By: Kandace Heller
In a day and age when the American education system is under fire, teachers need to think outside of the box in order to engage their students in learning. Children can no longer afford to be passive or coast through their school days. Here are four ways that teachers can get their students to be involved in the classroom.
If You Can’t Beat Them, Join Them
Technology is here to stay. Mobile devices, video games, apps and electronics are a major part of life for children today. Rather than fight these influences in their lives, teachers need to bring technology into the classroom and incorporate it with learning activities. Many teachers are now including online components in their courses. Students need to look at a site at home to discover assignments, post responses and interact with their classmates. Tablets are in use beginning in preschool as children participate in learning games, create cartoons and write stories that can make a splash on the Internet.
Hands-On Is A Plus
When students can be involved in hands-on learning, teachers will be able to keep their interest. Math lessons are more effective through the use of manipulatives. Projects involving cooperative learning will light a spark in social studies and English. Science labs are often the highlight of the day when children can use equipment and perform experiments. See http://www.microscope.com/compound-microscopes/schools-students/ for affordable microscopes and additional components.
Give Students Empowerment
Children need to be given responsibility. When they have duties in the classroom, they will be learning real-life skills. Allow them to decide on the jobs necessary to create a task, delegating authority amongst themselves. Make sure every child is clear about his or her role in a given situation. Children need to understand having roles is a good representation of what will happen in the real world when co-workers must work together.
Let Children Be Problem-Solvers
Present a problem to students and let them run with it. Allow children to look at a topic from many different angles, do their own research and come up with various solutions. It’s important for students to realize there are many ways to come up with the correct answer. Creative thinking and time to process information is a must.
Active involvement is key in a successful classroom. If our students are to excel, they need to pursue an education with eagerness, opening new horizons for themselves.
Kandace Heller is a freelance writer from Orlando, Florida.