Uninterested kids are at times difficult to handle. When I was teaching I had many uninterested kids and that made them get poor grades. I wanted to do something to help them and after much trial and error I’ve managed to find very useful and effective strategies that help them become more interested in class. Want to know how? Read on!
In my classroom, giving a student a personal whiteboard and marker is like flipping a light switch. All of a sudden the student is listening to what I have to say.
Using whiteboards does require some training. However, like with any other classroom tool, you won’t engage your students just by handing over these things and not TEACHING the children the proper way to use them. My students know that they aren’t for doodling, and that the lid stays on the marker until I’ve finished with my instructions. Anyone not using the whiteboard and marker properly loses the privilege of using them until the next day.
Ditch The Hands
If your students know that you’re only going to call on students who are politely raising their hand with an answer, they know they are safe to tune out. Why not try a random selector system? This forces them to pay attention during your teaching time because they never know when they’ll be called on next!
Kids LOVE to talk with their friends. In my classroom I take advantage of this by giving them plenty of opportunity to “Turn and Talk”. Setting a clear purpose and identifying exactly what you expect of them during their sharing is extremely important. I have my students turn to face each other, sitting knee to knee. This way, they can look each other in the eye as they speak. Invest some time at the beginning of your year to teach your students exactly what to do when they partner talk.
If you’re lucky enough to have technology in your classroom, use it! You don’t need more than one iPad or similar device to engage your students effectively. Aside from some of the more traditional apps for practicing reading or math skills, there are many exciting choices like Plickers.