The question what makes a great teacher is around for quite some time, and there are many opinions about it. Teaching is an art, it is a passion, and it is a science, and above all, it is a well-balanced combination of all these attributes. The traditional methods of teaching may fail to keep the students engaged in a meaningful way both to the satisfaction of the teachers and the students. Students often find some classes a daily chore, and therefore, it is essential to implement innovative approaches with proper planning to keep the students engaged.
Keeping students engaged in a meaningful way means you need to get rid of the damaging dead time. The secret for productive and effective teaching lies in finding the means to keep the students’ attention and focus on the classes. Converting passive learners into responsive and active learners is a big challenge to make teaching fruitful and successful. Here, you can find some useful tips to make education more absorbing and more interesting from the perspective of the teachers and the students.
Start the class with a warm-up session:
Before starting any lecture, it is always helpful to chalk out ideas about how to make the session livelier every day. One of the best ways is to begin the course with a warm-up session without directly going into the subject. It can be the best way to tune the students focus on the lectures that you are going to begin. There is no set formula for warming up technique, and you can make your way to make it livelier.
For example, you may ask your students to find if there are any mistakes about the wring on the board and ask one of your students to come up and explain. Another way may be to have a question and answer session and a mix of competition and collaboration. Another method may be storytelling about any interesting event which the students will be waiting eagerly to hear. The purpose of all such activities is to remove the dead time and to increase the focus of the students.
Use the technique of body movement to engage the students:
It is always helpful to engage the students in some body movement to channel their physical energy align with mental focus. Most of the students find it refreshing to make some form of choreographed physical moves. You can have a chanting of a verse with hand clapping for primary grades students who may be very useful.
You can also adopt some different techniques for middle grade or higher grade students. For example, for middle-grade students you can create a rhythm with hand clapping and finger snapping and can vary the rhythm. You can change the pattern for higher grade students where you can introduce a sort of quizzes activity or can have a little stretching movement of hands with a design. These are examples only, and you can find your way to keep the students engaged and focused on the following lessons that you are going to impart.
The usefulness of collaboration students should know:
Teamwork and learning through projects is an excellent way of the practical method of teaching. You can cover much of education if you can design the project works which involves learning through teamwork. You can develop suitable mathematical models by the students or can motivate the students through a healthy competition of deliberation on the lessons through demonstration. It is not necessary to include an activity which relates to your subject area as the purpose is to make an engaging atmosphere.
You can fix the norms and behaviors for the activity that will help foster the teamwork, by making a teamwork rubric with students. You should also start with praising note after the program before directly going for criticism if any. This way the students can focus better on the projects, and when you rotate the team composition, it can further enhance the team-spirit and homogeneity in the class.
Take an interactive class session:
When you finally go for giving instructions in your class, you need to ensure that there are a total focus and total silence. You can invite the students to discuss among them about the lessons they learned in your previous sessions. Further, you may randomly pick a few students to speak about the chapters and can invite them to demonstrate in the board. Wherever, necessary, you can correct them and go back on revising and give some useful tips to remember the previous lessons.
It can help the students to become more attentive as they know some of them will have to deliver the following day about the lessons. You can now start your class, and you should always try to give examples from real life situations, if possible and if fitting with the context, to make the session livelier.
Ask questions frequently:
You must ensure that the delivery of speeches in your session should not be a monologue and a chore activity. You must ensure that the distribution of lectures in your course is not a monologue and a routine business for the students. Never take the classes perfunctorily and make it a platform of dialogue with the students for which you should frequently ask questions. The standard instructions can become more engaging if you can convert it into a productive discussion with the students through questions and answer sessions.
If it is a mathematics session, you may ask the students about the algorithms of a theorem which can best fit for solving the problems. You can have a review of the presentations made and ask the students the critical points in the discussion. It will help to keep the minds of the students active and to stay focused on learning without feeling sleepy or absent-minded.
Use minimal supervision technique:
The designing of the task that requires minimum supervision is often the best productive one, and might utilize the time productively. These tasks may involve a new assignment to the students who already completed the previous ones or working with a small group of students, etc.
Planning for your teaching before actually taking classes and thinking about the right strategies to keep the students engaged may help to keep students engaged. A teacher should devise ways to foster team building and interactive sessions with the students to make the teaching session livelier.