Teaching Strategies: 12 Solutions to Increase Student Participation (Part -II)
To read the first part of the article
Problem 3: Too much information, very little time
Sometimes there’s no way around it, there is a lot of syllabus to cover in a short amount of time. Teachers want students to just absorb the content. Instead, they fall asleep or stare out the window. So, what can be done?
Solution 1: Small sized packets
Research shows the average student’s attention span is as long as their age. So even higher class kids can only handle about 15 minutes. Re-arrange lesson plans so lecture is never for more than 10-15 minutes.
Break up large concepts into smaller sections – give a brief lecture, then do an activity to help it “sink in.” Repeat this process over several days. Notice the increased participation – and improved comprehension, too.
Solution 2: Keeping them busy
Don’t allow students to stare into space. Give them something to stay connected. Try the ‘fill in the blank’ lecture notes. Delete key words and phrases in lecture notes to create a ‘fill in the blank’ worksheet. Then ask students to fill in the worksheet while you lecture.
Solution 3: Peeking into the future
Before a lecture, give students a prediction activity. For example, if the next lecture is on Shakespeare, teachers can tell that to students and ask them to predict what they will say, or give them a set of true/false statements and ask them to take their best guess.
In the lecture, instruct students to compare their guesses with what the teacher actually says.
When the lecture is over, have a class discussion and evaluate how accurate student predictions were. It is fun way to keep students engaged.
Problem 4: Emphasis is on the teacher, not the students
Solution 1: Students should be more busy than the teacher
The traditional classroom of yesteryear had the teacher at the front of the room, droning on while students doze. Re-imagine the classroom as a place where students are busier than you are.
Give them worksheets, activities, discussions, and projects. The teacher is also busy, moving from student to student or group to group, correcting, evaluating, or providing feedback. But now everyone is busy and involved.
Solution 2: Groups
Having students work in groups is one of the best ways to increase student participation. Don’t keep them in the same groups all the time – give them a chance to be the “smart kid” who can help someone one day and the kid who needs help the next.
Take a traditional worksheet or activity and give it to students in groups. Offer a reward to the group who finishes first with the most answers correct and watch them go! Note: it helps to have additional prizes available to keep groups motivated after the first group “wins.” Even high school students enjoy these competitions.
Solution 3: Give them a voice and a choice
Students should get a ‘say’ in the classroom. Kids tune out because they feel like their ideas don’t matter. Show them their opinions are important and they’ll pay better attention and speak up more in class.
There will always be some unreachable student who won’t respond, even with these efforts. But if you give these a try, you may be presently surprised at the previously unreachable students who just might join in!
This article has excerpts from the site ‘TeachHub’. Read the original here.