Teaching in the classroom is an exciting challenge. To be able to mold and shape the minds of your students is an incredible task. As you embark upon this awesome responsibility, it is important to develop your creative and innovative muscles. Students become engaged when they see a teacher who is dedicated to their education at any cost. If you’re not committed to the process and don’t seem excited to do an excellent job, your students will be less likely to succeed. As a teacher, it is your job to do all in your power to give them the tools to succeed. As a result, there are few ways you can improve your classroom experience.
- Cater to the different types of learners.
There are many types of learners. Visual, tactile, kinesthetic and auditory are among the top categories. In each lesson, do your best to find ways to cater to these learning styles.
Visual learners will love to see vibrant colors and notes written on the board. Diagrams and dioramas are excellent tools to help them remember concepts. Flash cards work well also. If possible, separate the class into different groups and allow them to reteach what they’ve learned with one another through these types of exercises.
Auditory learners need to hear things repeated in order to understand. In addition to talking concepts through, consider creating songs and raps. When you put concepts to music, they’re a lot easier for auditory learners to remember. Once they break into small groups, audial learners should audibly verbalize what they’ve learned through reciting and retelling. They can even use their small group time to create acronyms and use context clues to bring concepts together.
Kinesthetic and tactile learners learn best through touch. Building diagrams and creating physical reminders of what they need to learn will be the most helpful. They may seem like one of the hardest groups to cater to, but you can actually get more creative with them. Incorporate different physical tools into lessons such as balls, bottles, art and sports.
- Invite special guests in the line of study.
If you are the teacher of a high school history class and many of the students would like to become lawyers one day, do a fun series that includes lawyers with different specializations to come in and speak. If the period is 45 minutes, teach the regular lesson for the first 20 minutes and allow the guest lawyer to speak for the last 25. Make sure that the speaker is relevant to whatever the lesson study is. This is a great way to kill a few birds with one stone. You’ll be able to engage the students with real-life, hands-on experience through a live testimonial. You’ll connect professionals in the community with your school. The students are more likely to remember this type of lesson study. It also gives you a small break from standing and teaching for 45 minutes. It’s definitely a situation where no one loses.
- Incorporate social media and technology.
Social media and technology are incredibly popular elements in today’s landscape. If you don’t find a way to incorporate one of these powerhouses, you’re asking for trouble. There are very few people who don’t have at least one social media account. Granted, you don’t have to ask classes to log on to Facebook during classtime. A great way to engage students using social media is through Twitter. Maintain a specific hashtag for the class for a lesson study. You could have a running contest where students are required to tweet you with a specific hashtag regarding ways that they’ve implemented the lesson study in their hours away from the classroom. Always have a fun incentive so that students will participate.
Another way to incorporate technology is through iPad rentals. iPads are easily taking over laptops and notepads. They are the new devices for taking notes. They are perfect additions to the classroom for use during the lesson study. Make sure to put a special lock on the iPads so the students can stay on task with the lesson, but don’t be afraid to incorporate iPads. Students love to work with iPads and will remain more engaged in knowing that the lesson is coming to life on a brightly lit screen in their hands.
As you can see, there are many ways to improve the experience your students receive in the classroom. It may seem daunting to manage at first. With finessing and practice, you’ll get the hang of it. As long as you remain intentional about their learning, the better things will become.