Four Ways to Keep Your Students Attention

student-engagementHere at Quantum Learning, we know how important it is to communicate effectively. As an educator, making sure you are not only teaching the correct material, but doing so effectively can be harder than it seems. Everyone learns differently. We all know some people are more visual, while others may be more auditory or kinesthetic learners . But how can you make sure you are reaching your students 99 percent of the time?

Engage
The dictionary defines engage as, “to occupy the attention or efforts of (a person or persons).” How do you engage your students? Are you making sure you reach them visually, auditorily, and kinesthetically (VAK)? Are your lessons interesting and reach them in their reality (schema)? If not, how can you not only teach them the content, but in an engaging way?

Command attention. Not in a drill sergeant sort of way, but in an exciting relevant way. A student’s schema is what they relate to. For instance, if you see the Golden Arches, you know that there is a McDonald’s. This is because your schema told you so.

To get inside a student’s schema, you need to stay current on trends that relates to whatever age your students are. Listen to how they talk, pick up what’s exciting in their world, and see if you can explain your lesson plans in their world.

Interact
How many times have you been in a classroom and the teacher simply stands up and talks for an hour? I’m sure you all have sat through a class like this. Where you excited to get to class? Did you enjoy the monotone lecture? Chances are, you didn’t. Take a step back and ask yourself if you are inadvertently doing the same thing.

What can you do to interact with your students? How about moving around, making your students have to work to see you. This gets their blood flowing, and yours as well. Get them involved in the conversation. Have them help demonstrate something too. The more they can interact, the more you are keeping their attention.

Relevant
This goes hand in hand with schema. Being relevant is extremely important to your students. If you talk about things that are going on currently, you are more likely to get them engaged and interacting with your lesson. Teaching history? Find a way to use current news stories as a parallel to what may or may not be happening in your lesson for the day.

Tone of Voice
This may seem like a little aspect to your delivery, but tone of voice can be a great tool. Using slight inflections in your voice can keep your students attention, and auditorily highlight key points. In the same respect, you don’t want to sound angry or offensive in your delivery. Too many highs and lows can also be distracting, and sound less professional. It will take time to get your voice exactly the way you want it, but you can do it.

What techniques have you found useful to keep your students attention? Let us know in the comments below.

Image Credit: eHow Family 

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