Kids these days have rather short attention spans. Teachers have their work cut out for them, especially when teaching subjects that their students don’t generally enjoy. If you’re a teacher, here are some ideas for how you can make learning fun for your students.
Award Students for Learning
Younger students can be very motivated by stickers, small toys, and cool pencils. Put stickers on tests when students score well or show marked improvement over their previous scores. Offer small toys or sugarless gum for class participation, maybe even letting students vote on who contributed the most to the class each day. Bookmarks are a good choice for encouraging students to read, as well, annd could be used as a reward for extra credit book reports that fall outside of the realm of homework.
Throw a Party
Students of all ages will enjoy having a party during class time. You can make it educational, too! During a Thanksgiving party, you can incorporate age-appropriate information about history and the first Thanksgiving. Celebrate Earth Day by decorating the classroom and discussing the environment. For a science class, you could discuss how recycling works or how long it takes for various substances to break down in a landfill. For a literature class, ask students what books they’ve read that have environmental themes. (i.e. The Lord of the Rings trilogy is chock full of environmental warnings.)
Provide Hands On Lessons
If at all possible, let kids use as many of their senses as they can while learning. If you’re learning about different types of birds, take them out for a 20-minute class “field trip” into the woods to see how many different birds they can identify. Use visual aids like M&Ms when teaching multiplication tables so that students can see what 7 x 8 looks like when represented by candy. Be creative! Your students will appreciate it.
Use Arts & Crafts
Even older students like to be able to express their own creativity. You can complement even the dullest history lessons by having students create something that represents their interpretation of what they learned, whether they write a poem about Harriet Tubman or create a collage about the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. Younger students can draw or color pictures that go along with the day’s lesson, or you can use artwork as a writing prompt. You can find some great Arts & Crafts at SmileMakers.com.
How Will You Motivate Your Class Today?
Do you have any other great ideas for making learning fun for your students? We’d love to hear your suggestions.