SMA tally sheet with their responses.
Students record whether or not they could finish a pre-defined issue or activity on a chart or graph. Students can be greatly motivated by seeing a clear graphical depiction of their performance.
If any student faces difficulties with comprehending a topic, you must feel free to get in touch with the experts.
Christopher is a writer to LiveWebTutors. He is a podcaster, style coach and has been a blogger and a professional blogger writing about educational skills, personal development, and motivation since 2010. He has a blogging website and well-established blog and operate a team of experts and qualified professionals who provide the high-quality Essay Writing Service for students.