Why force students to yawn over a textbook when you can change their distraction into engagement ?
Here are some fun ways you can use to engage distracted students in the classroom.
1. Stand up, sit down
Teachers can use this to help students differentiate between any two categories. It is an interactive game that will increase student engagement while learning.
Here’s how it works: When a teacher is trying to help her students distinguish between, for example, masculine nouns and feminine nouns in French, she would give an example then instruct them to either stand up if it is a feminine noun or sit down if it is a masculine noun. This is a great way to see how much of your class has actually learned and understood the material.
2. Lie to me
In order to liven up the classroom and increase student engagement, it is useful to shake things up every 15 minutes by using energizers.
Lie to me is a fun way to get to know your students better. The rules are simple.
The students have to tell three facts about their life. Two of them should be true and one should be a lie. The other students have to guess which one is the lie. It won’t take too much time, but it will definitely give your students new energy to continue the rest of the class.
Images speak louder than words. Try to include as many pictures as possible in your lectures and presentations. When students look at dozens of pages of only text, many become discouraged. Teachers who provide extra materials for their students need to make them more readable by breaking the article into subheadings and by adding diverse pictures related to the topic.
Video is the most engaging type of content. Just show some informative and fun videos that you can easily find on Youtube or add an animated GIF to your slides in PowerPoint. You will see how quickly you’ll grab your students’ attention.
4. Polls and Quizzes
Questions are an integral part of active learning. Teachers usually ask specific questions to measure students’ understanding, develop critical thinking skills and make them actively involved in the topic.
However, a lot of students feel uncomfortable answering questions in front of their classmates. Sometimes they are afraid to be mistaken or misunderstood which decreases student engagement.
Fortunately, technology provides an alternative method for students to answer your questions. Using web and text polling tools, such as Swift Polling by ExciteM, you can create polls with multiple answers, challenge your students on their knowledge and bring some healthy competition to the classroom.
The best part is that the answers are anonymous, which will let even shy students open up and take part in the activities. Students can respond online or with text messages, and you can easily track the results and share them with students.
This activity is a great way to end a lesson. It will give your students a chance to process the material. They just need to follow these three steps.
First, you’ll have them write three facts they learned about the topic. Next, they need to write two questions they still have about the topic. Finally, have your students write one opinion they have about the material.