A child not paying attention in class is one of the most challenging things that a teacher endures. When students don’t pay attention in class, they miss out on the vital information that will help them succeed not only in elementary, middle or high school, but in college and the workforce as well.
Fortunately, there are numerous tricks a teacher can employ that will help students pay attention in class.
Strategies for making students pay attention
- Make participation a part of the grade. One way to encourage students to pay attention in class is to make participation a part of their overall grade. This means that those who aren’t paying attention will likely have a lower overall grade when the quarter or semester ends. Don’t just make this a part of overall teacher discretion, be sure to keep a chart on how much students are participating and determine their grade for it accordingly.
- Reward participation. Teachers should reward those who participate in class and pay attention to lessons. Some may argue that it’s putting too many incentives on a student’s classroom behavior, but sometimes it can be just the nudge in the right direction that a student needs. Teachers can reward participation with extra credit points or extra minutes of recess time.
- Exercise. Before each class period, take a few minutes and have students stand and do light exercise movements such as knee bends, stretching, or jumping jacks. Spiking student’s heart rate increases blood flow to the brain which helps students concentrate on lesson plans and focus on assignments.
- Remove distractions. Distractions can be a huge inhibitor to learning, especially in younger, elementary education classrooms. Make sure televisions and computer monitors are turned off when they’re not in use, close window blinds if there is activity outside, and make sure students turn off cellphones and tablet computers. It’s also a good idea to remove students who are causing a disruption or distraction in the class.
- Innovative curriculum. Arguably the best way for a teacher to address a lack of attention or participation is to take a look at things that they’re doing. Look for ways to make learning fun, engaging and informative by using technology. Design classroom activities that can be done on computers, smart phones or tablets which will provide students with a more interactive method of learning.
- Make lessons relevant to life. Students like learning about things that they can relate to. So every subject that a teacher hits on should try to tie in with a student’s everyday life. By making subject matters familiar, students will be more likely respond to them.
- Ask Students to Read Aloud. When studying material from a textbook, ask individual students to read portions of the chapter aloud to the class. If necessary, divide the class into smaller groups and make sure each group member has a selection to read aloud. When finished, students should be prepared to discuss the highlights of the material they just read.