Increasing Classroom Engagements: A Few Tips
- Jul 30, 2017
All teachers are aware of images like a bored, tired, half-asleep teen daydreaming at the corner of the classroom. Such a problem has plagued almost every classroom since ages.
In fact, technology, gadgets, and social media have worsened it in modern times. Most teens nowadays consider school sessions as some form of a prison sentence.
Now, this is a problem in need of a solution, and that solution can come ONLY if you, as a teacher can increase the rate of student engagements in your classrooms. In this article, we are going to discuss this in greater detail. So let’s begin without further ado.
Different levels of student engagement
Five levels of student engagements have been identified so far, and some of these are:
Authentic engagements: In this case, students are immersed in some form of work that has a clear meaning to them (for example, reading something from a book).
Ritualistic engagements: This includes the use of marks and grades for improving rate of engagements in classes. [Marks and grades are something that doesn’t exactly have a direct hand in student engagements; yet, they are more than capable of doing the job for you from an indirect sense of view.]
Negative compliance: Students don’t exactly have their heart in the job. They grudgingly engage with the same to avoid negative consequences like a punishment.
Retreat: Students make no attempt to comply to the task but they don’t exactly create any disruptions in the class that can prevent the learning of others.
Rebel: Students act disruptive to the learning interest of others and refuse outright to do their assigned tasks.
Tips to increase classroom engagements
10 minutes of lessons, 2 minutes of engagements
You need to adopt this policy in class to increase the rate of engagements in the best possible manner. You can refer to it as the 10: 2 method.
Here’s how it works:
Start on your lessons and continue for 10 minutes at a stretch. After the 10-minute session, take a brief 2-minute break and ask your students to process the data that you have provided them within this brief time frame. Invite questions from them to encourage engagements. It works you know.
Use classroom games to your benefits
Classroom games might look a bit too clichéd to you, but this tactic STILL works.
Here’s a simple example:
Bring a beach ball to class. Ask your students to pass it around. Meanwhile, you will start on a count from 1 to 50. You can stop anywhere in between without prior notice.
As soon as you stop, the ball-pass needs to be stopped in sync with your halt. The student in possession of the ball at that point of time will be asked a question (which should be related to the curriculum). If s/he passes, s/he stays in the game but if s/he fails, s/he goes out. Last one who survives wins.
It’s a simple game, but it’s effective nonetheless.
Encourage group work
Working in groups is fun and engaging. It also helps to incorporate teamwork in kids which can be something positive indeed.
So why don’t you try to take this approach to increase your classroom engagements? Divide your class into groups and give each group a task to complete. It can be a project or an assignment (anything constructive that’s related to the curriculum should do the trick). You’ll see the results in no time.
Implement technology in classes
If you have the proper resources to implement educational technology in classrooms, do so without further ado. It is perhaps the most avant-garde form of teaching capable of having the maximum impression on your kids as a whole.
Educational technology like augmented and virtual reality, mobile apps, videos, bots, etc. can really up the level of engagements in your classrooms if you can use them the right way. So what are you still waiting for?
A classroom that encourages engagements in students is an effective classroom indeed. If you want your classroom to exhibit the perfect learning environment for your students, you have to follow the same footsteps.
Always remember than an effective communication is one that comes successfully from both ends. As a result, BOTH the teachers and the students need to interact with one another to get the best results in the long run. Are you up for it?
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