5 Simple But Powerful Ideas For More Effective Teaching
Whenever I get bored with learning, it’s usually because the methods are stale. I could be reading page after page of jargon from a textbook, listening to someone explain how to do something through the use of nothing but speech, or flicking through a dull and uninspired powerpoint presentation.
And when that dreaded wrath of boredom strikes, you know there’s an infinitesimally small — if not non-existent — chance of anything sinking in.
The only thing worse than this is when you’re the one delivering the teaching; you’re the one who’s spent hours of your hard-earned time and effort to only have your lesson fall on deaf ears.
So to help avoid this scenario and stop boredom getting the better of your students, we’ve put together five quick and simple teaching ideas for keeping your lessons fresh and engaging.
1. Link to real-world situations
We learn better when we can link new information to things we already know and understand. Or better still, when we can connect ideas and concepts to real-world events that are prominent in the media and/or everyday life.
For example, exploring a map of the world via places students have been on holiday or heard about in the news. Doing this can also act as a great way for getting children excited and involved in a topic, and give a more solid reason for why such information is useful to their lives.
2. Group brainstorm
A group brainstorm is an effective way to start a class and get ideas flowing, while also encouraging teamwork, interpersonal skills, and creativity. But what makes them really great is that they allow students the freedom to explore normally absurd and nonsensical ideas that could lead in any direction. Set a few ground rules at the start, and then sit back and see where it takes you.
3. Role-playing games
There’s no better way to teach literature, history, or current events than by letting your students embody the characters they’re learning about. Rather than reading from a textbook, role-playing engages more of the senses as well as stimulates the imagination, providing better conditions for learning and memory formation. You’re also guaranteed at least a few good laughs.
4. Field trips relevant to the lessons
When the environment is fresh and exciting, students are in a better frame of mind for learning, teachers are inspired to teach, and topics are more easily and vividly brought to life. And yet your school trip doesn’t need to be anything fancy: you could go down to the riverside to learn about the environment, head to the playground to discuss physics, or walk through nearby fields for a biology class.
5. Creativity in every area
Creativity isn't only reserved for the arts; you can bring it into every subject — maths, science, history, or whatever it may be. And what’s best about it is you don’t need to be an artist or whizz with the computer; creative thinking is in action whenever you diverge from convention and shake things up. This could be by incorporating an aspect of the physical into teachings, playing new games, using visual exercises, or exploring different mediums like video and sound.
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