But getting engagement can be a challenge, especially for some students. Educators sometimes have to get a little creative and try something different in order to get students on board and actively learning. Remember, creating an engaging lesson can be very inspiring, so it’s well worth the effort! Not sure where to start? Here are 6 great student engagement activities and strategies to try.
Teaching Strategies To Boost Engagement
1. Have Students Work Together
It’s much harder for students to disengage or “check out” if they have to work as a team. Collaborative learning can be a great way to get the whole class involved. Whether you’re working on a class experiment or having your students do research and write a report, having other students to bounce ideas off of can be helpful for engagement.
2. Have A Debate
There are two sides to every story, and students will feel more invested if they need to debate their position. Just make sure to emphasize civility when you’re having students debate. It’s healthy to learn how to consider other positions in a respectful way, but debates can get heated sometimes. It’s best to assign “sides” to ensure that students think critically and gather facts to use in their arguments.
3. Write To Learn
Reading is great, but many students won’t be fully engaged with the material through reading alone. Writing is a great way to solidify learning and understanding. Short writing assignments throughout the day can give students the opportunity to review what they’ve learned and express themselves.
This is a great exercise for helping students develop problem-solving skills. Simply pose a question to the whole class and have them brainstorm solutions. Don’t provide any feedback on the ideas or any of your own solutions, just let them throw out tons of ideas and brainstorm together. Tossing these ideas out quickly will capture students’ curiosity and build enthusiasm.
5. Leverage Their Interests
How do you make math interesting? By putting it in the context of students’ interests! Consider having your students analyze metrics like video game stats or TikTok followers. Your students are probably talking about their interests nonstop, so listen and use those interests to create more engaging lesson plans!
6. Get Students Moving
Many kids (and even adults!), especially the youngest learners, struggle with sitting all day. And who says learning has to take place at a desk, anyway? One way to get students moving is to have students brainstorm at the board or to set up stations. Even if you’re teaching virtually, you can try activities like a scavenger hunt to engage students and get them moving.
Additional Resources: 3 Great Podcasts for Teachers
If you need a little inspiration, you’re definitely not alone. It’s been a hard year for students and educators alike. The good news is that there are tons of amazing resources for teachers out there to help you.
Podcasts can be a great source for new ideas. They’re convenient, allowing you to fit professional development into your daily schedule. Books are also a great choice!
Here are 3 podcasts for educators to get you started:
- Ten-Minute Teacher Podcast
Bite-sized wisdom for teachers on a daily basis. Listen during your morning coffee and get ready for the day ahead!
- Truth For Teachers
This inspirational weekly podcast from Angela Watson is intended to encourage teachers and to help them evolve their teaching methods for the modern world. Episodes range from student success to self-care for teachers!
- House of #EdTech
Struggling with virtual teaching? Wondering how to best incorporate technology into your classroom? This podcast is for you!
Support For Educators
If you’re having trouble engaging your students, don’t feel bad. It can be extremely challenging! It’s important to realize that you have access to support from online resources and you never have to worry about running out of ideas. And remember, you’re doing your best for your students and helping them prepare for a lifetime of learning!