Well, I am a student and most of the time I get bored because teachers have the same schedule of teaching. What are some suggestions that would keep students paying attention?
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You can't entertain students. The point of school is to learn, not to be entertained. There is no subject for which lessons can always be as fun as watching TV or hanging out with your friends.
That said, teachers can try to be less boring. It is important, for example, for teachers to break up class by doing different things. Instead of just talking the whole class, for example, they should break it up by asking questions or by doing a short quiz, or what have you just to be sure that they are not doing the same thing all class long.
I must agree with pohnpei. It is not the job of a teacher to entertain students. Instead, it is the job of the teacher to educate. Unfortunately, students today are overly stimulated. Face it, students are (for the most part) plugged in to something (cell phone, social networks, video games) all day long. When it comes time to sit still and focus on something which does not attack the senses, they tend to become bored. One suggestion is to focus on the lesson in the same way that you focus on the computer, the television, or the phone.
When you say "entertain" it implies that the activity should be mindless and for the sole purpose of enjoyment. I think a better choice of words would be to say "what can teachers to do keep students engaged." When you are engaged, you are more interested and are learning, sometimes without even realizing it. It takes a good teacher to use engaging lessons that make students think they are being entertained when they are actually learning on a deep level. This is something I try to challenge myself with daily, because if my students aren't engaged, I know I've lost them.
When I was in school (and I still firmly believe this) I found that the more I participated, the more "entertained" I was in school. If I didn't feel like contributing to class discussions, I did it anyway because I knew that would keep me awake, and eventually I forgot that I didn't feel like it and it became fun for me. You have to be in school, right? Why not make the best of it? And hopefully your teacher is doing his/her best to keep you engaged.
My students usually do better with the lesson of the day if they are actually doing something, rather than passively listening. Worksheets, discussion activities, Socratic seminars, debates, acting things out, creating posters, writing on the board or using the projectors are all ways I get my students moving or actively thinking about their learning.
I personally think that variety is the key to success. Any teacher worth his or her salt should try to create lessons that will engage their students. We don't set out to be deliberately boring as teachers, I hope! This means that we need to take into account the attention span of our classes and plan accordingly. For some classes I have shifted activity every 5-10 minutes to keep students engaged, as well as planned a real mix of different activities.
Diversity and choice are the keys!
Now that differentiated instruction is the most accepted teaching methodology these days, one should not have any problems keeping students entertained in class.
Differentiated Instruction is the act of assessing students prior to the teaching, understanding each of the student's needs and likes *based on prior assessment* and then designing a diversity of projects that would touch on the wants and needs of students in a variety of ways.
This sounds hard, but it isn't. Think about it. After you do a student inventory and assess your students prior to the lesson you can get a clear idea of who is who in class. Then, you make pairs of students based on those who are MKO's *most knowledgeable others* and pair them with struggling students who share the same things with them.
The menu of projects that you provide them are ALL based on the SAME skill. For example: If I am going to teach ordered pairs on Friday and I know that 10 of my students are very low in math and 8 are better suited, then I will pair up those students and give 4 different centers in class ALL based on ordered pairs at different levels of difficulty.
First, teach the lesson as a whole group for about 20-25 minutes. Ask if there are any questions. This is the analytical part of the lesson.
During those 25 minutes show pertinent samples of work and creative ways to use the skill. For instance, you can show a game of Battlefield on the computer and explain that, hey, those are ordered pairs too! This is the "creative" part of the lesson.
Then comes the application part or practical part of the lesson, where students will try it themselves. This section should last 25-30 minutes and it is all self-directed by the student.
Tell the students that in the next 25-30 mins they will have a menu of four different activities that they will do with a pre-assigned (MKO) partner. Assign the NON-MKO student to be the leader so that they would select the project.
They all will complete at least two. The MKO will be the leader and chooser of the second project. That way both students choose to their levels of challenge.
As they finish their projects, they will place them in a box, folder, or space in the room for YOU to look at as they go to their second try.
Notice how there is no drama, no teacher intervention, the kids are engaged, and you may be even be in a corner working on something else, while everyone is at zen.
Before you know it, they have directed their own instruction and you have exposed them up to four times to the same skill.
The next day, in those 25 minutes of analysis ask them to give you feedback and asks questions. Model the skill again in other ways. Have them try it.
In the last 25 minutes they can complete the other two projects the way they did the day before. At this point, you can call them and discuss your findings with each student in a teacher-student conference.
I disagree wholeheartedly with some of the previous posts which stated that students are not to be entertained. If any teacher has been in the classroom in the last 10 years, they we would know by now that this generation of learners, the Millennial gen, is a generation BASED on sustained affect in the form of academic activities that MUST be entertaining to them.
How are we not going to make learning entertaining when these students go home to a myriad of technologically-advanced gadgets that they can maneuver better than the average adult?
How can we expect the new learner to digest a lesson the way it was taught back in 1995!? When the WORLD, as we know it, flattened and changed since 2001 and on?
The myriad of Web 2.0 components available make the teacher RESPONSIBLE for ensuring that the 21st century learner IS given the chance to enjoy academics the way that they do casual enjoyment, but within parameters and with purpose.
Yes...BOTH the TEACHERS AND the STUDENTS deserve some form of entertaining way to enjoy their academic lives!!! Hello?!
Yeah sure the best answer for me was definitely herapleness!! Eventhough i did not recieve the answers i expected still all your answers contributed to my questions...Thanks alot!!
There are LOTS of resources out there for engagement strategies in the classroom! Although students need to be able to sit quietly and listen to their teacher, the teacher can also make learning a more engaging.
I often ask students to answer a question with a partner before I call on someone. I try to turn in simple tasks like vocabulary work into a fun game (guess my vocabulary word, or creating a silly story).
Check out youtube or teachertube for more ideas on engagement strategies in the classroom.
engage in expermients which are recorded in a fill in the blank sheet, this will ensure that we students are not bored of the usual taking notes and paying attention as you go.
Mix humour into discussions. My Psychology professor did this wonderfully, and most people loved his lectures.
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