Teachers need resources to help keep their students engaged, but those aren’t always easy to come by. These days, more and more resources are digital and definitely not simple to integrate school-wide. So, where can teachers find the resources they need to keep students interested and focused without having a tablet on hand? We have a few outside the box ideas to help you get your students engaged without any technology at all.
1. Perform Your Lesson.
Hear us out here. Imagine you’re a student in 5th-grade social studies, and you’re learning about the presidents of the United States during the 1800s. One day, your teacher shows up dressed as Andrew Jackson to explain his time as president. Now, that’s a lesson you’re going to remember.
2. Turn on Music in the Classroom.
Studies show that music activates the left and right hemispheres of the brain, which can help to improve memory. Music can also reduce stress, which prevents the brain from absorbing information and from thinking creatively.
3. Make Up Silly Mnemonic Songs to Memorize Rules.
Mnemonics are a simple way to make a seemingly tedious memorization rule fun, and we know music helps with memory, so why not add a fun tune into the mix? Let’s say you’re teaching the order of operations in pre-algebra: parentheses, exponent, multiplication, division, addition, and subtraction – PEMDAS – Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally. Pick a popular tune, for instance, “Jesus Loves Me”, and add the words to the tune. Or, make up your own with the class!
4. Take Your Lesson Outside.
Sometimes, the classroom environment can make us all a little sleepy and lethargic. Take your students outside for a walk to get everyone’s blood moving. According to Harvard Health Publishing, a little walk could help your students remember the lesson you’re about to teach. Once you’ve gotten your walk in, pick a destination where everyone can sit on the ground in the outdoors while you handle your lesson as normal. They’ll feel refreshed and so will you.
5. Plan a Student-Led Review Session
At the beginning of the week, ask students to plan to pick a topic they enjoyed from the week to recap for the class on Friday. Other students will be excited to hear which topics are chosen by their classmates and more inclined to listen, and the students who are presenting their topics will have to have a strong grasp on the lesson in order to explain it to their peers. Plus, it will be gratifying to observe what they’ve enjoyed learning in the lessons that week. If they enjoy it, and your schedule allows, make it a Friday tradition.
Today, the world is dominated by technology. It’s everywhere you turn. But there are still some simple, effective teaching methods that can have a great impact. Even without being plugged in to all the newest technology, your students can get excited about learning, not to mention, be entertained. If you decide to put any of our tips into action, or if you have any of your own, snap a picture and post it on the Abeka Christian School Facebook page. We’d love to see how you’re engaging your students in the classroom on a budget.