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Creative Ways to Engage Students


By: Nour Hany

How many of you have at least once slept in a classroom? Even though you may be really into the subject, and you may even love what you are studying, still you could get bored of just being spoken at!

Teaching is so much more than a narrative process. It is the teacher-student discussion, critical thinking, student participation, and topic-related activities that will keep students engaged. Many creative ways of teaching have proven to be effective, so let us preview some of these strategies.

 

 

 

Real-World” Learning

Including real-world experiences in the classroom will make teaching moments fresh and will make the whole learning environment rich and positive.

Relating to real-life situations will make it easier for students to understand what they learn; it will make them more excited, interested, and involved.

 

Let them Take the Lead

Students need to have their own voice in the classroom in order to feel they are part of their own learning process. Let them make decisions, ask them to evaluate their work, let them give you their feedback on the topic and on what happens in the classroom. If they have a reading class, let them choose what they want to read every once in a while, and if they are writing, give them a positive feedback on their inner dialogues.

 

 

Brainstorming

While many of us may be familiar with the "brainstorming" method, in today's article, we will also get to know the opposite of brainstorming!

Brainstorming is basically finding a solution to a problem; to do so a person is asked to document any idea or thought that comes across their mind, even if this idea sounds crazy. Later, they will be able to improve on it and come up with a creative and original solution to a problem.

To begin the brainstorming process, students are asked to focus only on the problem; even if the ideas are impractical, it is not allowed for anyone to criticize or evaluate them at this stage. Ideas are not being deeply analyzed on the spot; instead, students list all of their ideas, as the main purpose here is to generate them and let them flow. Participants choose one of them as a point taker; at the end of the session, they start to evaluate all of the ideas.

 

Negative (Or Reverse) Brainstorming

Instead of looking for a solution to a problem, start looking for what could make a problem worse! In many cases, it is difficult to choose a suitable solution. This strategy revolves around the idea of analyzing a list of negative thoughts and ideas in order to come up with a reasonable solution that cannot lead to any of these negative results. It allows students to think outside the box, and create the worst case scenario to lead them to the best solution possible!

 

 

 

Role-playing

In this strategy, each student takes the role of another person affected by a specific situation or issue, then the student studies this issue from the perspective of that person.

It is a very interesting method that gives students the opportunity to practice what they have learned. Clear role descriptions and concrete information should be provided, so that students can confidently play their roles. After that, spend some time on debriefing once the exercise is finished.

 

Storyboarding

This method is really beneficial especially in teaching subjects that require step-by-step visualization of highly-conceptual ideas or memorization. Students can use this strategy to tell stories in pictures using their imagination.

History teachers can also use this great method to explain and recreate historical events. This visually stimulating exercise will make it easier for students to understand even the most complex lessons of all. “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” – Rudyard Kipling

 

 

Brain-sketching

Students form groups of 6-8 and sit around a table or in a circle. Each student should understand and explain the problems or questions given to them. Then, they each create one or more sketches, when they finish or when a given time ends, they pass the sketches to the person sitting on their right. Participants then annotate or develop the sketches passed to them, or use them to get inspiration for new sketches, which will also be passed afterwards.

Engaging is not only about having fun or being entertained in a classroom. It has more to do with thinking! Its main aim should be focused on how to keep your students both entertained and interested in a topic, in addition to making sure they fully understand what you discuss in class. You need to be able to make them think, generate ideas, and find their classroom identity.

 

Reference

https://www.celt.iastate.edu/teaching/teaching-format/14-creative-ways-to-engage-students/

https://www.readingandwritinghaven.com/how-to-engage-students-the-ultimate-list-of-active-learning-strategies

https://www.edsys.in/16-innovative-ideas-make-teaching-methods-effective/