How to Keep Class Interesting

Every now and then, you may get a class that you just can’t seem to keep interested. No matter what you do, it seems like all of the students are bored out of their minds.
If students aren’t paying attention, and their minds are wandering, then they are not absorbing any of the information that you are giving them to pass your class. Here are five teaching strategies that you can do to keep your class interested and engaged.

1. Classroom Games as Teaching Strategies

It doesn’t matter if you are 8 years old or 18 years old, everybody loves to play games. Games are a great way to keep people engaged, and it doesn’t hurt that they are fun. A lot of the time students don’t even feel like they are learning anything because they are so into the game. If students need to learn important vocabulary words for science, play Jeopardy!. If they need to remember specific dates in social studies, play memory. Any kind of game will help to make your class more interesting as well as keep them engaged.

2. Relate Class Content to Their Lives

When you create a real-world connection to what students are learning, it will give them a greater understanding of why they need to learn it. If your students are constantly asking you why they need to learn something, and you always are answering with “because you have to,” you will lose credibility with your students, and they will continue to not be interested in what you are teaching them. Instead, give them a real answer. If they are learning math and want to know when they will need to use it, tell them they will need math to write out checks, pay bills, buy groceries, figure out how much things that want cost. This will help them connect why they must learn what they are learning for their future.

3. Make it Interactive

A traditional classroom setting, where the teacher is standing in the front of the classroom lecturing to students as they take notes, is boring. If you want your students to be interested in what you are teaching them, you must make it interactive. Get them involved in everything that you are teaching. Try the jigsaw cooperative learning method, where students work together as a team to learn and complete a task. Each student is responsible for their own part, but must work as a group in order to complete the task. By involving students and making it hands-on, you are engaging them and making them interested in the content that they need to learn.

4. Discussion

There are a variety of ways to stimulate discussion. For example, some faculty begin a lesson with a whole group discussion to refresh students, memories about the assigned reading(s). Other faculty find it helpful to have students list critical points or emerging issues, or generate a set of questions stemming from the assigned reading(s). These strategies can also be used to help focus large and small group discussions.

Obviously, a successful class discussion involves planning on the part of the instructor and preparation on the part of the students. Instructors should communicate this commitment to the students on the first day of class by clearly articulating course expectations. Just as the instructor carefully plans the learning experience, the students must comprehend the assigned reading and show up for class on time, ready to learn.

5. Integrate Technology

Technology is what students live and breathe every day. If you want to make your class the most interesting class that everyone loves to go to, then you must incorporate some kind of technology. Instead of lecturing and having students take notes, use a smart board and have students come up to the board and interact. Instead of giving students a quiz on paper, use a computer or a tablet. Instead of having students work on a project together, have them video conference with another class from another country and work with them on the project. Utilize technology in your classroom and your students will be interested and engaged in what they are learning.
Overall, talk less and involve students more. The more you make your class interactive and the more that you utilize technology, the more your students will enjoy what they are learning.
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