Remember when you were a child and kindergarten was a time to play and learn to tie your shoes? Well, times have changed. How can we make learning fun again? Use ten techniques to help you engage students in the classroom.
Create Simple Science Experiments
Incorporating anything that is hands-on is a great way to make learning fun. Try simple science experiments that will have students exploring density and buoyancy, or try any hands-on experiment. Before introducing any of these concepts, use a graphic organizer to have students predict what they think will happen during every experiment they conduct.
Allow Students to Work Together
There has been extensive research on using cooperative learning strategies in the classroom. Research says that when students work together, they retain information quicker and longer, they develop critical thinking skills, and they build their communication skills. Those are just a few of the benefits cooperative learning has on students.
Incorporate Hands-On Activities
Hands-on activities are a fun way for students to learn. Alphabet activities are not just for preschoolers. Use fun, hands-on alphabet, math, English, and geography activities to help students learn in a memorable way.
Give Students a Brain Break
Elementary students work very hard each day and they deserve a little break. For most teachers, it's easy to see when students have had enough and are in need of a quick pick-me-up. Research has shown that students learn best when they have a brain break throughout the school day.
Go on a Field Trip
What's more fun than a field trip? Field trips are a great way for students to connect what they are learning in school with the outside world. They get a hands-on view of everything they learned in school, and they get to connect what they learned to what they are seeing at the exhibit.
Make Review Time Fun
When your students hear the words "it's review time," you may hear a few sighs and groans. You can turn those groans into grins if you make it a fun learning experience.
Incorporate Technology Into Lessons
Technology is a great way to make learning fun. Research has shown that using technology in the classroom can increase student learning and engagement. While using overhead projectors and tabletop computers can still facilitate student interest, they just may become a thing of the past. Smartphones and tablets offer a variety of classroom apps that can meet all of your students' instructional needs.
Create Fun Learning Centers
Any activity that gets students working together and up and moving around will be fun. Create fun learning centers that give students a choice of study topics. You can also design centers that allow them to use computers or electronic devices.
Teach to Students Ability
Like most educators, you probably learned about Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligence Theory when you were in college. You learned about the eight different types of intelligence that guide the way we learn and process information. Use this theory to teach to each students' ability. This will make learning much easier for the students, as well as a lot more fun.
Limit Your Class Rules
Too many class rules and expectations can hinder learning. When the classroom environment resembles a boot camp, where is all the fun? Choose three to five specific and attainable rules, and try to adhere to this limit.