For as long as schools have been around, educators have been trying new teaching strategies and techniques to keep their students excited about learning. Whether you’re a teacher, tutor, or parent, these best practices for student engagement will help make a difference in your teaching style.
7 Student Engagement Strategies for Teachers, Parents, and Tutors
It’s no surprise that entertaining and interesting lessons have a greater impact on students than mundane lectures and redundant worksheets. Kids need fun at school! So, why is student engagement important for educators? In this article, the expert tutors at UpReach Learning explore seven teacher-tested methods to keep your lessons exciting and your students engaged.
1. Swap Roles with Your Students
When educators make learning fun and interesting, it only makes sense that students will be more willing to participate. Role-swapping is easily one of the most effective (and fun) strategies to engage students in the classroom.
When a child can successfully explain a concept to someone else, they are essentially demonstrating that they have mastered the material! This exercise works for teachers and tutors, from large classrooms to one-on-one situations. So, if you’re wondering how to keep students engaged, let them take the lead next time!
2. Take Breaks
Everyone needs breaks, especially kids. No matter how fun your lesson is, it won’t be effective if they’re overly tired. So before beginning a new activity, make sure your students have had time to relax and refocus, eat a snack, or even run around a bit to get out some of that extra energy. When working with younger students, you should plan at least a five-minute break after every hour of learning time. Using activities to engage students is a great way to create a stimulating learning environment.
3. Encourage Open Communication
Whether a student is working with an online tutor, teacher, or classroom of peers, they should always feel comfortable openly communicating their thoughts and feelings. For example, if the lesson moves too quickly or the material is overwhelming, the student should let the educator know. Communication is key to making adjustments that meet students’ individual needs.
4. Break Up Your Lessons
For students of all ages, most lessons involve a lecture to some extent. But it’s unreasonable to expect kids to stay 100% engaged as they sit still and listen to you talk for extended periods of time. So, break up your lessons and add a little excitement to keep your students from zoning out.
Start off your lesson with an introduction, then move on to an activity related to the content. Return to the lecture for a bit, and then take a break for a group activity or relevant video. Finish it up with a discussion, and you’re good to go! Keeping things from getting stale helps kids pay attention and retain the material.
5. Give Your Students Choices
The reality is that kids aren’t given a lot of choices in their daily routines, whether it be at school or at home. So, when students have the power to choose their educational interests, it helps them become more engaged and on their toes.
We’re not saying to let them take the reins completely. Just try letting them pick the activity or assignment that goes along with your lesson. Trust us, giving kids the ability to choose will make learning time more fun—plus, it instills critical decision-making skills!
6. Teach with Mixed Media
Incorporating a variety of mediums into your lesson plans is a surefire way to keep your students alert and engaged. Try presenting content with both traditional and tech-rich resources. Technology is a great tool for making learning more fun, familiar, and accessible for all ages. So, if you’re wondering how to engage students in your classroom, try integrating tablets, laptops, video clips, and educational apps—the list goes on!
7. Relate Lessons to The Real World
Educators hear it all the time, “When am I going to use this in the real world?” For students, there’s nothing more frustrating than spending copious amounts of time learning material that you will never apply in “real life.” So, make sure your lessons are relevant to life beyond school! Boost student engagement by using case studies, anecdotes, and real-world examples.
How To Achieve Student Engagement in Online Learning
At UpReach Learning, we offer a variety of tutoring programs for elementary school, middle school, and high school students. Our certified educators know how to increase student engagement and are experienced in various subjects, including Mathcounts, SAT/PSAT prep, ELA, and more. We tailor sessions and programs to meet each child’s unique needs, allowing them to reach their academic goals!