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.

How to Engage Students

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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

How to Engage Students

Engage students with this story on the
Irregular Preterite:

Spanish Irregular Preterite TPR Story

House and Chores:

Spanish House and Chores TPR Story

Classroom Objects:

Spanish Classroom Objects PowerPoint and Interactive Notebook Activities

Ser:

Spanish Ser TPR Story PowerPoint

Tener:

Spanish Tener TPR Story

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 is in practically all my acitivites currently.

4)  Using hands-on activities such as Interactive Notebook Activities, uses more of the senses and keeps students on-task.

Spanish Regular Verbs Interactive Notebook Activities

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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