We all know that kid, we probably know a handful of them, heck - it's probably one of our kids! What techniques best encourage active student participation form those students who seem to have a lot running through their minds? It can be really frustrating to have students who are unable to stay focused during class. But you don't have to let that frustration get the best of you. We have a few techniques that can help increase student participation and bring out their best. Here are some strategies that can help you deal with energetic kids in class and sustain their focus:
Be Patient and Flexible
Pay attention to what your students are doing and what they are focused on. If they are more interested in watching the snow falling outside the room no matter how amazing your lesson for the day is, then you need to pause for a moment. Take a second to be dazzled yourself and incorporate it into your lesson. A dance teacher might teach them some dance steps that mimic the gentle falling of the snow on the ground or practice fluid movement by pretending to ice skate with the class for a few moments. Modify your lesson to make it exciting and relevant to their needs.
Change the Mood with Music
Music has a huge effect on the energy or mood of a person, so make it a point to play music that is suitable for your students' energy level. If you notice that they are quite rowdy and overactive, then you should play soothing and calming music that will keep them relaxed. Classical pieces can help create a tranquil environment in an instant.
Teach Something New
A practical way to keep your students' attention is to challenge them. In most cases, they tend to lose focus or become uninterested when they are already bored with the planned activities. So teach them something new. Make it into a game or competition. As you progress, engage the students in conversation, allow them to take turns impressing you with their own knowledge, and praise them for a job well done. When they feel appreciated, it is easy to keep them engaged without resorting to fear tactics or negative emotions.
Be Clear with Your Rules
Most importantly, you should set rules and policies in class, and make sure you are consistent about these guidelines. State your rules clearly, post them as a reminder and make sure your students understand what is expected of them. Come to class with a backup plan on how to redirect your students' energies to prevent them from disrupting the class. As you implement these rules, maintain a welcoming environment instead of behaving rigidly.
The bottom line is, kids are naturally energetic! There will always be instances when they can be a bit challenging to handle. However, you can learn how to deal with them without feeling frustrated all the time by applying these practical tips. Keep your students engaged by fostering a wholesome environment in class, providing fresh and exciting lessons, and making each child feel appreciated.