Strategies for Student Engagement
Engagement methods and their effectiveness depend on the caliber of the teacher in the classroom, but with the right strategies, all teachers can bolster students’ engagement:
1. Ask more questions. Asking questions and calling out names keeps children on high alert. Don’t cause undue anxiety by putting a nervous student on the spot, but make sure everyone participates.
2. Don’t let students be alone. Some students want to shy away and hide, either because they are anxious or simply because they are shy. Create a bright, welcoming environment and design interactive lessons to engage the students who are hesitant to volunteer.
3. Use visual media. Children today are more familiar with visual media than any generation before them. Tablets, televisions, and smartphones are central parts of students’ lives, so use technology and visual stimulation to keep students interested. Don’t settle for a slideshow presentation — include sound effects, add puzzles, and remember to pose questions to check students’ understanding.
4. Encourage note taking. Make taking notes a fun, interactive activity for students. They can refer to their notes later, especially if their attention wanes mid-lesson. Note taking is a skill students will appreciate throughout their high school and collegiate careers.
5. Educate on sleep and nutrition. Students who are well-rested and properly fed learn better than those who are tired and malnourished. Educate your students (and their parents) on the importance of sleeping well and eating right. If school funds allow, buy snacks for the classroom and encourage hungry students to grab a bite.