How Can Teachers Keep Students Engaged in Learning?

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How many of us can remember not wanting to get up and go to school? Even as an "A" student, I can certainly remember feeling that way! The days spent filling in worksheets and completing textbook pages were often torturous! They were so BORING!

As an educator now, I have come to discover it does not have to be that way. There are so many ways to thoughtfully teach children by truly engaging them in the content they are learning. Making their learning relevant, hands-on, collaborative, project-based, providing them with choice, and simply differentiating their instruction are just a few effective teaching strategies educators can use to make learning engaging in their classrooms!

With pressures from standardized test results, many educators are resistant to break away from lectures, textbooks, and worksheets, as these vehicles of learning ensure they are "covering" everything needed to be successful on those tests. Think about, however, the amount of learning students are getting out of those activities. As a simple example, do you think a 10-year old would get more out of a worksheet with probability questions, or a hands-on activity and reflection that focuses on probability? When students find the work they do to be fun and engaging, they are better connected to the content of the activity.

It is a traditional practice for teachers to stand in front of her audience of students and tell them everything she knows about a topic. She assumes, of course, that the kids are taking it all in. I still have notebooks from college where the notes I was taking on those "engaging" lectures turned into straight lines due to falling asleep! Yes, some teachers can make lectures fabulously entertaining, which helps immensely; however, most teachers, due to time constraints and pressures, do not take the time to do that.

What's wrong with letting students explore new content when learning? Why not foster their sense of wonder? Instead of lecturing about democracy, let them explore about it through a Web Quest. Instead of telling kids all about physical and chemical change, let them make discoveries about it through experiments. Instead of teaching students research skills through making them research a specific topic, let them decide what they want to learn more about and research that.

There are endless ways to help engage students in the classroom. Through utilizing various effective teaching strategies, the opportunities to increase student engagement are endless. Truly, by even changing one practice, a teacher can increase her students' achievement in the classroom. Is not it worth it?

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Source by Kim Amburgey

Teaching Strategies For Developing World Literature Appreciation

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There are many wonderful teaching strategies educators can use to cultivate and develop an appreciation of world literature within their students. Initially, developing an appreciation for world literature in high school students requires that teachers select reading material with themes that are relevant to the modern era in which we live.

Interest and appreciation for the book To Kill A Mockingbird for example could be generated by having a brief class discussion on race relations. The teacher and students could collaborate to create a detailed timeline of 15 to 20 social, cultural, and political events that occurred in the 1930s. The activity would familiarize students with the attitudes and issues of the Depression era in the deep South, while simultaneously teaching students how African-Americans overcame such prejudicial attitudes.

Following the class discussion on race relations, teachers could ask students to keep reading journals and document their reactions to the book as they read it. Reading journals allow students to enjoy literature and make remarks about points of interest as they come to them during the reading.

Next teachers can assign students free writing exercises in which they can respond to elements of the story, as well as prompt driven responses. Important elements of the story, aspects crucial to the theme, and anything of unique interest to a student should be encouraged to be reflected upon during the reading. The story's main conflict, it's level of importance, and possible solutions are all worthy topics for students to evaluate and discuss.

Evaluations containing students' assertions and assumptions should cite supportive textual evidence. This will clearly demonstrate students' mental comprehension processes.

Worthy of recognition in Harper Lee's novel To Kill A Mockingbird is the author's observations of her family and neighbors. The events which occurred in her hometown in 1936, made a profound impression upon the ten-year-old Scout. The issues of rape, race relations, gender bias, and class conflict all were found throughout the text. These issues are seemingly universal in nature and therefore effect every generation. The primary themes of racial injustice and the destruction of innocence are both disheartening and enlightening. These themes provide students with a sufficient amount to think about, when posed in the form of meaningful and probing questions.

The noble lessons within the novel emphasizing tolerance and decrying prejudice are instructional for students, while giving them much to discuss and write about.

The character Atticus stated, "You never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them." This heartfelt instruction to his children awakened compassion in them to not be so quick to prematurely judge a man, nor a matter. Teachers can ask students when if ever they prematurely judged a person or situation. Students should also be asked how they remedied the wrong and made it right.

Jem, Scout, and Dil all attended the court hearing of Tom Robinson, a negro gentleman who had been falsely accused. As a sign of solidarity and racial unity, the children sat upstairs in the courthouse with the black Pastor and folks. Questions about the role of each character, what their temperament portrayed and revealed, along with the possibility of what that person might be doing today all are excellent and thought provoking questions for students.

Tying the literature together with modern day events will also enable the students to apply what they are learning. A discussion about what Atticus would have said and done had he been alive in our day would be a stimulating conversation for students.

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Source by Paul Davis

Effective Teaching Strategies Classroom Management And Teaching OESL

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In my six years of experience of teaching English as a secondary language to both students from the intermediate (4th-6th grades) and high school levels, I realized that no amount of knowledge and language competency could ever make up for a teacher's ability to actually "sell" information so that he / she develops in the student an inherent love for learning English. I graduated from one of the prominent schools in the Philippines. I could say that in terms of mental aptitude, I fair well with an IQ of above 110 mark. But this was not my ticket to success insofar as being able to raise the bar in implementing my teaching objectives effectively.

My epiphany came to me one summer when, bluntly, a student of mine said as a form of reaction to the plummeting results of their final examinations that since most the class failed, there must be something wrong with the way I taught. Before my blood could curdle, I began to think that maybe he had a point.

I tried to look at the individual anecdotal reports of my students. I was surprised to see that the very same students who were flunking my subjects used to ace English during the previous year. I started asking about the teacher whom I have replaced. Most of the students answered, "She was strict." The manner by which the word "strict" was said did not strike me as something said out of bitterness; it was more out of utmost respect for the teacher that allusion was made. I had asked some of my closest students and most of them said that I lacked the capacity to manage the class, behaviorally speaking.

I was dead set to setting things right before another school year began. I had decided to implement out-of-the-box strategies and techniques to classroom management and teaching oral English as a secondary language, some of which, to this time, I still use because of its efficacy:

1. The Four Houses – the teacher divides the class into four houses (Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin) in reference to JK Rowling's popular novel. The grouping is based on certain qualities that each member have in common with other students. The Four Houses will serve as the class' permanent grouping scheme each time there will be group activities. The teacher also gives reward points – House Points – to members who actively participate during recitation. Each house is to acquire as many House Points as possible. At the end of each term, the teacher treats the winning group into watching a Movie of their choice. (CAVEAT: the movie titles require teacher's approval before viewing).

2. Popcorn Party – The Popcorn Party works side by side with the concept of the Four Houses. The House with the most House Points gets to enjoy watching a Movie over popcorn.

3. The Silent Walker – The teacher mentally picks out names of students before the class begins. The students whose names have been picked are expected to behave throughout the entire period; they will be the Silent Walkers of the day. If a Silent Walker violates any of the house rules, the class loses 3 Silent Walker points. The objective of the game is for the class to acquire enough Silent Walker points because each point is equivalent to 1 minute free time. If the class successfully completes the 60 point mark, the entire class will be in for a treat of a) a home movie or b) a free reading time.

4. Friday Letters – each Friday of the week is allotted to writing activity. The implementation of this activity would make the students think that they are not really having a lesson but that they are simply expressing themselves through. The teacher provides parameters (the theme and objectives) to which the students will base their compositions. Class is almost always conducted outside of the classroom; in a place which usually encourage students to think creatively and leisurely.

NB: The techniques mentioned are not original concepts. They have been practiced in some American schools. There are plenty of effective techniques which are not mentioned. The use of such techniques will prove to be for the benefit of both the instructor and the students. Not only will the classroom be more manageable in terms of the class' collective behavior, but it will also improve the its attitude toward learning secondary languages ​​or any lessons from any academic discipline, for that matter.

If this article happens to get published and you happen to read it, feel free to share with us some ideas (borrowed or original). Teaching is fast becoming a serious science. The implementation of each lesson requires the instructors full contemplation on its planning and execution.

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Source by Giancarlo Dizon

What Are the Most Effective Teaching Strategies?

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Out of all the effective teaching strategies there is one strategy that is more effective than all others. Can there really be a number one effective teaching strategy? You bet there is, because without this strategy you will be met with blank stares from your students day after day.

If I had to decide what my most successful teaching strategy is, what I find to be the most effective teaching strategy, without a doubt it is the connection that I make with students. You see without a connection to your students, there will be little or no content understanding.

Always remember this: connection before content. This should be at the top of your list of effective teaching strategies.

This connection with your students is a two way street – you to student, and student to you. You need to give something of yourself, and in turn your students will give back something of themselves.

This connection applies to teachers at every level and in different learning situations: from kindergarten to fifth grade, high school to college; in seminars, employee training, or sales presentations. The teacher must connect with the students or audience before they will hear the message being delivered, the content.

Think back to situations you have been in, whether it was school or a sales pitch. Who are the teachers or people you connected with? Most likely they were the ones who you felt acknowledged you, wanted to get to know you, enjoyed what they were doing, and were committed to your success. They are the people you want to be around and enjoy talking to. They know and understand that connecting with students is the most important of all effective teaching strategies.

So, as an educator, how do you make this connection? Here are some effective teaching strategies for making that connection:

Be fully present in the moment. When your teaching day starts give your total focus to your students and the task at hand. This will send a message to your students that they are important.

Learn something about each of your students. This is easier for those that teach one group of students. It takes more effort for those at the middle, high school, and college level where you have large groups throughout the day, but it can be done. I think if you really enjoy teaching, you enjoy the interaction with students.

Try this quick check – write down something you know about each of your students. If you are struggling trying to come up with something for particular students make a point to learn something about them. If you have large classes set a goal for a number of students you will make a point to speak to each day. This way over the course of the week you will have connected with each of your students one on one. Sometimes we have those quiet students who slip under the radar and we do not always check in with them as often as others who are more vocal or needy.

Share information about yourself with your students. Very early in the school year my students know about my family, pets, favorite foods, what I do on the weekend (well not everything), my hobbies, and my general likes and dislikes. Sharing this information with students lets them see you as a person, and gives them common ground to connect. Little bits of information are easy to weave into your general teaching and conversations with students. Do not cross the line by giving too much personal information, or boring students with long stories about your kitchen renovation. Give information that is relevant in their lives that they can connect to.

Be in tune with your students each day and for every class. Besides connecting with them individually you also need to connect with the mood of the group. If the group energy is low, get students moving with a game or stretch break. If the group is restless and having difficulty settling down, do some calming activities with them. If students seem stressed extend an assignment deadline, or give a "night off" from homework. Being in tune with your group is such an important teaching strategy and most often students will be more productive when you respond to their needs.

Remember, each student and class is different . Respecting and acknowledging those differences will go a long way to achieving a personal connection with your students.

When you connect with students and they connect with you, they trust you and are invested in their learning. Your students will be able to hear the content you present to them because they know you are invested in their success.

Several are On there classroom Activities Which are On Effective teaching strategies for connecting with students.

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Source by Mary Muroski