Ensure Active Learning Through More Classroom Participation

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Teachers want their students to participate more in a goal to achieve active learning. Given here are a few techniques that work for all kinds of classroom problems.

#1. Repetitive content: Some content needs to be repetitive especially if you are conducting a test and need to review the lesson. If you find the students tuning out the here’s how to hold their interest.

  1. Ask them questions related to their prior knowledge of the topic. This can be in the form of questions or a few jot downs as answers. Your goal should be to gauge what they already know. This helps to build up their confidence and also enables you to teach them what they don’t know or remember without sounding repetitive.
  2. Divide them in skills groups: Divide them in to groups and give them the skills that they need to practice. If one group is dealing with addition in fractions, the other can be about conversion to decimals and so on. Interchange the topics and take them forward only after you feel they are 100% in the topic. This ensures specific allotment of time and focussed review of topics.
  3. Let them be the teacher: Again divide the class in to groups and ask them to teach each other. The leader of each group needs to ensure that each member is 100% thorough. They can even frame tests and score their partners. Give them credit for innovative approach and learning accuracy.

#2. Difficult content: In each and every subject some content is difficult. Some students feel embarrassed to ask questions and so it is difficult to gauge their understanding.

 

  1. Question box: Make a box for questions. Ask the students to write and submit their questions anonymously. Then pick out the cards one by one and discuss the answers. In this way all kinds of doubts pertaining to the topic are discussed in class.
  2. Review work: Make partners and allow them to review each other’s work together. Encourage them to make changes if they have made mistakes. Chances are they will clear each other’s doubts and then submit work that is accurate. If not then you can always help them out.
  3. Create experts: When you are teaching a particular topic, make groups and assign a certain portions to them to master. If you are teaching about nutrients, then give each group one nutrient to master, regarding foods it is found in, diseases caused by imbalance of that nutrient and so on. Once they are done, change teams and include one expert in each team. Now in each team there will be experts on different nutrients. Te next step would be to teach each other. This works well for most subjects.

 

#3. More information but less time: Some topics are such that they are crammed with information that you need to give to the students in very less time. Most teachers end up adopting lecture method to finish the portion and the class ends up being boring with no real learning.

 

  1. Give bite-sized information: Research shows us that the attention span of a student is equal to the age. That means even senior students can take about 15-18 minutes. So, try and give information lasting not more than 15 minutes. Break up the content in small parts and let each part sink in. Follow up with appropriate questions to evaluate learning. This will definitely improve the comprehension.

 

  1. Keep them engaged: When you talk for a while, students tend to lose focus and stare in to space. The best way to hold their attention is to give them handouts with blank spaces which they need to fill in as the lecture proceeds. You can have a lecture bingo in the class and get their undivided attention too.
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