Take the classroom layout, for instance. There’ still a teacher at the front, rows of classroom chairs and students working. Innovators, however, are looking for ways to change all of this. They’re looking at ways to create differentiated learning plans for each student. And they want to find better ways to help children learn around the core syllabus.
More and more people in education are learning that the path to success must include student engagement. Engagement is a fundamental part of the learning process. When students are engaged, they learn quickly and retain their knowledge. When they are disengaged, they lose knowledge, especially over the summer break.
Part of making learning engaging is to make it fun. Here are some ideas that educators can use to make learning fun again.
With the rise of health and safety legislation, fewer schools are taking their students on field trips. But field trips are a great way to educate for many reasons. First off, going to a new environment helps students to think better. Getting out of stuff classrooms and into the open facilitates learning and memory. Second, field trips are an opportunity for those students who learn in different ways. Not all students are able to learn about science experiments from the textbook. They need to be out in the field experiencing it and doing it themselves for it to stick.
There are plenty of ways you can turn the school syllabus into an opportunity for a field trip. If you’re doing a lesson on civics, take a trip to city hall. If you’re doing a lesson on archaeology, hire out a couple of coaches and take them to the museum. If you’re doing a geography lesson on river erosion, take them to the local river.
Get Students Conducting Experiments Themselves
Not all experiments involve Bunsen burners and exploding potassium in water. Some are safe and require minimal supervision. There're lots you can do safely. How about seeing how many pennies can be transported by an aluminum foil boat before it sinks? Or what about looking at how oil and water separate when mixed together in a glass jar?
Turn Review Time Into A Game
One of the biggest trends in education today is “gamification.” Some educators love it, others not so much. The point of gamification is to turn passive learning into an active pursuit. When children have a goal, they’ll work hard toward it, learning in the process.
Review time is a great opportunity to turn an otherwise dull experience into something active. When you use games at review time, you’re not just regurgitating knowledge to kids. You’re making going over subject matter something fun and exciting. There are plenty of different games that you can play. Classroom Jeopardy is one idea. The Hot Seat is another.
Always Couple Lessons With A Fun Activity
Some lessons aren’t going to be fun for all students at all times. Take statistics, for instance. If children aren’t into math, then there’s not much that can be done in the lesson itself. But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t an opportunity to have fun after the lesson. The best teachers back up less creative lessons with fun follow-up activities. For instance, if they have just taught students how to plot graphs, they can send them out to plot their own. Perhaps students could go out into the school grounds, find acorns, and plot graphs of acorn weight.
There’s no denying that children love to play with technology. Technology seems like a window into a world of infinite activities and information. But technology has been shunned from the classroom, mainly because it is seen as a distraction. The truth is that technology is a tool. And as a tool, it can be used in many ways, not just to waste time on social media. For instance, modern technology is a great way to teach students how to do research. The internet is a treasure trove of information, but not all of it is relevant. Here’s a way to teach students