How to Engage Students in Active Learning

Apr 18, 2018 by

If you’re a teacher, you probably know how hard it is to get your students focused and engaged in your lessons. The year might start on a positive note, but as soon as a bit of fatigue sets in, you notice focus drops and excitement goes out of the window. As your teacher, it is your duty to make these subjects interesting, so that the students get as much out of their time spent focusing as possible. This is what being a teacher is all about! You can’t just stand at the front of the class and expect them to listen day in and day out. But, with all this being said, getting kids active when learning is no easy task, they will resist your attempts if they are not effective enough. If you’ve reached your wits end trying to make lessons fun and exciting to promote active learning, we’ve got you covered. What follows is a few tips on how to spruce up your lesson plans and encourage children to stay focused and attentive. If you follow these few pieces of advice, your classroom will be so full of discussion and excitement; you won’t know what to do!

Head outside

This is one for the English Literature teachers! Say you are studying a poem about an adventure, or more generally about nature. Do you really think the dull classroom environment is the best place to try and pick through and analyse such a poem? I didn’t think so! Take your class outside, if your school has a field, get them sat down in the grass or explore a little bit before coming to settle down. If you control your class successfully, they will benefit from this outdoor experience and it will make them a bit more attentive when discussing nature poetry. Also when it comes time to have your lesson again, you can use it as a bargaining tool, ‘we are only going outside if you are quiet and sensible!’

Help them

The worst thing a student can feel, is that the teacher is their enemy. This breeds the worst kind of behaviour, and can rip apart classrooms so easily. Students are in school to learn, and teachers are there to teach them, so the two should get along perfectly. A great way to remind a class of kids of this is to have a lesson where you help them out a bit. If you are a maths teacher, show them a few tricks you have to do long sums and equations. If you are a history teacher, teach them about a particular instance in history that you find really interesting and entertaining, you’ll be able to teach with passion and engage them even more than usual. Let them ask you questions (making sure it stays on topic) about your subject and what got you into it in the first place. This will give the students a chance to feel closer to you and feel like they know you better. Show them some websites that they might find useful, don’t tell them to buy a research paper there or anything! But show them that they can get support online. If you teach at College, show your students they can access a free mla citation generator, this will be of great help to them and they will definitely appreciate your lessons a lot more if you are giving them information that they can really use and benefit from. Don’t treat students as if they are the enemy, as if they don’t want to learn and you’re trying to get them to secretly. Show them why the subject that you’ve spent your life studying is so, so interesting and why they should invest their time in it.

Teaching is definitely one of the hardest jobs around. You have to keep control of a classroom of children that are restless and want to be entertained and engaged. But however hard it is, it’s not impossible. You just need to use the tools at your disposal. And never forget that all children want to learn, some are just afraid of failure. But if you give them your time, energy and effort, and talk to them without a hint of condescension, you will end up inspiring someone to push themselves and achieve the utmost they possibly can. Give these tips a try in your next lesson!

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