Whether you are homeschooling your children, or helping them with virtual school, you might be helped by some ways elementary school teachers keep kids engaged.
Most people have fond memories of elementary school. The experiences we fondly remember from childhood are playing with friends on the playground, being great at tetherball, and gossiping and giggling on the monkey bars.
We often hear about the Common Core standards and how students need to be prepared for college. The carefree days of elementary school are gone, as teachers and parents push kids to excel to even higher learning standards.
Why It’s Important to Make Learning Fun for Kids
Kids need fun at school. When students are excited about learning, they are more likely to participate and remember the lesson. How can we make school more engaging and interesting for students?
10 Tips for Making Learning Fun and Engaging For Children
If schools are more fun, kids will want to learn more and will Therefore have a lifelong love of learning. If you want to keep your students engaged and motivated, try adding some variety to your lessons. Here are 10 ways you can make students more excited about learning and education.
1. Break up Your Lessons
Most lessons consist of lectures, especially when you’re teaching a new topic. You cannot expect young children to sit still and listen to you for a long period of time. Adding breaks to your lesson keeps students excited and engaged.
Give an introduction, then try an activity. Continue talking, then do another group exercise or get students out of their seats for a round of jumping jacks. Finish the class with a discussion. Even a 30-second break every six minutes will help a lot. This will help keep your energy and enthusiasm up You should try to change up your lesson plan and teaching style every day to help keep your energy and enthusiasm up. If kids learn in new ways and do novel things, they will be more likely to pay attention to the material.
2. Give Your Students Choices
Children don’t have many opportunities to make decisions for themselves during the day, whether they are at school or at home. Sometimes all they want is to have a say. When kids are given the power to choose, they are more likely to be engaged in and committed to what comes next. Giving your students choices in what activities they do or what homework assignments they have can help them be more engaged in the lesson. Making lessons more fun by giving kids choices will help them develop decision-making skills.
3. Incorporate Games
Games are a great way to get your students engaged in your lesson plan. Apps can make learning more fun by incorporating elements of review and memorization into the learning process. The games are not only educational but Fun There are plenty of free educational games online that don’t require much prep time or expense. Not only are these games educational, but they’re also FUN! The students will be excited for the review days and other lessons that have game-like elements.
4. Create Group Time
If you let students work together, they will remember the information better and for a longer time. Cooperation also helps develop critical thinking and communication skills. Breaking up the same routine by incorporating group time makes learning more enjoyable.
Here are a few tips to keep group time productive.
- Keep it short: Cap group time at five minutes to keep students focused on the task they need to accomplish. Once time runs out, call students back to discuss their takeaways and answer any questions they may have.
- Assign roles: Give each student a role within their group. Students will know what to expect when group work begins, so they’ll be able to focus easier.
- Provide sentence starters: Jumping into a group conversation with classmates can sometimes be awkward or intimidating. By providing the start of a sentence related to the topic, you’ll give students a jumping-off point to get the discussion started right away.
5. Get up and Move
Most elementary school kids get fidgety after sitting in one place for too long. Your kids deserve a break, and so do you. It’s time to get up and get moving.
If your kids are struggling, give them a break or try to make your lesson more fun by incorporating movement. The following text provides tips for giving students quick breaks throughout the day. These short breaks are a great way to help students stay focused and avoid burnout.
You could also incorporate movement into your lesson plans. Here are some teaching methods that gets kids to move around and be engaged.
- Silent discussion boards: Put up poster papers around the room with questions written on them. Students can walk around the room and write their answers to the question on the paper before moving on to the next question.
- Walking and talking: This method combines group work and movement to create an engaging setting for discussion. Students partner up and discuss the topic while moving around the classroom together.
- Stations: Divide the room into several groups based on different tasks or questions related to the topic. Every few minutes, students will rotate to the next station and begin the next task. This method keeps them engaged and allows them to tackle the topic from multiple angles.
Make sure you offer ample opportunities for movement. When your kids know that a mini-break is coming, they will be more engaged and will have more fun.
6. Incorporate Hands-On Learning
Teachers have long relied on activities that require students to use their hands to make lessons more fun and engaging. This activity can be applied to many subjects, such as a preschool alphabet lesson, math, English, and geography.
Active learning, or “hands-on learning,” is a teaching method in which students are actively involved in the learning process. Assembly-line style lessons in which students are spoon-fed information does not encourage higher level thinking. When students are actively engaged in producing something, they are more likely to develop original insights. Furthermore, receiving direct feedback from instructors on their projects can help motivate them to work harder in class.
An assignment that involves taking action, like an arts and crafts project, is more meaningful to students and will probably be the lesson they remember the most.
7. Be Open to Creativity
Teaching from the same lesson plans year after year is easy. If you have a method that is successful, you may be hesitant to try a different approach. You will have a new group of students with different interests each year. To keep learning fun, be creative and try new things.
Essentially, you should be open to your students’ creativity. Let your students make changes to their assignments and projects, as long as they get your approval first. Their ideas could provide a different perspective on a lesson. Students who come up with ideas on their own are more likely to see the value in those ideas and feel confident in their ability to make decisions.
Holding discussions in class is one way to change things. Students can improve their focus in class and practice public speaking by taking turns leading conversations. Over time, this will help them become more self-assured. Additionally, you can evaluate their comprehension of the content by their responses to your discussion questions. This technique is most effective in humanities or language classes where there is room for answers that are not restricted to one correct answer, but it can also be used for math and science topics.
8. Schedule Field Trips
Many people have fond memories of their class field trips. These treks are a great way for your students to connect with the world and learn more about what they’re studying. If you want your students to remember their field trips more than a classroom lecture, take them to places like plays, museum exhibits, and historical sites.
If your school can’t afford to send you on a field trip, there are virtual field trips you can take online. Or, you may find a great opportunity close to your building. It doesn’t matter how you arrange a trip for your students, they will have fun and learn at the same time.
9. Make Technology Part of Your Lesson
Technology is a given in today’s world. From tablets and laptops to YouTube and Netflix, your kids are constantly bombarded with new devices, sites and software every day. Technology can be used to make learning more fun, familiar and accessible.
Make sure your classroom has plenty of tablets loaded with engaging educational apps. You can either show your kids a short clip on YouTube or TeacherTube, or you can have them read a text. You can create a PowerPoint or video yourself. Technological aids such as computers can be used to meet some of your students’ instructional needs. In addition to preparing students for the professional world, integrating technology into the classroom can also help them hone the skills necessary for most careers. With technology playing such a big role in most workplaces, it’s important for students to get comfortable using popular programs at an early age.
10. Take the Fun Outside
There are few things that bring more joy to a student than recess. Looking forward to outdoor excursions can make in-class time more fun and engaging.
Practical Ways to Help Your Child Succeed in Online Classes
1. Set a routine.
While adults might be able to get away with being inconsistent, kids cannot. It’s more important for them to be consistent. Routines are important for online classes because they provide structure for the day. Structure can help students be more successful in online classes. I don’t only mean consistently scheduling online classes for the same time of day or days of week (though if that’s within your power, certainly do that). I think it’s a good idea to help your children figure out what needs to be done before they start their online class. This won’t necessarily look the same for every child. The best routine for a child depends on the individual child, which is where parents can come in and help!
Samantha is more likely to pay attention in her online class if she’s had a snack and been able to run around the yard beforehand. She also tends to fidget and get distracted. Samantha and her mother create a routine in which Samantha has a snack and gets in some exercise before her scheduled online session. She plans to keep a fidget tool at hand to help her concentrate.
You get the idea, right? To help your children establish a successful routine for online classes, figure out what specific things will trouble shoot and help them get into a good routine.
2. Help your children be prepared.
Any time there are kids involved, this is important. Preparation is an important life skill, so why not start working on it now? A crucial part of helping your children succeed with online courses is ensuring they have effective routines, including taking time to prepare.
Things that will help you succeed in online school are being on time, having your materials ready, homework completed, being dressed for class, and having a good attitude. One way to help your children be prepared for online classes is to teach them study skills. If you need help teaching your children how to develop good study skills, our article can help get you started.
3. Teach your children time management.
Establishing a work-conducive routine for your children and teaching them time management skills are both handy ways to help them be prepared. If you try to establish a good routine and prepare everything for class but don’t manage your time well, the class will be over by the time you’re ready! (You know it’s true!)
A good first step would be to get each child a planner and demonstrate how to use it. Make sure to encourage your children to use the planner every day and make it a habit. Here are a few things you may want to encourage them to designate on the planner when first starting out:
- Mark out larger sections/chunks of homework time, class time and recreational time in different colors.
- Pencil in meal times (and meal plans, if your child is involved with that facet of life).
- Write down important class deadlines and set some smaller goals leading up to the final deadline.
The frequency with which you check your child’s planner will depend on their age and willingness to keep it updated. Checking it daily or weekly can help them stay consistent, and you can offer feedback about the types of events that should be recorded. Once it becomes a habit to check your phone less often, you probably won’t have to check it as often.
You can also teach your children to mark holidays, family vacations, or any other days (such as family birthdays or play dates, etc.) that you know you won’t be doing school on the calendar. This will help them keep track of when they need to do school and when they don’t. This way, your children can see which days they have free to work on assignments and study for tests. It’s important for students to learn to schedule time for tasks that will span multiple days, such as long-term projects or studying for exams. This will help them develop time management skills.
Johnathan, 14, needs to finish his science project due next Thursday. It will take him at least two days and possibly three to finish. He will not be in school next Tuesday because he has guitar lessons and then he is playing basketball with friends. He will need to set aside time on Friday, as well as next Monday and Wednesday, to work on the project and make sure it is finished by Thursday.
4. Encourage engagement.
It can come as a surprise to realize that kids don’t always know they should do certain things. You should make sure your children strive to positively engage with the instructor in online classes. This includes:
- paying attention
- asking questions
- making comments
- taking notes
- and interacting in class discussions
You can help your children learn by setting a good example yourself. Show them how to be engaged and interested in learning, and they will follow your lead. Try to keep up with what your children are learning in school by asking questions and talking about it. Although you may not have a complete understanding of the topic, you can help your child by having them explain it to you. This will also aid their understanding as they have to articulate their thoughts on the subject.
You can discuss the course material outside of online classes in a fun and easy way. For example, if your high schooler is studying the American Revolution, you could discuss some of the founding fathers together (and maybe even watch Hamilton!). The point is that you should try to find ways to get your students interested in what they are learning online, outside of the classroom. This will help them understand that it is good to talk about what they are learning. It can be helpful to explain things to someone else as a way to learn. Even if the topic is something you’re not interested in or fully understand, talking about it with your children can help them remember the information better.
5. Don’t forget to incorporate healthy habits.
You can help your children excel in an online class by promoting a healthy lifestyle that includes good nutrition, sufficient sleep, regular exercise, and opportunities for creativity and fun. Balance is important for kids to learn so they can be successful. It is important to make time away from the computer for other facets of a well-rounded childhood, especially if they are spending a lot of time using the computer for online classes.
Show your support for their healthy habits just as you would for their online coursework. Joining in on healthy habits is a great idea! It’s not only a great example for your children, but by sharing experiences with them you can create a stronger bond while also potentially becoming healthier and more productive yourself!
Are you struggling to help your child with their online classes? I hope you all realize that you each have the ability to make a large impact! You can help your child learn a lot by using these five strategies: creating a good work environment, being prepared, managing time well, talking about academic topics, and taking care of oneself. Wow! We can teach our kids a lot, even when we’re not teaching them specific subjects like history or math.