With the world changing every single day, teachers need to improvise the way they teach their students. So today, we’re going to show you teaching strategies you should try in the classroom in 2020.
As technology is becoming a part of our day to day life, the attention span of students has been decreasing tremendously. They get bored with things easily. Teachers now have the added challenge of making sure that they capture the attention of their students and have to get more and more creative in finding ways to do so.
What can be done to achieve that?
It is important that as a teacher, you have a variety of teaching techniques. Students will only learn if they are constantly engaged and challenged. The best teachers have their classes constantly guessing and find a way to incorporate fun and excitement into their lesson plans.
The good thing about this is that since you see them every day, you can try out a variety of techniques and see what suits you and your classroom the best. Part of being a teacher is constantly tinkering with your methods according to the students you have. You can implement various teaching techniques throughout the period of your course and gauge the understanding of your students through those techniques.
You can also use a combination of techniques to make learning more intriguing and start to incorporate them into your lesson plan.
So, here are the top 10 techniques on how you can make a lesson a whole lot more interesting.
10 Teaching Techniques You Need to Try Now
1. Use Audio-Visual Content
Students respond much better to visual stimuli. Their ability to stay engaged and derive valuable meaning from the classroom depends on how much they can remember.
Take an example. If you teach a student in the class for an hour and then you show them a movie for an hour as well, what will the students remember more?
If I’m not wrong, the answer is the movie. There are various reasons why you need to incorporate audio-visual aids into teaching.
One of the most important reasons is that visualization helps to clarify concepts for the students.
For example, if you are teaching the process of photosynthesis in a lecture, they might not be able to understand, but if the same process is shown in the audio-visual format as a movie, they will understand the concept clearly and will be able to remember it.
You can use different graphic organizers, flowcharts, diagrams to make your concept clearer.
Having an audio-visual learning aid in the classroom will also spike the interest of students in learning. They associate screens with fun and games so it is easier to deliver a message through them and not seem like ‘boring school work’ for them.
2. Inclusion of Technology in the Classroom
With the ever-growing presence of technology, you will be able to teach your students more effectively.
Various technologies could be used in classrooms. The first and most popular one of them is audio-visual equipment.
One of the technologies can be virtual reality. This will give your students a clear perspective for the concepts which are hard to understand.
For example, instead of watching a painting of the sea, they can experience being underwater from within their classroom. There are many augmented and virtual reality software available that are interactive and give students a new perspective about things they may not have been interested in otherwise.
3. Create Games
Learning through play is a concept not many educators are familiar with. Most games do have the opportunity to teach children something about specific concepts or about general lessons in life.
Monopoly can be a tool for financial planning, scrabble a vocabulary enhancer. Jenga can be used to teach physics, the options are endless.
You could even create your own games that deal with a specific topic you want to address. Games require strategic thinking which greatly enhances concentration and can act as an accelerator to cognitive development. There are many learning-based games that can be found online and incorporating them into your lesson plan can break the monotony and give children a renewed sense of interest in the subject matter.
4. Personalized Learning
It is one of the most effective techniques for learning which can be used by the schools and the teachers. The ability to individually cater to students’ specific needs is guaranteed to improve learning. And while it may be unrealistic to design individual lesson plans for each student, allowing for some form of one-on-one time with students allows for them to clarify doubts, ask questions, and feel included.
- This can be done by setting aside time for different students each week.
- Providing different assignments to different students based on their ability.
- A scheduled ‘zero hour’ with no agenda other than conversation.
5. Experiential Learning
Experiential learning is the ability of a student to learn through experiences they acquire throughout the learning process. It involves the process of going from concept to application. The formulation of thought into implementation.
There are four stages of experiential learning:
The first and foremost thing is gaining experience. You need to provide experience to students through various activities taking place in the classroom. It can be anything. We can take a basic example of learning a new word. Here the experience lies in discovering an unfamiliar word. The word itself is still a concept to the student and he or she has no idea how to apply it in the real world.
Now that the student has acquired the experience they need to have an ability to observe the application of that experience. To continue the example given above, students need to observe where the word is used in a sentence. This provides some context to them. The more they observe, the more detail they can add to their experience. This helps in them formulating a better understanding and now they can begin conceptualization.
Now, the student has observed the application of experiences they need to conceptualize where they can apply the same experience. In this case where the word can be used. This means they try and apply their previous experience into new, unfamiliar ones. This is when they truly understand the meaning of the word and the possibilities where it could be used.
The very last step is to experiment with the experience. This step comprises using the word in an actual sentence. This means they have to now apply this word to everything else they already know about language in general to convey meaning. Through trial and error they can now understand not only the meaning of the word but its correct usage.
6. Cooperative Learning
Cooperative learning is a way to use small groups to enhance the learning experience of students. Every group activity taken regarding the studies will come under cooperative learning. This type of learning can be invaluable. Most learning in the real world is done through cooperative learning, so preparing them with the tools to effectively do that sets them up with real-life skills.
There are various benefits of cooperative learning:
- Working in groups is fun for the students. So, they enjoy doing it more rather than working alone.
- It is one of the most interactive ways of learning. This increases the participation of students in various activities.
- It is a discussion-based method of learning. Cooperative learning will persuade students to think critically while solving a problem.
- It will increase the ability of a student to work as a team which is a very important skill. Many social skills are developed when we are in a group that’s working towards a common purpose.
7. Be Flexible
While it is important to develop a lesson plan and a schedule for implementing it, one important aspect is to always be flexible. You must be nimble enough to change things up based on the student’s mood or where they are on their learning curve.
If you feel that students have to go over a concept again, even if your lesson plan doesn’t account for it, it is important that you find a way to incorporate it in. You may walk into class one day and notice that your students are highly distracted. Then you must be able to change up the plan and conduct a more interactive session.
8. Take Feedback
As a teacher, you need to be very interactive with your students. One of the best ways to do so is to get their feedback on everything.
Students want to feel heard. The ability to create an environment where free and open dialogue is encouraged plays a very important role in students’ willingness to learn. Listen to your students, their feedback may or may not be useful, but it will increase the confidence in students.
Feedback can be taken for lessons taught in class or any game played in the class. It can be anything from the speed of the lesson or the number of assignments.
9. Class Discussion
This is one of the best activities to test your students with, using a daily dose of the syllabus and making them interact with each other. You can choose an educational or non-educational topic for the class discussion.
Make various groups and give each group a topic to talk on. This will increase the two abilities of the students. The first one is to research and the second one is to work as a team and as an individual.
Class discussion not only tests the understanding of students about a topic but also challenges them to put their points across in an effective and coherent manner. This gives them the opportunity to recognize gaps in their understanding and be more motivated to fill those in.
10. Student-led Classrooms
One of the best ways to make students interested in studies is to make their own peers stand up on the stage in front of them. This peer-led form of learning is great for increasing participation. A great way to learn a concept is to teach it to someone else. And as Albert Einstein famously once said, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”
This technique allows students to communicate in a language that’s more relatable to their peers and which promotes learning.
There are various advantages:
- It will boost the confidence of students to stand up on stage.
- It will increase their ability to conduct research on a topic.
- The student-led classroom is a great way to remove a student’s stage of fear.
Teachers are the cornerstone of education, the ability to connect with students and effectively keep them engaged is what will shape them as individuals and ultimately shape society.
The shift from learning being a chore to something exciting and something students look forward to is what will transform a generation. We as educators aim to do so much more than simply impart knowledge into our students. We want to create curious minds, we want children to develop the ability to think for themselves, to use reason and creativity in equal measure.
Most of a child’s life will be spent in a classroom. It is our responsibility to transform this space into one that nurtures the intellect and develops character.
Finding innovative techniques to keep things interesting is essential to promote development.
Try using some of the above techniques and experimenting with various combinations, you’ll be surprised by the results you see.
Have Other Useful Techniques You Want to Share?
While this list provides an introduction to how to keep things interesting in the classroom it is by no means the only things available. If you have incorporated some techniques into your lesson plan and have seen results we’d love to hear from you.
Please feel free to leave a comment on what has worked for you and how you implemented them. It is through this exchange of ideas and techniques that the teaching community can constantly improve itself.