Student Engagement Activities

Instructor: Shaundra Boyd
Grabbing student's attention and keeping it throughout a lesson is our goal! Here are three innovative and fun ways to engage students in the lesson topic of your choice.

Student Engagement in the Classroom

As a student, were you ever disappointed to hear the ongoing monotone voice of a teacher when they were involved in a lesson that you were never really involved in? Did it prompt you to be off task, fall asleep, or talk to a friend?

As a student, I wanted to be captivated and drawn into the topic. I wanted to somehow be compelled to want to know more about it and its relevancy. Many times, this never did happen.

The importance of keeping students fully involved in a lesson is a critical part of the teaching process. It ensures that they develop interest and can yield higher student achievement. In education, student engagement refers to the degree of attention, curiosity, interest, optimism, and passion that students show when they are learning or being taught, which extends to the level of motivation they have to learn and progress in their education.

Student engagement activities vary, but one thing that holds true for them all is that they help students connect to the topic and make it relevant for them. Some exciting, innovative approaches include the integration of technology, think-pair-share activities, and simulation or role play.

Technology Integration

The 21st century has yielded many technological advancements that the education profession should take advantage of. Technology integration in the classroom is an important way to engage students in the topic of a lesson. I remember a time when I allowed my first grade students to manipulate letter sounds to create words using an interactive white board. Students were able to correct their own misconceptions about letter sound correspondence. It helped them become better readers.

Being able to access information quickly, analyze search results, effectively evaluate resources, and synthesize findings are essential skills that technology can help bring to life. As teachers, we can provide opportunities in class for students to learn and demonstrate their mastery using technology. We can create innovative activities and projects and allow students to use technology as part of classwork. As a result, students will be more engaged in the learning process.

Think-Pair-Share Activities

Having the opportunity to work with classmates, share ideas, and discuss topics, can provide students with engaging experiences in the classroom. Think-pair-share involves the use of students pairing up and sharing their ideas on the prompt given by the teacher. The prompt can be as simple as a question or as complex as solving an algebraic equation.

Think-pair-share activities can be utilized at any point of a lesson to ensure that students have the opportunity to construct their own learning about topics presented in the classroom. The goal is to engage students in meaningful discourse about the topic with one another to help them become more involved in the learning process. The collaboration among peers can aid students in developing ideas that they may have never explored on their own.

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