How to Increase Student Engagement in the Classroom
Student engagement involves activities that can generate high-quality learning. If students are not engaged, they are not paying attention to the lesson and their minds are wandering off, losing valuable learning time as a result. To address this problem, teachers should adopt innovative ways to promote student engagement.
5 Ways to Increase Student Engagement
1. Make students believe in themselves.
For students to take an interest in what you’re teaching, they must first believe that they can learn. It will serve as a motivation for them to strive harder to do well in school. Students are more likely to engage when they work to achieve goals meaningful to them. They should never give up and overcome failure. Giving students some degree of control over learning processes can also help develop confidence and commitment to learning.
2. Use questions that make students answer.
In many classrooms, you’ll likely see this scenario: The teacher asks questions, and the same students raise their hands up. This predictable pattern can lead to student inattention. To counteract this, use questions that you know everyone can answer easily. You can ask individual students, or you can have the whole class respond all at once.
For example, you can ask, “How many of you have read the book…” or “Class, do you think this is correct?” By simply having students raise their hands or make head gestures, you are encouraging them to participate in class. When you ask questions that make students think and answer, you can get their attention and help them “warm up” for the day’s lesson.
3. Incorporate movement into your lessons.
Require your students to respond to a question by writing on a whiteboard or moving to a particular spot in the classroom. You can also ask students to stand behind their desks and join in choreographed physical movement. Most students will find it invigorating, and it is an easy way to get kids focused and prevent dead time.
4. Be flexible with your teaching style.
To increase student engagement in the classroom, try to switch from teacher-centered learning to student-centered learning and vice versa. You can introduce a presentation by having students pair up, talk to each other, and generate a list of questions for which they want to know the answers.
Provide the students with a list of questions in advance to encourage active listening. Interrupt the presentation and ask the students to compare their entries with a neighbor. Randomly choose pairs of students to present their ideas to the class.
5. Create an emotionally safe classroom.
Students who have been humiliated or shamed by a teacher or fellow students will be hesitant to engage in class. To prevent this, create an emotionally safe environment by having a rule such as “Don’t put others down.”
It is the foundation of a supportive and collaborative learning environment. Apply this rule to yourself as well as your students. To learn, students must be open to risks and challenges, but most won’t take the initiative in an emotionally unsafe environment.
The methods mentioned above are just some of the ways to increase student engagement in the classroom. Engaged students mean happier classrooms. And, happier classrooms mean happier teachers and improved learning for students.