As a teacher, you are constantly searching for ways to keep your students focused. In this day and age, attention is a commodity, so here are 10 fun ways to grab your student's attention.
1. Get Up and Move!
Studies show that allowing students to get up and move before a test, greatly improves their scores! So get them up and moving! You can do this by teaching younger kids hand clapping rhythms to go along with math problems or add foot stomping to learn a verse.
For elementary school kids, get them up and out of their desks. Have them stand behind their desks, stomp their feet to the rhythm and snap their fingers to the beat. This is a great exercise for working in groups. Have students pass the beat back and forth between them for maximum engagement.
2. Quick Writes Are Calming
So, you've gotten them up out of their seats, now it's time to refocus them for a bit of quiet time. Quick writing prompts are perfect for this!
After your activity is done, have your students sit down for 10-20 minutes, and reflect on the previous activity, discuss what happened and what they took away from the lesson. Prompts like: "How did this activity change the way you thought about X and why" will allow students to think deeply about the way their thinking was affected.
3. When Giving Instructions, Make Sure All Eyes Are On You.
Nothing is more frustrating than having to repeat yourself, but if you demand the student's attention, you won't have to. When you're about to give instructions, try this: wait until the room is completely silent and all eyes are on you. Then give the first line of instructions and have your students repeat it back to you. Say the next bit, and have them repeat the first line and then the next.
This is a great way to ensure that your students are fully engaged with the material you are presenting them. It's hard to forget something when you've had to repeat it over and over again.
4. Use A Fairness System
It can be easy to call on the same 5 kids in your class, but when you incorporate a fairness system, you eliminate the "teacher's pet" factor.
Use popsicle sticks or custom magnets with each student's name on it. Then place those into a bucket or a jar. After asking a question, rather than having students raise their hands, call a name out from the jar. This way, every student will have an equal opportunity to speak and learn directly from you.
5. Find Your Match
This is a fun activity because it includes participation with other students, meaning more social interaction for your social butterflies while the less talkative kiddos get a chance to work on verbal skills.
Create cards with questions and answers and give them out at random to each student. For example, if you're doing synonyms/antonyms - give one student a word and the other the antonym for that word or vice versa. Then have each student walk through the room to find their partner!
This is a fun way to engage because it requires both movement and comprehension.