Teaching Strategies: 12 Solutions to Increase Student Participation (Part -I)

By: Admin 07 April, 2017

Every teacher wants to know how to motivate students to participate in class, and how to have more involved students and fewer apathetic ones. With a little extra planning, that is possible.

Below are listed four common reasons why students don’t participate, and solutions to those problems.

Problem 1: Repetitive Content

Lessons may have the same kind of content. Maybe it needs to be repetitive because the students need to know the topic thoroughly. Or it is a revision for a test. In any case, they’re tuning out.


Solution 1: Check prior knowledge


Teacher can simply ask, “What do you know about the topic?” and write their responses on the board. Through that the lesson can be improvised. Also try the graphic organizer called K-W-L chart (Know, Want-to-know, Learned). The idea is to find out what students already know, or think they know. Then tailor the lesson around it and tell the students the things they do not know about the topic.


Solution 2: Skill Groups


Divide the class into groups based on the skills they need to practice, just for some periods. For example, one group for problems on fractions, second group on decimals, third group on percentages, and so on. Make a group of students those who are top scorers, and put one in each problem group so that they can help the other kids. The teacher can move between groups and monitor the activities. This way more students are engaged and they get specific focused practice time.


Solution 3: Let Students Teach Each Other


When revising before an examination, divide the class into groups and give each group a topic. Let them prepare that thoroughly and teach it in class to other students. Also, teacher can ask student groups to prepare tests on the topic and review other groups. These interesting activities are a great way to keep students engaged and motivated.






Problem 2: Tough Content

Teaching tough topics is half of the problem. The other half is with older students, who won’t ask questions in class to clear their doubts in fear of ‘looking stupid’.


Solution 1: Anonymous Questions




Put out a ‘question box’ where students can submit questions anytime. Ask each student to write down their queries and put in the box after class. If they don’t have a query, ask them to write a comment on what they liked and disliked. You’ll know what parts of the lecture most students did not understand, and students can ask questions freely without getting embarrassed.


Solution 2: Let them work together



When reviewing homework, ask students to check their partner’s work. If you want them to learn the content, why not let them work together? When they’ve finished, review as a class. Students may be less embarrassed to share a group’s answer than their own and the teacher may be able to complete the review more quickly.


Solution 3: The Jigsaw Approach



When introducing new, difficult content, divide the class into groups and ask each group to master only one portion of it at a time. Ask them to become class ‘experts’ on the topic. Then divide the class into that include one “expert” on each topic. Ask these new groups to work together to write an essay or complete a worksheet that requires information about all the topics in the chapter. They will teach each other in the process. Give class time and monitor regularly.


Problem 3: Too much information, very little time


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This article has excerpts from the site ‘TeachHub’. Read the original here.