4 Simple Tricks For Maintaining The Attention Of Your Students
A great classroom experience is created not only by effective learning and teaching methods, but by a mix of storytelling, play, emotion, psychology, and connection with students on a personal level.
That’s because each of the above are ways a teacher can unravel the art of attention and maintain the focus of their class, day in and day out. Without the persistent focus of a class, you might as well throw the fancy learning and teaching methods out the window. So take a step back from the curriculum for a moment and check out these four critical components to becoming a highly effective and attention-savvy educator:
Don’t Skip On The ‘Whys’
A lot of the times there is one question in the mind of students: why would I ever need this? If students don’t understand the why behind the work, how can teachers expect to keep their attention? Start each session with a passionate and personal case of how the topic could be applicable in their lives. Connect with what drives them most, and you’ll leave them hungry for the information you have to offer.
Emotional Post-It Notes
Emotions are powerful learning tools. They can trigger a release of dopamine into our system, improving the ability to focus and remember. But how do you incorporate emotions into our classrooms to increase attention? Mark different coloured post it notes with a different emotion — confused, happy, angry, afraid, disgusted — and hand them out to students when relaying stories. They’ll be more inclined to engage and pay attention so they can share their opinion. And as it’s done visually rather than orally, it allows students who may feel they lack the power to articulate their feelings to also take part.
Designate a Device-Free Zone
Laptops, smart phones, and tablets have incredible potential for improving teaching and learning. But they have a time and a place, and students cannot effectively multitask e.g. using a device and listening to the teacher’s instructions at the same time. Decreasing distractions and limiting opportunities can put the attention of students in the palm of their hands. They must comply in the device-free zone and complete the task at hand before being able to use them again.
Don’t Cram Your Lessons With Information
An increasing number of course objectives associated with your course can be detrimental to effective teaching methods. It can seem that information is being force-fed to students, and thus they intentionally disengage. Breaking the class into sections can make it more management for both teachers and students, keeping attention by mixing up styles and topics to keep them focused and even looking forward to what will come next.
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