Whether your students take the bus to school or run downstairs to the computer room, keeping them engaged in their classwork throughout the day is the best way for them to master content and progress to the next level of their education.
But not all students do this, or at least, do it well. So how can teachers and principals up their game to keep students engaged and make sure each child stays focused and ready to learn?
As teacher for more than 20 years, I have 6 tips to help keep students engaged throughout the day, whether they are in a traditional or a virtual classroom.
1. Start with a question. I love my coffee. Probably too much. But kids need other stimuli to get them going. I suggest you begin each day with a with a warm-up question or icebreaker that gets students talking to you and each other right away. Let them shake off the mental cobwebs. Giving them some time to talk about how they are doing or about something that interests them is a good way to get them going–all while you are still working through your second cup.
2. Set expectations. Speaking of engagement, set the expectation right away that all students must participate in some way. In online settings, some are happy to speak up using the video and microphone, but if they are uncomfortable or unable to do that, they can use the chat and other features to fully participate. You can even use a tool like popsicle sticks or drawing names from a hat to vary who is called on to share during a lesson. Students are more likely to stay engaged and pay attention knowing it could be them who gets selected next.