How to Engage Students
There are many ways to engage students: Providing hands-on activities; (White boards, active expressions, drawing, interactive notebook activities or marking while the teacher talks); putting tension in every lesson; setting time limits (stop-watch ticking down minutes); telling silly stories; imbedding humor.
Here are some other tools that hook students into WANTING to do what you want them to do:
1) Using PowerPoints with captivating visuals and silly stories. If you can get them to laugh, you’ve got them. For example, when I play the Dating Game with my students, unbeknownst to them, I put my own picture on the board along with the other movie stars. Inevitably, some boys always choose me and when they find out it is so uproariously funny that sometimes it takes me a while to stop laughing and get back to teaching.
Click this link to see the The Dating Game
The TPR Stories I use are as silly as I could make them.
Here are a few of the stories that are most popular with the students and also reinforce certain vocabulary or grammar concepts (Click on the pictures): Engage students with this TPR Story for Double-Object Pronouns
Engage students with this story on the
House and Chores:
2) Giving students choices for homework: For example: “You may either draw the vocabulary or write it twice in Spanish”. Sometimes students come up with an assignment that is better than mine. For instance, my AP students wanted to watch a telenovela so I gave them the assignment of watching several episodes and then writing the next episode. They told me that was their favorite assignment and it was great listening practice for them.
3) Polling the students to find out what current icons are popular with them and imbedding those into your curriculum. Justin Beiber used to be in practically all my activities. Who are the teenage heart throbs now? Find pictures of them and insert them into your activities.
4) Using hands-on activities such as Interactive Notebook Activities, uses more of the senses and keeps students on-task.
5) Projecting an online stopwatch that counts down as students are working on a task keeps them focused. Works like a charm.
I would love to hear ideas from other teachers. How do YOU engage your students?
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