“My students are so bored. They never listen to me; instead they do their own thing.”
Have you ever heard a colleague or new teacher say something like this? Or maybe this is you? Regardless, there are ways to increase student engagement and get more student buy in. Today I want to share nine different ideas with you.
When students know you care about them they’re more likely to have buy in. This doesn’t mean you need to be their “bestie”, but you can show them you care by being kind.
2. Have Strong Rules & Procedures
Giving students boundaries by having clear rules and procedures in place helps them feel safe in the classroom. When students are safe, they’re more likely to stay engaged in lessons. They know what the routines and procedures look like, and then they can focus on the lesson more.
3. Integrate Technology
Let’s face it – kids love technology! Find ways to incorporate it into your day. Get those reluctant writers typing away using various apps or the iPad. Engage your math reluctant students with a fun online game. There are so many ways you can use technology to motivate your students and keep them engaged!
4. Break Up Your Teaching
Think about the last inservice or conference you attended. What did the speaker do that kept you engaged or bored you to tears? Students are the same way! (Although adults may arguable be worse!! 😉 ) Use small group lessons, then teach the whole group, then go into individual lessons. Differentiate your teaching whenever you can. Students can’t get bored if you keep mixing up the way they learn!
5. Play Music
While it may not be a good idea to play music all day long (some students find it distracting), sometimes it’s a good idea to add a little music into your day. Maybe you can play it when the students have their work completed. Or you could play it during silent reading time or when the students are writing. As long as students are still working like they are supposed to be.
6. Give Students Choice
When possible, let students have a say in how they’re learning. Even if you only give them two options – they typically have more buy in and are more engaged. It seems that the older the students get, the more choices they want. But don’t give them so many choices that they then become overwhelming. You’re still the teacher, and you need to ensure learning is taking place.
7. Use Games
Who doesn’t love a game? You can definitely increase student engagement by incorporating more games into your classroom. One way to do this – while still being academic – is to use Magic Square Puzzles. These engaging, hands-on games are a great way to reinforce math, vocabulary, grammar, and much more. Did I mention you can even get some FREE ones?
8. Vary the Activities
Find different ways to keep students engaged. This is going to look different depending on your grade level, your personal preferences, and the students in front of you – but you can make it work! Play a game of Scoot or use interactive notebooks. Figure out what works for your teaching style and go with it!
Want even more ideas to increase student engagement? This blog post has a lot of great ideas and a FREE download to reference regularly!