In more than 5 million surveys conducted by Gallup with students in grades five through 12 over the past countless years, almost half of students (47%) who responded to the survey are engaged with school. Roughly ¼ were found to be not engaged (29%), and the remainder actively disengaged (24%). It was also found that engagement is strong at the end of elementary school, with nearly three-quarters of fifth graders (74%) reporting high levels of engagement.
A student getting distracted is an inevitable phenomenon. Drooping eyes, doodled-over papers, half-hearted assignments on rumpled worksheets- all this demonstrates that student engagement is pretty low in the classroom. Thus, teachers often remain baffled about how to develop a classroom environment filled with positivity, encouragement, and excessive excitement for learning?
We have good news for you! There exist innumerable amazing student engagement strategies teachers of the modern era can use to inspire a love for learning in their classroom and develop a positive school culture overall.
As per quality research, when students remain engaged, they are more likely to follow behavioral expectations, succeed academically, and be kind to their peers. In today’s post, we will walk you through a comprehensive list of 10 incredible strategies that teachers can incorporate in the classroom right away to boost learning, progress, and achievement as well as overall learning outcomes.
10 Top-Notch Strategies to Promote Student Engagement
Educating your students, a technique known as active listening will help them become more engaged in the classroom and leading to more effective learning. Not only is this is a remarkable engagement strategy, but it will help in creating better listeners outside the school campus too.
Engage with The Interest of The Students
It is crucial to find out what already engages the students and develop it into the learning process. Take mathematics, for instance. Students can chart their performance in a video game over the week or use the GPA calculator to keep track of their grades. You can even get your budding social media influencers to calculate the projected number of Instagram followers.
Developing a profound knowledge of what excites your students can help you do more than simply engage them. Further, it will help you build strong relationships and rapport too.
Fill The ‘Dead’ Time
Any point in a lesson or during a class where students are left without anything to do productive is known as the dead time. When you are handing out a worksheet, setting a presentation, or waiting for a YouTube video to load frantically, the brief windows can lead your students to tune out. After this, it can prove to be incredibly challenging to get them back.
However, you can fill these blank spaces with low-order activities to hold the attention of the students. Like-
- Think, Pair, and Share- Ask your students to reflect on something, discuss it with a peer, and then share with the rest of the class after everything is ready.
- Quickwrite- Write down three questions or points that can be raised with the lesson taught in the class so far.
- What I Know Already- If you are plunging deep into new content, ask your students to evaluate three things they already know about the new subject. Ask them to jot down those as bullet points.
Connect Lessons to The Real World
You, as a teacher, must have heard this numerous times before from students- “When am I ever going to use this lesson?” Once you answer these questions successfully, you will be able to engage students with content they know is relevant to life beyond school. Make use of case studies, anecdotes, and real-life examples from outside the realms of the classroom to root your teaching in the ‘real world’.
Use Group Work and Collaboration
Collaborating with small groups provide students a welcome break from sole bookwork. Further, they also benefit from each other’s point of view and the ability to verbalize their ideas.
Thus, as educators, make use of your engagement and knowledge, which works well together while organizing the group work. Designing groups incredibly carefully can help in avoiding unnecessary trouble while allowing students to work with the best. It also might generate the buzz required for more productive activity.
Allow Your Students A ‘Say’
If engaging students seem to be the most uphill task to you, then let your students tell you how to do so! Make sure to give your students a say in the classroom activity by-
- Offering a choice of different activities like group work or solo
- Ask for the input of students for designing of assessment.
- Check-in periodically to monitor the delivery pace of a lesson.
Providing students a choice to make decisions will make it a point to move from passive consumers to active learners with a stake in the classroom activity.
Allow Student Moving
If you see your students struggling to sit still for an entire lesson, allow them to move. All the pent-up energy can be channeled into a learning activity that helps them stand on their feet. Implement the following-
- Allow students to come to the front and let them brainstorm together on the whiteboard.
- Let them rotate through different stations around the room during an activity
- Split them into groups or arrange them in different classroom areas.
Allocate Tasks with Checkpoints
If you are someone who dumps all their instructions on students at the beginning of a lesson before turning them loose with an activity, then disengagement and confusion among students will likely follow.
This is why it is crucial to allocate larger tasks by breaking them into accomplishable steps. Each of them can be separated by brief ‘checkpoints’ of instruction reorienting students and reminding them of what needs to be done next. Further, they can also serve as a periodic call to attention when students are liable to go off track.
Provide A Thinking Time
We know how gratifying as an educator to see how hands are shooting up as soon as you ask the questions. However, allowing your students to think it has two benefits- it leads to more considered responses that drive engaging discussions, and it also makes the conversation accessible for those who lack an instant answer.
After you tend to ask a question, give a twenty-second pause and your students a chance to extend their standard responses further. Doing this will help you in receiving better answers, and you will also start witnessing some new hands going up.
Be More Personable
Relationships and maintaining strong rapport are the pillars of a long-lasting engagement. It is impossible to have either without being personable. This implies getting to know your students and letting them get to know you.
While enthusiasm for the content might ebb and flow, your nature, personality, smile, and conversation will engage and inspire them to walk through your classroom door.
Douglas Williams truly got to the heart of the matter when he asserted, “Engagement requires that students know they have been heard and their voice matters”.
Each of the strategies listed above will help students to learn by discovering solutions, solving problems, and developing critical thinking. Student engagement is strongly facilitated through unique strategies that shift from the traditional-lecture-based approach, but rather make a place for student-led research and presentation.
We, as educators, need to use and implement techniques that make students active partners in the learning process. Remember, when students will feel supported and encouraged, there’s no telling what they will be able to achieve.