Engaging students in class is critical in successful learning experiences. It increases attention and focus, motivates participation, and provides the highest level of opportunity to learn. Hands-on activities and experiential learning encourages student involvement and helps them to better retain information. But how can you get them involved in discussions, simple question-answer sessions, or effective evaluation? Here are 5 simple tips and tools to help teachers encourage students to participate in active learning and liven up student responses! Feel free to leave a comment with some tips of your own!
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One | Speaking Stick
Get kids excited about participating in class without blurting out answers or speaking out of turn. There are many structured student response systems out there. Try using these adorable Rainbow Hand Pointers as a “speaking stick.” The first person to raise his or her hand must wait until given the Hand Pointer before speaking. Not only are these Hand Pointers eye-catching and fun, but they empower students to answer and are easy to pass around the room. As a bonus, the Rainbow Hand Pointers serve double duty—they’re perfect for presentations too!
Two | Eyes in Front
Every classroom could benefit from a little bling at the front of the room to draw in students’ eyes. Decorated bulletin boards are wonderful, but what about the whiteboards that are front and center? Use magnetic attention grabbers to keep your students’ eyes up front. Magnetic Hand Pointers do just the trick to capture attention and point to important topics, lessons, and notes written on the board.
Three | Game Show Fun
What better way to engage students than through game play? Use low-tech devices, such as Answer Buzzers, to turn class instruction or assessments into fun quiz show activities. These buzzers have different sounds to clearly identify who “rang in” first.
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Four | Boards to Prevent Boredom
Try using these Write & Wipe Answer Boards in class for interactive learning. They are a great way to spice up the school day and encourage student involvement. Each student can participate and answer without chaos and calamity ensuing. Teachers can see who has answered correctly and who needs assistance without drawing attention to strugglers, and the handles help keep the written answers from smearing.
Five | Patience
Sometimes, no reaction is required. Adequate wait time is critical for student response, so make sure to give students time to process the information, formulate answers, and express responses. When given ample time, students’ confidence increases and answers may be more in-depth and complete, which all lead to positive learning experiences.