Tips and Tricks

Teachers’ Answer to Common Questions:

Q: If interest levels are dropping in your classroom, give one technique that you use to re-energise the students?

  1. For smaller ones: Song + movements: – It is their favourite and reminds again that English is fun to learn 🙂
  2. For others learningapps millionaire game: http://learningapps.or
     It should be simple, short and fun- and back to the point when interest levspiralels were dropping!!
  3. I also distribute sheets of paper and ask the students to draw circles starting from the centre and slowly moving outside during 2 minutes. They should reach the edge of the paper with circling exactly by the end of 2 minutes. There is silence and a peaceful atmosphere during these 2 minutes in the classroom and a surprise in the end- how long 2 minutes could be 🙂 Somehow we can go on working well after that again.
  4. First I try to analyze why the interest levels are dropping. Depending on what the answer is, I try to find a way to change the situation:
    – Am I lecturing too much so that the students have been inactive for too long? Then I have to let them start working.
    – Are they bored with the work? Then I try to change subject/assignment, if possible. Maybe they need to go out for a short recess.
    – Is the education level/knowledge level too easy or to difficult for them? Then I have to find the right level. Here I can use colour cards:
  5. In Art History classes I tend to introduce a game element at the end of every era studied. We play ‘Jeopardy’ to motivate the students to share their knowledge. I split them into heterogeneous team of 3 or 4 pupils. I then set tasks based directly on the TV Quiz Show Jeopardy but we use categories from recent study. It doesn’t necessarily encourage direct individual competition because their is no individual reward at the end of the exercise, instead I find that it is an intrinsic motivational tool because each team wants their group to succeed and they can only succeed by sharing their knowledge with others.
  6. In practical art and design class if I find that students are loosing interest I shut down the lesson and introduce a 10 minute period of Zentangle drawing. Zentangle is a free form meditational abstract drawing technique. There is no such thing as a correct or incorrect mark, there is only what the student creates and the reacts to. It calms the student and promotes individual creative styles. Once everyone is back enjoying mark making then they return to the original exercise with a new outlook.