Teachers know it can often be difficult to keep students’ attention, especially in a more traditional classroom. Learning styles, personal technology, and the collaborative spirit are some of the things teachers are adjusting to. Thus, as our learners have changed, the teaching environment has changed to accommodate them. As we know all too well, kids aren’t a whole lot different than adults: If they aren’t absorbed by what’s going on, they’ll find something else that interests them.

Getting all your learners focused, eager, and on the task at the beginning of class is challenging enough. Equally problematic, once you have them locked into the lesson, is watching them zone out. There’s nothing unusual about that. After all, anyone who has to sit through a long routine – including a teacher’s presentation – is bound to drift off at some point.

Although teachers understand that to keep learners’ attention they must both connect and inspire, it can still be a struggle. In today’s blog we will discuss 6 ways to keep your learners’ attention:

1. Incorporate movement into your lessons: Movement makes for better bodies and better brains, so get their blood pumping. How about having them stand as they ask a question, or demonstrate a problem on the whiteboard? Simple movements like this can be refreshing and stimulating for them.

2. Keep in control: Anticipation is the best form of teacher defense so keep scanning the room, making eye contact with all learners. You will catch those who are starting to fidget, look out of the window or chat with their mates. Then you can react accordingly before the noise level has distracted everyone and created a situation.

 3. Teach Learners How to Collaborate Before Expecting Success: Doing project learning and other team-based work without prior training can lead to lots of dead time. You can nip much of it in the bud by teaching collaboration skills before projects get started. You don’t need to use an activity related to your subject area to teach teamwork.

 4. Pick up the pace: Today’s learners don’t respond as well to slower instruction and more traditional chalk-and-talk delivery. Want to really keep learners’ attention? Keep your instruction dynamic and brisk. This energizes your kids and engages them to respond and become as interested as you are. After all, enthusiasm is infectious.

 5. Use the 10:2 method: Allow learners 2 minutes to process and respond for every 10 minutes of instruction. Try things like having them ask a question they have or discussing the content with a fellow learner.

6. At the end of a lesson have learners use the 3-2-1 method of summarizing: This is a great quick assessment tool that works amazingly well. Have learners write down 3 things they learned, 2 interesting things, and 1 question they have. Next, they can share these as a class or in smaller groups.

 We hope these 6 ways to keep your learners’ attention has been of help. Learning is an ever-evolving process of information gathering and knowledge acquisition, as teachers, our job is to be a conduit to better learning. A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning.

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