When students are engaged in class, they learn more. This applies to learning from home and in school. Active learning is key and it involves finding a good match between your teaching style and engaging approaches and tools. Here are a few ideas.
“Tell me and I’ll forget. Show me and I may remember. Involve me and I learn.” - Benjamin Franklin
As a teacher, it’s THE dream when your students are listening to your lessons and are at the edge of their seats raising their hands to answer your questions. There’s a sense of accomplishment because student understanding lets teachers achieve their lesson goals.
When students are engaged in class, they learn more. While overcoming the issue of disengaged students is complex, teachers should be encouraged to use creative pedagogies within the classroom to make the learning experience interesting.
A key component in creating a positive learning environment is to encourage students to actively learn and the outcome of this helps teachers assess aptitude and areas of improvement! Ways to actively learn comes in many forms - engaged by learning content, participating in class or through teamwork.
A classic example that most teachers use is through general purpose activities that encourages students to use various intelligences such as reading aloud from the textbook in class which uses listening skills or verbal skills. When this activity becomes part of your expectation for classroom activities, students are aware of what needs to be done!
Sky’s the limit! Communicating your expectations about student participation is up to personal teaching styles and creativity. As long as teachers are mindful in their teaching methods to include strong cues, it’ll be easier for students to jump in and participate for lessons. Because of that, what you teach in the classroom and how you do it matters.
Kids will be kids and their work is to play! Being apart from the physical classroom is a confusing time for students as they shift their focus away from learning routines.
This puts teachers in a unique position to find interesting ways to grab student attention and prevent “zoning out” in video calls and tardiness when completing homework.
A great first step is to approach teaching in a light hearted manner by starting off with a simple brain teaser or activity relating to the lessons that will get students to flex their critical thinking! To give your approach a personal touch, teachers can address students by name. For example, if you are a Science teacher, an interesting way to introduce the concept of photosynthesis can begin with a guessing game of what happens when plants are placed in a dark box. Since teachers will have to do this remotely, setting up the experiment can happen at home and a video call can be arranged to call student names for their opinions.
When an item is visually appealing, our eyes are automatically drawn to it! Having colourful visual aids or interesting videos about the lesson topic will not only attract attention but help direct focus towards lessons. A student will not be interested in their lessons if they can’t learn from it!
Referring back to our lesson about photosynthesis, teachers can follow-up student interests and curiosity by having interesting notes or content to learn from. Since students are learning from home, teachers can distribute learning content such as this FrogSchool lesson for a quick segway into the details of lessons through helpful visual aids.
The epitome of active learning is when students are discussing and sharing their opinions about their lessons in class! Teachers can reach this goal by closing with classroom games to facilitate students to get excited together and to reinforce what the lesson was all about. For example, teachers can have a trivia session about the lesson and after, as an inclusive way to encourage peer-to-peer support have a ‘Ask the winner’ to explain why a particular answer is correct. This will empower students to help each other and celebrate learners that achieve learning milestones!
Our latest application, FrogPlay Live (Advanced Release), can help teachers do this! Simply create a new quiz and select from 12 different question formats to assess and engage the classroom. If you need something quick, select from existing quizzes in your school or get inspired from quizzes that other teachers have created on Community Quiz! When encouraging students to actively learn, reflection after learning is important. Teachers can request for the top ranking students in the leaderboard to explain their thought process and why an answer is correct.
Actively involving students in lessons can significantly help with boredom and restlessness because of the regular interactions with the outside world in a meaningful way.
To keep the momentum going and to continue having clear connections with classrooms remotely, engaging students in active learning helps teachers shape a positive learning environment conducive for accomplishing learning objectives and goals!