It is important to make kids active in classroom to improve their interest for learning and increase their participation in studies. Both parents and teachers have a crucial role in improving their spirit for learning. Parents should motivate them at home and educate them about the importance of the learning phase which frames their future. Once they step in to the classroom, teachers will have an upper hand on how to mould them in the right way and help them get the better out of the learning phase. Making them active in the classroom is the key to help them have a productive classroom experience and excel in studies.
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Here are some interesting ways teachers can adopt to make the kids active in classroom:
- Mind warm-up: Starting the class with a mind warm up session can really make a difference in the way students remain active in the classroom. During this phase, teachers can bring in activities that promote more competition and collaboration and kill the dead time. Instead of single activities, it would be good to have a team like activity that fills them with enough energy to remain active for the rest of the class.
- Learn with fun: Bring enough fun elements in the classroom as kids would love to learn with fun. Spend some time to devise a teaching strategy that gives them a feel of play time while tactfully including the lessons. Make sure that each and every kid in the classroom is giving full participation by including some group movements. This helps to keep them focussed throughout the lesson and enhance their attention span.
- Create opportunities: Don’t leave it always to the kids to initiate activities in classroom. It is important for teachers to create enough opportunities for them to express themselves and actively participate in the learning period. Set interesting milestones or initiate a group project or ask them to perform in groups based on a lesson. Set the stage comfortable so that even the shy students come forward and express themselves and present their worth.
- Include age-appropriate activities: It is important to include age specific activities in classroom to ensure complete participation. Also it is good to consider the interests of the specific class group before deciding on the activities. Conducting a classroom poll can help you to know more about their areas of interest than deciding on autonomy. Including the right activity for the group can make a noticeable difference in the way they respond and interact.
- Gamification: This is the best way to keep the kids active in the classroom and gain their interest for learning. Try some engaging classroom games that help to learn the subjects in an interesting way. Include a variety of games in different classes to satisfy the interests of all student groups. It is good to try memory games such as memory cards or vocabulary games like educational bingo or completely fun group project games such as Jeopardy.
- Student-made games: It is also a nice option to try student made games in a while. This also gives them opportunity to express their knowledge, skills or talents. Make it a turn wise approach so that every kid will get a chance to showcase their efficiency in creating games. You can make the activity more interesting by making a poll to find the most popular student game of a month.
- Class discussions: This kind of team work activity can be organized frequently to let the students interact intellectually in addition to have all fun. Give wise topics that stimulate their critical thinking and logical reasoning. Teachers should ensure that the environment is friendly and students are expressing freely. Friendly debates on interesting topics can also be organized in between to gear up the activity.
- Talk shows: In between a boring lecture session, take a break to set up a talk show. One student can act as a popular personality and another student can interview him. Or the audience can ask relevant questions based on the particular personality. Give them some time to prepare and they can have a really interesting activity that fills them with loads of energy.
- Bring visual tools: Kids pay more attention and interest towards visual presentation of data. So it would be a good idea to bring visual tools to classrooms to make the sessions more active. It can be a power point presentation, video tutorials or a talking presentation by subject experts that deepens their level of understanding. With the introduction of interactive white boards, the learning with visual elements is gaining more popularity.
- Skills grouping: This activity can be performed as part of constructive differentiation technique. All students in the class may not be of the same calibre. For instance, when teaching mathematics, some may be weak in division, others may be weak in factors and some others may find it difficult to study trigonometry. Group students based on the skills in which they need additional care and arrange sessions or let students teach each other about the areas in which they excel.
- Keep them busy: Rather than making them bored with regular lectures, find ways to keep them completely busy throughout the learning time. Instead of giving lectures for the one full hour, make some time for interactions with a quiz, poll or even interesting ways to revise the lessons learnt so far. You can even try playing lecture bingo in order to keep them occupied while you lecture a lesson.
- Try active toys: Teachers should give importance in bringing active toys as part of teaching strategies. Give them a chance to interact with items such as balls and jump ropes in the middle of teaching sessions and group activities. Or take them out to the sports ground during a free hour or if they are exhausted with a tough lesson. Let them have some sports time to relax their mind and recharge some energy.
- Mix up teaching styles: Students would get bored if you follow the same teaching technique every day. So it is good to mix up the teaching styles for teaching various subjects. This kind of variety would invoke interest in kids to approach the new lessons with curiosity and takes away the boredom. You can bring in variations such as guess works or prediction activity even while you give a simple lecture to make the session more engaging and make them think actively.
- Plan outdoor activities: When the kids are always stuck up inside four walls of a classroom, they would find it suffocating. It is a good idea to take them outdoors to let them have a different learning experience. It can be learning under the shades of a school ground tree or take them for field trips once in a while. This is another tactics to keep them active throughout the learning sessions.
- Cooperative learning strategies: When you make cooperative learning as part of daily or weekly activity, kids would be more active in their approach. Team games and projects would give them the fun of working and sharing together and learn with fun. See that you don’t keep the students in the same group all the time. It is better to shuffle students often to give them chance to experience group learning with different students with different ideas and thinking.
- Exit tickets: Activities such as exit tickets can be made a part of the learning session. Good conversations and thinking can be stimulated with such activities. This end of the class activity makes them self revise the lessons at a glance and gives them the energy to stay active for the next lesson. In this activity, let them complete sentences starting with a set of phrases that you give such as ‘today I got a new idea about’ or ‘now I have a good understanding about’.
- Set a good example: Rather than simply telling them to do a particular thing in its most spirited style, it is easier to do and show it to them. Both parents and teachers can play active roles in setting good examples for children. For instance teachers can promote the story telling capability of children by performing some impressive story telling sessions. When parents teaches them the importance of being active always, set good examples by doing regular exercise or playing some sports.
Rather than the one side lectures, active learning contributes a lot to help them retain information and improve their critical thinking skills. Trying out these few options can really make a remarkable difference in the way students perceive the learning. Actively involving in the learning phase can help them to have a deeper understanding of the lessons. Including classroom activities that improve their interest would make them crave for more. It is important to set a comfortable stage for them and welcome their ideas.