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4 Ways to Energize and Engage Your Students to Increase Learning

4 Ways to Energize and Engage Your Students to Increase Learning

If you feel like you need to engage your students because lessons have been falling flat or students just aren’t retaining the material presented well enough, here are some ideas on how to engage your students.

1. Arrange Interesting or Unique Field Trips

Getting out of the classroom is a wonderful method to re-energize students, spice up the curriculum, and promote active participation.

Plan fun field trips related to topics you are currently discussing or are about to introduce to the class. You may wish to visit some interesting venues, including local museums, farms, plants, factories, historical landmarks, sports stadiums, or colleges and universities.

The last two are most effective for the older students, and as with the tip above about guest speakers, this is an effective way to introduce students to the post-secondary experience. Younger students will enjoy a trip pretty much anywhere, as long as it takes them away from the school.

Museums, farms, and other locations allow children to interact with their environment, use a hands-on approach to learning, and possibly discover a new field of interest.

2. Bring in Guest Speakers

Welcoming a wide variety of guest speakers can be used to ignite students’ imagination or spark their interest.

When implementing thematic units or organizing a large class project for the lower grade levels, an educator may wish to recruit individuals who specialize in a particular study unit.

For example, if you are conducting a unit on Ancient Greece, bring in a historian; or a unit on dinosaurs would be a good opportunity to introduce a paleontologist to the class.

If teaching the higher grade levels, ask individuals of specific professions to come into the class to discuss their careers, how rewarding they are, and the education or training one needs to obtain that position. It is never too early to get students thinking about post-secondary education and career paths they may wish to pursue.

Bring guest speakers into the classroom to engage students - read more. #edchat #teaching Share on X

3. Integrate Up to Date Technology

Students are very attracted to technology and seem to remain current on new and innovative devices. Therefore, podcasts, iPods, Twitter, YouTube, WebQuests, Facebook, and other related websites can be used as effective tools when connecting with, engaging, and teaching students, regardless of age group or academic level.

This goes hand-in-hand with the advice on differentiating instruction and ensuring that students can relate to the classroom activities. Students will be excited to use up-to-date technology, enhance their skills, and demonstrate their relevant talents.

Supplement or complement textbooks and literary sources with the apps and sites listed above. 

Technology provides an extra dimension to classroom learning. When used properly and appropriately, it can be a wonderful tool to reach out to students and stimulate a desire to learn and advance. There are fabulous videos on edutopia.org

4. Integrate Engaging Manipulatives and Hands-on Activities

When students can actively participate in the learning process, they will comprehend and remember the information to a much greater extent.

For the lower grade levels, manipulatives are excellent. Include board games, counters, music, and Bingo to connect with students to engage them. Bring fun and excitement to the classroom while still retaining the core elements needed to learn.

With older students, activities such as hands-on labs, creative writing, group projects, and class Jeopardy can be useful tools for reaching out to each student and offering a rewarding and meaningful educational experience.

Learn what you can about using math manipulatives in the classroom. These hands-on approaches help students retain the information and recall it in the near or distant future via a fun or engaging memory.

If not now, then down the road, students will appreciate the effort you put in to make the classroom interactive, interesting, and inclusive.