Tuesday, September 13, 2016

10 Strategies To Engage More Of Your Students

Think about the last time you went over a worksheet.  Maybe it was a homework assignment or a practice assignment that they did in class.  If your students are like mine, it's a challenge to get all of them to participate (or even pay attention).  Each time, it seems to be the same students, raising their hands to volunteer and share their answers. Going over the worksheet may not be entertaining, but getting the correct answers is important to each student's understanding.  So, what can we do to get more of our students engaged when going over an a worksheet?

Draw Names-As the students enter the classroom, greet them with a small piece of paper.  Have them autograph the paper and turn it back in to you.  Randomly draw names, or have the students draw names, for turns to share their answers.  

Let Them Call On Each Other-To get started, call on one student to give the first answer.  If this student gives the correct answer, allow him or her to call on another member of the class.  If the student gives the incorrect answer however, the teacher gets to call on the next student.  Continue the process until all questions or problems have been answered or discussed.

Beach Ball Fun-This student fav involves a beach ball (that means it's got to be engaging). I usually begin by tossing the ball to a student in the class.  This student then gets to answer a question and toss it to another student.

Grade Your Own-Sometimes the "going over" part needs to be quick.  Present the answer key for the assignment and have your students self-assess, marking problems wrong if they get them wrong.  In the end, they can give themselves a grade based on how many they missed. They become the teacher for a moment.

Grade a Partner-If you're not so keen on students grading their own paper, have them swap with a partner.  Let their partner grade their paper and assign a grade based on the number of correct and incorrect answers.

Enter the Raffle-Have your students volunteer or you call on students to answer questions.  Each time a student gets the answer correct, they get to enter their name into a raffle.  After you go over the worksheet, randomly choose a winner and award a prize.  Prizes can even be FREE (bonus points, exempt a quiz or homework, 100 for a grade, sit in the teacher's chair, etc.).

In a Row-Challenge your students to get the most correct in a row.  Divide the class into two groups.  Go up and down the rows, calling on students to share their answers.  Keep up with how many students in a row correctly give them.  When a student misses an answer, it's the other group's turn.  Make it a friendly competition and reward a prize to the winning team.

QR code-If you have access to technology, create QR codes with the answer key.  Have the students move around the room and scan the QR codes to check their work.

Hot seat-This one would require a little set-up time, but if you have it, go for it! Create a presentation with your seating arrangement (like a power point slide).  Copy and paste the slide for the number of seats you have in your room.  For each slide, highlight a different "hot seat."  Students won't know who to expect next.

Game time-Put your students in groups and assign them a group number.  Randomly call out questions from the worksheet to be answered. The students quickly look at their papers, decide on a common answer, and write it on a white board. After a few seconds, you choose a number. If this group has the right answer, they get a point. If they don't, you choose another number. At the end, the group with the most points wins!

What ideas do you have to keep your students engaged while going over worksheets?