Daydreaming. Disengaged. Uneasy. Anxious. Worried. Reluctant to participate.
Manifestations that your students can’t stay focused. How can you help students to stay focused in class?
I have some big news to share about helping students to stay focused in class.
Students won’t do well when they can’t focus. And there must be a reason for being so. As a teacher, it’s your responsibility to find out.
When given a task and they perceive it to be very challenging, they are most likely to quit before giving their best.
Should you observe your students getting distracted and losing focus on a frequent basis, here are some techniques to help them enhance their attention span and stay focused in class.
<<Do you find your students disengaged in learning math? Help them to increase focus on working with numbers!
Importance of Increasing Students’ Focus
Increasing student concentration has been a long battle for teachers. I know that you experience it too. But the means of increasing focus don’t have to be rocket science.
In addition to that, convincing your students to concentrate and focus in class requires much effort and expertise. It’s highly known that increasing students’ focus is crucial to quality learning.
With focus, students can sustain their interest in the completion of tasks for academic success. As they concentrate on academic tasks, they are learning life skills and are prepared for more challenging tasks in the future.
That’s mainly because focus makes students ready to learn. Students need it as much as other people do.
Additionally, focus guides students to move in the right direction and sustain their energy in completing tasks.
When reading a story, for example, students can’t have a full grasp of the theme without focus or concentration.
Less focus means poor comprehension. With this in mind, as a teacher, you shouldn’t take sustaining students’ focus for granted.
How Can You Help Students to Stay Focused in Class?
Students who can’t stay focused are easily distracted and are less engaged. When this happens, their overall performance in school is affected.
As a result, students put less effort into schoolwork. Take notice of the following techniques and increase student engagement.
6 Best Techniques
So, how can you make sure that you’re helping your students to stay focused in class?
1. Use games
You can enhance your instruction by using gaming principles. Using online and creative onsite games in the classroom can create an engaging classroom experience for your students.
According to research, games have a promising potential for student learning. Additionally, educational games will increase retention and student engagement and help students develop their problem-solving and critical thinking skills.
Embracing game-based learning is an innovative method of teaching that makes students appreciate and love learning even more. It’s a practical way to increase student motivation and get students excited about classroom learning.
2. Include interactive conversations
Classroom discussions when properly planned and implemented can hook students’ attention and make them active participants in learning.
The interactive discussions in the classroom help maintain students’ focus as they are engaged in meaningful discussions.
As they exchange their ideas and answers they gain varied perspectives on the topic. This increases their interest to contribute their thoughts.
When given good questions, students may think deeply and draw connections. Thus, interactive and lively discussions happen. Then, your class can’t be boring after all.
As the students are actively involved, they never feel boredom and they maintain focus.
In addition, when students answer questions actively, you can assess whether they understand the materials. Plus, you are given the best chance to provide timely and constructive feedback.
Then, learning in the classroom can’t be that dull and uninteresting after all.
3. Use technology
One of the best ways to attract your students is by integrating technology into your instructions. It’s a proven innovative way to increase student engagement.
When students are attracted to your presentations and activities, they are thrilled and they focus.
With the present generation, technology has become a part of life. Students are more inclined to use the internet and gadgets. It’s about time to grab that opportunity.
The use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in the classroom highly impacts student learning. Essentially, EdTech in education has contributed a lot to student support and engagement.
With this essential role of technology in education, you must also work it out for yourself. Continue enhancing your teaching pedagogies with technology as one of the basic ingredients.
The use of PowerPoint presentations, digital whiteboards, tablets, smartphones, educational videos, online educational games, and so on can increase your teaching capacity and can help students stay focused in class.
But, take note, I should mention this. The misuse of gadgets in class can distract learning. That’s why its sensible use must be planned if you really want to witness an uptick in student performance.
4. Assign roles
How do you teach students the value of responsibility? Do they take account of their own learning in the classroom?
Or do you just do everything and allow your students to sit for the whole period. Are you the time and chart keeper? In this scenario, they’ll probably tell you they just want to go home.
What often causes boredom in the classroom? It’s when students aren’t doing anything. It’s when they don’t take charge of anything.
Assign them roles. Give them jobs. Set expectations and be consistent. The more students are involved in the classroom, the more they will stay focused. It increases their sense of ownership and responsibility.
And without any responsibility, students feel empty and lose their focus. By assigning roles in the classroom, students boost their confidence and they feel trusted.
5. Use differentiated instruction
Students learn at a varied pace. Some are fast while others need genuine assistance. This is why instructions must be differentiated.
Differentiated instruction will engage most students and produce the best results.
It’s a teaching strategy that will help students, especially those who need help, to catch up. On the other hand, it also allows gifted and brilliant children to learn more quickly. In other words, differentiated instruction makes learning more enjoyable, fulfilling, and effective.
Students tend to get bored when the instructions don’t fit their level. It confuses them and makes them disappointed.
When you use differentiated instruction, you are helping your students to learn the same learning objectives but allowing them to pick their own path.
6. Introduce one lesson at a time
Another important parameter to be considered is not allowing students to multi-task. Students don’t have to scatter their attention on varied tasks at a time.
Although it’s one of the highly demanding skills of employees today, multi-tasking isn’t just for students.
For quality learning, students should be given one activity at a time. They tend to lose track if there’s too much on their plates. Performing several activities at a time renders half-baked mastery and students can’t focus on a single activity. It’s taxing. It’s exhausting. For sure, students will hate the idea.
It’s highly recommended to introduce one lesson at a time because it already comprises at least 3 learning objectives.
Apparently, students won’t achieve mastery if they’ll be doing multiple things at a time. No absorption of the lesson can happen. No mastery, just confusion, and wondering faces.
As a teacher, you must consider how to motivate students which is a tough but crucial component of teaching.
Along with all the parameters set to help your students to stay focused, I’m also encouraging you to create a classroom where students are motivated, engaged, and eager to learn. It’s about making them so excited each day that they’ll look forward to every learning encounter.
The practical tips shared above can make your classroom an interesting place that entices students to enter and stay focused.