One of the best parts about being a teacher is getting to see your students excited about and engrossed in their learning. If your goal is to increase student engagement and interaction, follow these three simple strategies:
- Create an interactive display
An interactive display is exactly what it sounds like—a display that invites students to think, create, and contribute. Be sure it’s easily accessible to all students, no matter their ability—but that’s the only rule. You can let your imagination (and your students’) run wild. For example, you could make a “Jeopardy!” board where students see the answer and must come up with possible questions that make sense. Another idea is an “I wonder” wall where students use sticky notes to post curiosities, questions, and wonderings about a certain topic.
- Know which tech to use
Technology can help facilitate more interaction in your classroom, but it’s important to know which tech tools will give you the most bang for your buck. Flipgrid is a highly interactive learning platform where students can record their own videos or voice recordings in response to something the teacher posts. They can also interact with their classmates by answering or commenting on each other’s content. Kahoot! is another easy-to-use tool that inspires friendly competition, as well as collaboration. Introduce topics, create fun formative assessments, review for tests, or have students make their own Kahoots! to quiz their classmates.
- Let students take the lead
It can feel scary to give up control in your classroom, but allowing students more autonomy and choice will ultimately encourage more engagement and interaction. For example, instead of telling students exactly what to do for a project, consider giving them guidelines and examples. You might also think about allowing students to set their own learning goals within the boundaries of the curriculum. An additional strategy is to give students the opportunity to become experts on a topic and teach their classmates. These types of assignments, often referred to as “jigsaw activities,” increase interaction among students and promote confidence at the same time.
By Kelli Drummer-Avendano