Getting all your students engaged, eager, and on task at the beginning of class is challenging enough. Equally problematic, once you have them locked in to the lesson, is watching them zone out. There's nothing unusual about that. After all, anyone who has to sit through a long lecture is bound to drift off at some point.
So since helping teachers in every walk of life is our passion we thought we'd give you some pointers on how to crack down on the number of sleepy students in your classroom!
TIP #1 - Link the work to their final grade.
Students tend to report that they are more motivated to adopt behaviors that will have an impact on their grade, and assigning work that is not linked to the grade can send the message that the work doesn’t matter.
TIP#2 - Be clear and don't talk so fast!
Most students report that a big factor to why they don't attend particular teachers lessons is because the teacher talks far too quickly and then subsequently doesn't make it clear what message they are trying to get across to students. Not only does this cause confusion amongst students, but it will also create frustration for the teacher as you will be getting asked the same question by almost every student in the classroom about what they need to do!
TIP#3 - Don't be afraid to crack a joke or two!
When students were asked about instructor behaviors that increase their attention in class, they named the use of humor and the effect that it can have on the classrooms morale. You don't want to be known as a boring, dull teacher but at the same time you don't want to be known as a teacher who doesn't take the classroom seriously and treats it as a circus. As long as you have the right balance then you'll be remembered as a fun, witty and overall great teacher! (Hopefully anyway...)
TIP#4 - Try and mix it up when possible.
The most common teaching method seems to be when the teacher just stands at the front and gives a lecture to the class, and sometimes this works, but students respond best when you mix it up a bit, using discussion, group work, hands-on activities and case studies. What's the bonus? Students enrolled in a class that is not primarily based on lectures tend to use their mobile phone a lot less!
TIP#5 - Relate learning to students lives.
Millennial learners, in particular, report a need to understand how learning has a relevance to their real lives. Spending time creating assignments that are linked to current or future life situations will pay off in greater student engagement and motivation.
So there we have it, 5 tips to engage and enthuse your students in your lessons. Why not try implementing some of them in to your next lesson?
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