Do you see your students yawning in the class? Are they staring into space with somewhat visible z’s over their heads? You may be making the best lesson plan there can be, or trying all those engaging activities. But, if you see your students zoning out in the classroom, it is time to change your tactics. As a teacher, you must have had moments where you saw a flash of interest in the students’ eyes when they didn’t want the class to end, and you felt like they actually learned something while having fun. Unless you’re the teacher who reads a textbook in a monotone throughout the period, you want to see that spark and let it continue a bit longer.
Here are some of the ways you can make your class more fun, not just for the students, but also for yourself:
Humans are very curious by nature, and children are even more so. Don’t just deliver a lecture; make your students feel like Sherlock Holmes! When they think they are solving a mystery, they are much more likely to stay attentive and focused in the class. You can give them clues in each class for the next class. Depending on their level (grade), give them an incentive – it doesn’t have to be too big. Then, ask them about it in the next class, and of course, do NOT forget to follow through with the promised reward.
Have a Conversation
Teach your students like they are your friends, and you’re just having a conversation. Teaching does not have to include rigid lectures; instead, just talk to your students. It makes them feel more comfortable and helps them remember concepts better. Go with the flow and ask them lots of questions to keep them alert. Use real-life examples to make the lessons relatable. Let loose and have fun, and your students will automatically join in. Tell jokes and let them tell jokes. This way they are bound to have fun.
Use Creative Material
Using the same lesson plan, again and again, doesn’t mean the lectures are wrong. It just makes it monotonous, so much so that even you stop having fun. If you don’t like what you’re teaching, how will the students enjoy it? The educators at ljharper.com.au believe that you need to use creative methods and innovative materials to keep the students interested. You can incorporate creativity in the homework you give! You can even give your students new things to learn at home that will be reinforced in the classroom later. This strategy is called ‘flipped’ and it has proven to be quite successful in making students more engaged in the lesson. You can also use games as a strategy while teaching.
Let The Students Choose
Yeah, you read that right. The choices don’t mean that you let them make the whole lesson plans. All you have to do is give them a list of topics that you will teach and let them choose one by voting. This will make them feel empowered and will motivate them to take an interest in the lesson. After all, they chose it themselves. It also instills a feeling of belonging to the team and maybe teaches them a little about democracy early on.
You can use a similar strategy by writing six different tasks on the board and asking them to choose only three. This will instill independence and decision-making. Again, by making a choice they will feel compelled to do it better.
Digitize your lesson plan
We know the Millennials love their gadgets. To make lectures more fun for them, use their gadgets! Use an interactive display like a Smartboard, videoconference with some guest speaker, or let them use tablets to play educational games in the classroom. You can put up funny videos, or use gifs in a presentation that might crack up the students. Just see how their eyes light up when you tell them they are using tablets to draw or play a game. You can videoconference another class, possibly in another country, and let them all work on a project together online. Now, that has to be fun!
To ensure that your students are having fun, you need to have fun teaching them. Whether you use teaching resources, technology, or games, it is important to incorporate the lesson’s objective within them the right way. All you have to be is a little more creative while keeping the lesson itself simple. Have fun teaching!