Education Front Post

10 Easy Strategies to Engage Students in Every Classroom

1. Create an emotionally safe classroom. Try to have rules like “We do not let others down”, “We tell others to stop laughing at people”, “We never say shut up in class”. Apply the rules to your students as well as to yourself.

2. Create an intellectually safe classroom. Try to begin each lesson with a warm up activity that can be done by ninety five percent of the students without your help. It will give the students and teacher time to get ready for the next activity and to start the lesson in a successful way.

3. Cultivate and monitor student interaction. You should be aware of when students are deeply engaged or paying more attention in their tasks. Take notes and start to look for patterns. Do certain students interact in a unique way? Are students paying special attention to certain topics?

4. Create proper intermediate steps for students to learn concepts. The teacher is apt to receive answers from students when they scaffold projects so that each student is successful. Build up to the challenging questions. In advance of the lesson, write down five major questions for the topic. Then create a series of probing questions that increase in difficulty for each topic question.

5. Practice blog writing to help communicate with students. Use the last ten minutes of the lesson as a time to reflect, share and summarize the class lesson. Blogging improves student writing, communication and technology skills. It adds an exciting change to journal writing, which is common and sometimes not taken seriously by the students.

6. In addition to correcting answers, create a culture of explanation. Give students the chance to make options and then evaluate their approach to their answer. Take a few minutes and give students the opportunity to explain their responses. When you plan a lesson, add a few minutes to each activity for students to answer and to also share the reason why they selected that particular answer. If the answer is not correct, the teacher should do the same – give the correct answer with an explanation why it is the correct response.

7. Teach self-awareness about knowledge. An requirement of effective learning is that processes and skills are obtainable for quick recall. It is also important to tell students the reasons why it is critical for them to be able to recall facts and information and to relate it to the current lesson.

8. Give credit often and consistently. To encourage frequent and fair informal assessments, place a graphic next to every question with space to enter the student’s name and response. Track the students you call on and the type of responses given.

9. Use questioning strategies. This will make every student think, answer and participate. Also allow time for students to determine their answers. A few seconds may seem like an eternity but a quiet moment to think about the correct answer will bring more thoughtful responses.

10. Practice using, on a regular basis, a lesson plan model that works for you. No matter how long we teach, it is never good practice to wing it. As a professional it is key to plan ahead and be prepared every day. Find a lesson plan model that enhances and supports your style of teaching.

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