Can you remember a time when you totally zoned out during a long meeting or presentation? We’ve all been there. At bina, we work to avoid any type of “zoning out” moments for our students. We have a whole toolbox of strategies to keep our kiddos captivated and immersed in their learning journey. Here are four key techniques we use to make sure our students are engaged and active throughout their entire day of learning with us.
1. Intentional scheduling
We keep our learning sessions short and schedule plenty of breaks throughout the day. Some say that a good rule of thumb is that you take a student’s age, and that’s how many minutes that student can be expected to focus. We have realistic expectations about how long our kiddos can sit still, and we make sure that our days are scheduled in a way that allows for them to get their wiggles out.
2. Movement during learning sessions
Our students have lots of energy! We strike a balance between calm, focused moments and active, lively activities. Lessons at bina incorporate music, dance, art, games, humour, scavenger hunts, and hands-on science experiments. Making sure that our lessons include a variety of activities promotes our students’ willingness to participate and stay focused.
3. Incorporating students’ interests
Cultivating strong positive relationships with our students is at the top of our priority list! Getting to know our students not only promotes their feelings of belonging and connectedness, but also gives teachers a chance to incorporate their students’ personal interests into lessons. We draw connections between academic content and our students’ real-life experiences and favourite activities. Linking abstract concepts with our students’ interests is just one of many ways we customise learning for our individual students!
Gamification means that we incorporate game-based elements into our students’ learning. Sparking powerful emotions like excitement, curiosity, and accomplishment, gamification naturally prompts engagement. It also encourages students to use their critical thinking skills and encourages a sense of ownership over their progress. We’ve found that incorporating game-based elements into our students’ activities promotes a more relaxed atmosphere around failure and making mistakes, which is super important to the learning process. Gamification also encourages friendly social connections between our kiddos– plus, it’s just fun! Embedding play and joy into our lessons is key to boosting overall student engagement.
Each of our students comes to us with different needs, strengths, and abilities, and we have realistic expectations around how long they are able to remain focused. Our Master Teachers are equipped with the knowledge and skills to keep their students engaged and active throughout their day of lessons. If you’re interested in learning more about how we keep our students engaged in their own learning process, check out this article about project-based learning at bina.