How can teachers increase engagement in and out of the classroom despite the difficulties of coronavirus? 

In September, as schools reopen their doors, we’re sure to see a mix of children who are excited to return, while others may feel uninterested. This article will look through several ways teachers can keep pupils and students engaged even when their thoughts may drift away from the lesson topic. 

Mix up your teaching methods 

Break up the monotony of textbook work by introducing varied lesson designs into your routine. Encourage your class to participate in new ways by getting your class out of their seats or out of the classroom environment.  Even if something isn’t successful, pupils will appreciate the idea of trying something new. 

Use long-term tasks 

Longer-term projects can be effective in helping a pupil take pride in their work and develop perseverance. Selecting the right task can be difficult, however if you are able to decide on a task which could take a whole term for example, it could be something that pupils look forward to and become extremely engaged in. Project based learning has shown to be very effective in improving skills such as collaboration, critical thinking, and communication. 

For a list of ideas, click here 

Get to know the class 

Pupils always appreciate the opportunity to get to know each other, and by increasing the amount of chemistry in the classroom you’re sure to set up the foundations for future effective lessons. If you take some time to give each pupil the chance to talk about themselves, it could help them become more confident and outspoken in the future. 

Let students have choices 

If you’re able to give students choices in their lessons it could make them feel more relaxed, confident, and engaged. For example, instead of simply offering one task for the class to do, consider giving them a choice of 2 or 3, that way they can pick which they feel they’d be best at.  

Play some learning games 

Some learning games can be super effective in increasing engagement, as does ‘gamifying’ the learning environment. Take a look through our detailed blog which looks at gamification in education in more detail here  

Make learning more personal. 

There are many ways to make learning personal and hence, more engaging. A history teacher of mine used to select a member of the class to be each figure when we learnt about the 1500s in Britain, with one student being King Henry VIII, one being Thomas Wolsey, another being Thomas Cromwell and so on. This was a unique touch which helped us to empathise significantly, and over time we really got to understand the intentions of each figure. 

Integrate technology into the classroom 

Technology is really a must in the modern classroom, especially in consolidating positive reinforcement. BehaviourWatch is particularly useful in this aspect, as forms can quickly be filled out with automated certificates and alerts sent to parents. As a result, pupils feel as though their endeavour is being recognised and hence, are motivated to continue pushing themselves. 

To learn more about BehaviourWatch, click here 

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