Interesting ways to bring multisensory techniques into the classroom
Kids in the classroom are not always the ideal ones a teacher would imagine them to be. Each one would have their own moods and most of them would want to be outside on the sports grounds rolling in the mud or out with their buddies doing something else. Studies and the classroom are the last priority on most kids lists. Even for those who are interested in a good course and good grades, classroom learning can be suffocating and confining at certain points in time.
If you are a teacher you would have seen your share of the disruptors, the pranksters, bullies, wallflowers and the ones that simply cannot do one thing at a time and have to be engaged in a million different things at once. It can drive you up the wall to have to handle such a large variety of kids with a million different ideas and age really doesn’t matter when it comes to their attention span as all of them will definitely get restless and distracted at one point or another in class. Here are interesting ways to get them to sit up and sit still through the sessions and to improve their span of attention.
1. Give them reason to pay attention: If you are teacher who simply drones on and on in class and really do not bother about bringing some difference into the way you disperse information, you will not be able to hold their attention. You have to create in them a passion for what they are learning. What you can do is gather some information about their likes, their interests and their passion and incorporate these into the class. My biology teacher would use analogies to cars, to movies and to books we enjoyed and it would be hard to not find myself completely absorbed in class many a time.
2. Patience: You need patience in large quantities and you need it at all times. Losing your temper at a child that asks way too many questions or at someone who is disturbing the class will only drive them further away. What you should do is encourage the questions or give them an opportunity to contribute to a drop box at the end of every hour or email or chat with you. Have the child feel comfortable enough to ask any question. Even the shyest child would drop an email about something that he or she is curious about.
3. Use points as incentives: Have points in class for participation in quizzes, for being able to summarize a lesson or for teaching a small portion to the class. These points can be made part of the child’s grade and evaluation, make sure you include everyone in the process and encourage kids to speak on a topic they think is connected to what you are teaching and is outside of the textbook. From acai berries in nutrition to outer space robots, your kids will come up with exciting expressions of what they think is connected and learn in the process as well.
4. Rewards work: Ask quick questions at the end of every session and give a simple reward to the child that answers the most. Make sure you encourage others who generally do not participate or are troublemakers without putting them on the spot. You can call on an unruly child to help you with a live presentation or put him in charge of arranging or organizing something for an outdoor class you plan.
5. Take the classroom elsewhere: It’s not necessary for kids to be in the four walls for maximum learning. There is learning in a number of places including the home, the fields around school, the parking lot or even the road. A class on history can be done at the museum, one on transport can be taken to the roads and a biology lesson comes alive when you take the kids to the field. Keep your classes unpredictable and exciting so they anticipate the next one!