There is one thing high school students lack: attention. And involvement in the classroom activity. And engagement in learning process.
OK, that’s more than one thing. Still, a distracted student in high school is a common occurrence. Put several of them in the class together, and you get an unconnected bunch, only half-listening and quarter-learning.
But there is a way up this slippery slope.
Unplag gathered the best activities for your classroom that have been tried, tested and proved to connect the wandering minds of your students to the task at hand and to the learning at heart. Read on to find out our suggested Connect-Type Activities that will work well in your classroom.
Step #1. Covering New Material
Activities for Classroom suggestion: 3-2-1
How it works: It is an activity mostly used for younger audiences but we feel it can be beneficial for distracted high schoolers, too. The point of the game is for each student (or maybe just a few selected ones) to write down/say out loud 3 things they have learned/understood, 2 things they need more explanation on, and 1 opinion on the covered material.
Why it’s great: If you do it regularly, students will know to pay attention to things they have and have not understood in the topic you are currently covering. The opinion part is especially good as it not only lets a student analyze information, it also teaches to form and express own opinion.
Step #2. Reviewing Old Material
Activities for Classroom suggestion: Student teachers
How it works: We bet you are already using some variation of this CTA. What we suggest is to divide the class in two groups. Each group puts together a list of quiz questions for the other group. Then a chosen teacher asks them quiz questions, and vice versa. The final tally shows the winner.
Why it’s great: This activity involves students directly into revisions without them being bored, and helps them connect with each other and the class. Besides, it’s just fun.
Step #3. Practice
Activities for Classroom suggestion: Re-enactment
How it works: a regular in history classes, this activity should not be limited just to them. Try real world scenarios. Re-enact problems that rise in our society. Find situations your students or their parents are most likely facing. Tie these exercises to the principles you have covered and let students find solutions themselves.
Why it’s great: The reason we like it is the down-to-earth approach. Often we hear students complain about having to learn something they will never use or need in real life. Show them otherwise and you will gain their attention and connect them to your class better than ever before.
Step #4. Class Participation/Discussion
Activities for Classroom suggestion: Speedy Debates
How it works: This one is an oldie but a keeper. Of course, your school can already have a debate club, and no one wants to have to do double work in preparing for two debate clubs. What you may want to do is to have speedy debates set in a very limited time frame. This limit will give students a sense of rush and will instigate them to be more creative.
Why it’s great: The topic of the debate can very nicely be tied with the 3-2-1 game. The opinions stated by students can make a statement for the debaters or contribute to the talking points. It’s a revision-discussion double win.
Step #5. Projects/Homework
Activities for Classroom suggestion: Exhibition
How it works: If your class makes projects that can be displayed, you don’t need pointers. For every other subject, don’t despair. Once a month or as often as you deem appropriate give your class a special task. It should be something that can be presented to other students: a poster, or an artifact they found, or a story they wrote, or a business they came up with.
Why it’s great: It will boost their self-confidence and creativity. What’s more, if you replace regular homework assignment with a project, it will most likely be met with cheers. If you want to go extra mile, have them compete with each other or among the classes.
Step #6. Tests/Exams
Activities for Classroom suggestion: Pre-testing
How it works: A crazy popular activity, it’s just another trick to give your students extra time to get ready. The actual way to do it doesn’t matter as along it doesn’t add pressure to your students. You can organize students by threes and let them work on the test together. Or you can have them work in pairs and check on one another.
Why it’s great: Pre-testing works miracle on your students’ performance. Soon, your students will be asking for the pre-test themselves. No grading clause goes without saying.
There are more ways to connect your students to the class that we have not yet covered.
For example, there is schooling with the help of educational technologies. If you would like to know if it’s the students or the teachers who benefit from edtech more, visit our blog post here.
If there are tips or activities you would like to share with Unplag and educational community, we encourage you to get in touch.