6 Strategies to Boost Student Engagement in the Classroom

Keeping students engaged in the classroom is essential to their personal and academic development. It’s also what makes or breaks the success of your lessons, and no teacher likes to see students yawning, frowning, or looking bored or disinterested during a class. 

If you’re in a situation where you feel like your students are not actively engaged or interested in the lessons, don’t rush to self-criticism. Some children prefer certain subjects, while others just aren’t all that exciting for them. Just remember your time in your early school years – some lessons are just a bit boring sometimes, or too challenging, like math or chemistry. But this disengagement can often simply be a sign to switch things up and try different strategies to pique the interest of your young students. But how can you do that?

1. Integrate technology 

Look, there’s no going around it: technology is here to stay, even in the classroom, whether we like it or not. But instead of making devices your enemy, make them part of the process, and try to integrate them into your lessons. This way, you won’t have students playing on their smartphones under their desks during a lesson. Make the best of gamification, interactive education apps, audiobooks, to motivate students to pay attention and explore new subjects in creative ways. 

2. Ask questions

We all had teachers back in the day who would conduct their lessons in the form of a monologue, presenting a topic or subject in great detail while the students listened – or pretended to. Instead of spending the whole hour doing all the talking, structure your lessons in the form of open-ended questions. You know young children love to ask questions, about anything and everything, so why not use this to your advantage and flip the script? Instead of just offering the information to them, ask what they think, and you might be able to engage them in active conversation. 

3. Get to know your students 

Not all students learn the same way. Some learn better by listening to you explain things, some learn better by reading information out loud, while some prefer discussions and debates. Get to know the learning styles of your students, and try to craft lessons in a way that appeals to all of these styles. Try to know your students on a more personal level, as well, like getting to know what hobbies they enjoy, what music they listen to, and so on. It will be easier to appeal to them and raise their interest on a subject by offering real-life examples that they can relate to. 

4. Encourage collaboration and interaction 

In an inclusive classroom, you want to pay attention to the needs of each and every one of your students, and accommodate them accordingly. Some students are introverted and work better individually, while others thrive when placed in a collaborative environment. Encourage team activities to boost collaboration and interaction, but don’t force it. If you have a few students in your classroom who are more quiet or reserved, group them together and have them work individually, but together. This way, no student will feel left out or forced to participate, and they will feel more at ease, relaxed, and more engaged with the topics under discussion. 

5. Throw peer review into the mix

If you want the students in your classroom to interact more with each other or pay more attention to the activities and homework you assign them, who not try to add peer review to your list of strategies? Have children evaluate each other’s work and give each other feedback, but try to forgo grading and keep it nice and friendly. Teach them how to give constructive, positive feedback without hurting each other’s feelings. This will teach them how to be more sympathetic and aware of other people’s feelings, and it will go a long way in teaching them how to communicate effectively. It’s something that will serve them for the rest of their lives, academically, personally, and professionally. 

6. Switch roles 

Finally, if the students feel like they might do a better job at teaching a classroom full of other kids, why not let them? Every once in a while, you can have a student take the role of teacher for the day, and present something on a topic or subject that they’re passionate about. Rotate every week to give everyone a chance to step into your shoes, and give them constructive feedback and ask them how they felt. But don’t force every student to do it if they don’t want to; children who are introverted, shy, or have a speech impediment might feel too vulnerable to speak in front of a classroom, but perhaps you can assign them the role of co-teacher to help them feel included. 

These are just some of the strategies you can try to boost student engagement in the classroom. If you want to learn more strategies and ways to spice up your lessons, don’t hesitate to reach out to Da Vinci Collaborative and see how we can help!

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