Engaging Children in the Classroom

Children in elementary school are young boisterous and it can often be a challenge getting them engaged in the lesson. The key is discipline. You should clearly state the rules and stick to the scheme, children need routine. If the children do not understand the rules or think that you are just going to let them off, they are a lot less likely to take part or misbehave during your lesson.

Each lesson should start with a warm up to give the children an idea of what they will be doing. If you jump straight into the lesson material then the students can be a bit cold. The warm up should ideally be fun to grasp the childrens attention. Songs are a good way of learning, there are so many educational songs on youtube that you could get the children to sing along to.

At some point you should go and have a look at some of the childrens books in your local library and get new different books that you feel are suited to the childrens ability, take them into school and you could either read them a story or you could ask for any volunteers to read the story and if you do this several times the children will gain more confidence in reading.

In some classes you could ask the children to dress up and tell them to act out a small scene that you have created, or if the children are old enough to try and make their own play you could give them the basis of what the play needs to be about and try to get them all to perform their plays and you could let the children vote on which play they thought was the best, obviously not letting them chose themselves.

Mini white boards are quite a good thing to use with all ages in education. It gets the children to think and helps them to learn. It doesn’t involve much noise or movement just simply ask them a question and instead of writing it in their books get them to write it down on the white boards and raise them. At the end of a lesson you can test their knowledge with a few questions and reward the children who get the answers right with a sweet. Hopefully the anticipation that they might get sweets may help to improve their concentration.

Nowadays there are many games on the Internet and Cd’s. If the classroom has an interactive white board you could find a game, split the class into two teams and make one child from each team go up to the board and compete against each other with the help of their teams.

If you do not have an interactive whiteboard in your classroom you could use foam or inflatable hammers. Write on the board some answers to some of the questions you are going to ask, invite two of the children to stand at the board and once you ask the question they have to hit the hammer on the board over the answer they think is correct, then the slower one or the pupil who was incorrect should go and swap his/her hammer with another.

Any of these activities could become chaotic and quite noisy. A strategy to make them stop what they are doing and listen is to establish a rule at the beginning of the lesson about clapping sequences, if they hear you clap a sequence they have to stop what they are doing and copy you, do from trhee to five sequences to ensure you have their maximum attention.