Engaging students in what goes on in the classroom is a sure way towards getting the maximum out of them, ensuring the results of what is being taught are high. And there are certain tips and strategies new teachers can follow, to make sure they’re on the right track. Read below to see what we suggest…
1. Always be aware of the difference between teaching methods and learning techniques
To begin with, it is necessary to understand the differences between teaching methods and learning techniques. Learning techniques are tools that enable understanding and comprehension of content: mnemonics, flashcards, abstracts, notes, visual thinking, etc. On the other hand, teaching methods are based on theoretical foundations that include various techniques or procedures that teachers use to transfer knowledge, procedures, and values and to facilitate the development of students’ skills.
Active teaching methods are:
- problem-solving learning
The dialogue method has an orientational and motivational character. It enables students to be introduced to the program (whether the program is compiled by a teacher, to get a finished program, or compiled by the students themselves), to make a work plan, and to motivate for the upcoming activity based on the importance of its implementation, and the goal that is to be achieved.
The research method involves independently searching for facts, finding relevant connections and relationships between given data, restructuring data, redefining, and independently coming up with new (unexpected) results.
Problem-based learning – problem-based learning enables a high level of student creativity. This is the highest range and form of learning.
The game method is often applied in teaching. The student’s intelligence, perseverance, and desire to win, competition comes to the fore.
2. Use tools that will make learning fun
Some of the techniques of learning have been mentioned above, but in this point, we would like to point out the importance of using modern, interactive tools, students will be amused by. Check here to see which of these tools are recommended, and what they can do to make your class engaging and fun. One thing is guaranteed, with these tools you want to have to invest too much time in preparing your next class, thinking about what activity will engage them in the topic.
3. Avoid having “dead time”
Leaving the classroom with nothing to do, even if it is for a couple of minutes, is a bad idea that should be avoided at all costs. Think of a way to always have an ace in your sleeve, if for some reason, this happens to you. It can be that you are busy doing something like handing out the material, and half of the class will be forced to have this dead time, quickly starting to talk to each other and tune out. When this happens, going back to the point where they can absorb and learn, is tough for a beginner. When mentioned an ace in the sleeve we specifically meant some low-order activity to keep their attention on the important things. Reflecting and discussing in pairs the topic you presented is a good way to go.
4. Group work
Group work is always a great tool after you’ve had them do a lot of reading on their own. As they discuss in groups, they learn how to verbalize their idea, practice debating maybe, and learn about different people’s perspectives.
But in order for group work to actually work well, you need knowledge about who in your class is able to work with who. You want to avoid them having unproductive conversations, outside of the topic.
5. Learn about your student’s interests
Every new teacher should find out what the class has the most interest in. This can simply be done by talking to their prior teacher. If you find out what excites them most, you can use it as a learning tool. For example, if the majority is good in mathematics, give them an exciting task of charting their performance in a creative way such as a game. One additional benefit that will come out of this is that they will start loving your method and build trust in you.
6. Make learning relevant
If you think about education twenty-something years ago, we’ve all complained about learning things we’ll never use in real life. Making learning relevant is connecting it to real life, if you manage to connect even the unconnectable thing to real life, you’re super successful. To achieve this, it’s best to use case studies, examples from real life that will show them your teachings come from the actual life outside school.
Why are engaging students so important?
For so many reasons… Students have to be involved in the process if they are aiming at getting the best out of them. Listed below are some of the importance:
- enables memorization of the essential, clarifies concepts, and develops skills
- gives more frequent feedback to students about their progress during learning
- meets different learning styles in students
- enable students to think and speak about the content they are learning
- enables the practice of essential learning skills, e.g. cooperation in learning through work in pairs or groups
- increases students’ self-confidence by talking to other students
- creates a sense of community in the classroom through increased student-student and teacher-student interaction
- gives the teacher direct feedback on the degree of adoption, understanding or misunderstanding, and misconceptions that need to be corrected.
Today’s teachers are striving to abandon traditional ways of learning and teaching in order to prepare students for the world outside school that will require them to strive for perfection, always learning new things, and improving what they already know. Due to the extremely large differences between traditional and modern teaching, it is necessary to make some changes and make future teachers aware of why it is important to change the way and strategies of teaching and learning that will be of great benefit to students.