Wednesday, September 23, 2009

How to Keep Kids Engaged in Class

Many times teachers are looking for ways to help students focus and stay on task. Here is a list of ten smart ways to increase classroom participation with a short example for each.

  1. Start class with a mind warm-up.
    a. Ask students to find the mistakes planted in material written on the board.
  2. Use movement to get students focused.
    a. Have students join in simple choreographed physical movement.
  3. Teach students how to collaborate before expecting success.
    a. Prior to an activity, create a teamwork rubric with students that reviews descriptions of desired norms and behaviors.
  4. Use quickwrites when you want quiet time and student reflection.
    a. Have students do short journal-writing assignments to calm down.
  5. Run a tight ship when giving instructions.
    a. Before speaking to the class, require (1) total silence, (2) complete attention, and (3) all five eyeballs on you (two eyes on their face, two eyes on their knees, and the eyeball on their heart).
  6. Use a fairness cup to keep students thinking.
    a. As part of classroom management, the teacher should create a supportive environment, where students are encouraged to take risks without fear of being put down or teased, then its easier to use your fairness cup.
  7. Use signaling to allow everyone to answer your question.
    a. To ensure that all students are actively thinking, regularly ask questions that every student must prepare at least one answer -- letting them know you expect an answer.
  8. Use minimal supervision tasks to squeeze dead time out of regular routines.
    a. While passing out papers, ask students to do a quickwrite or to pair up and quiz each other on vocabulary words.
  9. Mix up your teaching styles.
    a. To keep students involved and on their toes, try to move from teacher-centered learning to student-centered active learning, and vice versa.
  10. Create teamwork tactics that emphasize accountability.
    a. By insisting that students "ask three before me," you make it clear that they are expected to seek assistance from all members of their team before they turn to you.

To gain more insight into these tips please read the entire article at Edutopia:

1 comment:

mrscortez08 said...

This was an interesting read. Thanks.