Inattention in children is pervasive as we compete with distractions. This calls for an array of teaching strategies to get your class’ attention at the start of the session. But it isn’t always simple.
Dealing with an inattentive class requires effective classroom management skills and varied teaching strategies of the teacher. It’s quite challenging but it should be or else the results will be affected.
So, let me begin by asking, how do you deal with an inattentive class?
Having an inattentive class can be our worst nightmare as teachers.
And they waste our efforts.
But I always keep in mind to focus on the efforts and participation of my students. For me, if my students do exert effort in the learning activities, they are attentive and are interested in learning.
Classrooms shouldn’t be boring so students perform at their best and are always attentive. The way we plan and organize our classroom will highly affect students’ interests. The simple room structuring should not be ignored because this will catch the attention of the students the first time they enter the classroom.
A well-structured classroom seems like a colorful flower that attracts bees. Interactive bulletin boards allow the student to read them and to get their attention.
However, there’s something more than physical conditions and arrangements in the classroom. It goes beyond that to deal with an inattentive class. It’s more of our ways and strategies to deal with individual differences that matter the most.
Thus, I’m glad that you’ve come to this page and perhaps we could collaborate.
<<How do you keep your students attentive? Enhance their focus and concentration by adopting the tips below. Get them listening!
How Do You Deal with an Inattentive Class? 7 Convincing Ways You Can Use
Our inattentive students need to gain focus so they can make the most of the learning experiences provided for them.
Although it’s not unusual to see students who are passive, keep doodling in their seats, or doing things not related to the subject matter. I have students like this, to be honest.
Hence, I thought of ways to get their attention. Read on and I may have mentioned the things in your mind.
1. Use varied teaching strategies
Standing in a spot where your students can clearly see you, is a practical way of getting their attention. In other words, your students should notice you. But you should not shout to get attention.
Teaching a bunch of inattentive students is indeed very challenging. Using varied teaching strategies can increase students’ attention and learning if applied most appropriately.
You might find yourself asking “Is there something wrong with the strategy I use? Am I going too fast? Or why isn’t this child paying attention? But, with my experience, our varied strategies have something to do with individual differences. And it matters.
If we are aware of the individual learning styles of each of our students, we can tap the most effective teaching strategy and create activities that foster student attention. If the learning situation requires us to use manipulatives and educational toys, then, do it.
For example, my student is visually inclined, so my presentations should be visually appealing so that it captures his or her attention. The visual materials I use should be suitable to the student’s level. Likewise, I also prepare activities and assessments for other types of learners.
One reason for the student’s inattention is that our teaching strategy mismatched with the students’ learning styles. Although this task requires a lot of work, it should be done to increase student performance and to achieve their learning goals.
2. Know what best motivates your learners
Do your learners get excited when you ask them to listen to a song or are they more energized when you ask them to stand and perform certain activities? Before anything else, as teachers, we have to make our daily lesson plans conscientiously. This is the first step in how you deal with an inattentive class. Begin with a plan.
Aside from being so energetic while presenting the lesson, our presence should be coupled with the best motivational technique. We should know how to catch the attention of our students and how to keep them interested all throughout.
While some of our students are always eager to learn and are always motivated, there is still the presence of some who need our special attention too. Unfortunately, inattentive students won’t be able to achieve anything if they are not motivated.
There must be something in your presentation that sparks their interest. I know it’s really quite challenging to maintain students’ attention and eagerness to learn. It could be a video presentation, or if such students are kinesthetic learners, they must be interested in stretching movements before you begin.
Perhaps, they would love to walk and go around the classroom or perform an action song. These students just need to be inspired and stimulated.
3. Strengthen student involvement
When the teacher dominated the discussion by using the lecture method and not allowing the students to ask questions or clarifications, there must be an authoritative environment that prevailed in that classroom. It suffocates the students and they will get intimidated from participating to their fullest ability.
However, if the teacher allows the students to get involved in group activities and lead discussions, student involvement will be emphasized. This makes a big difference.
When students take responsibility for their learning with your dedication and supervision as a teacher, they will be more enthusiastic about learning and they are always attentive. Students should not experience an environment of isolation and deprivation. You should give them jobs or assign them individual tasks. This can make them feel like an important member of the group.
The more students are involved in the learning process, the more they get excited each day. Hence, we should pay attention to possible student activities and always plan ahead. Student involvement means maximizing and honing their abilities rather than having them master the subject matter.
Get them involved and they’ll push themselves to excel and succeed.
4. Determine the causes of student inattention
There must be a reason why a child is inattentive. It could be emotional, psychological, physical, or perhaps a behavior disorder. When a child has trouble concentrating, there must be an underlying cause for that. And it’s worth knowing how to help the child cope up and succeed. Learning differences are a common cause of students’ inattention.
Through proper coordination, we can ask the parent’s help to know if the child has an emotional or behavioral disorder. One of the most effective strategies in dealing with an inattentive class is to identify the reasons for inattentiveness. By knowing the “why’s”, we will be able to apply the most effective solution to address the problem. We all know that working with an inattentive class is never easy. It could mean a waste of everything.
Health factors could be the reason too. That is why we should establish open communication with the parents right from the start. It’s good to know the status of the child in order for us to understand why it is hard for him or her to pay attention to.
Moreover, having close monitoring of the students’ actions and performances and keeping a record of them will help us in determining the reasons. This sounds really complicated but it has to be done if we really want to give our students meaningful learning experiences and internalize life skills.
5. Always show excitement about teaching
Our enthusiasm when we teach stimulates students’ interests. Remember, we are somewhat the center of attraction in the classroom. Our students, more often times, look at us and listen when we say something in a well-modulated voice.
Have you tried greeting your students ‘good morning’ in a lively mood? What do you notice? Even when you present something different, it will arouse their curiosity. Hence, as teachers, we need to be enthusiastic about our subject and always create wonderful moments in the classroom.
Reading a short story, for example, is more exciting and interesting if you think of innovative ways of presenting it. Using the best strategy will stop you from thinking about why the students don’t understand what they are reading. Or why do they yawn while reading? You can group your students and assign each group part of the story to be read dramatically. Or you can assign students to read the dialogues of the characters and ask them to create a story map.
Dynamic teaching has been our best remedy to keep our students attentive. The enthusiasm to teach is a great quality of an effective and great teacher.
Do you have a dynamic teaching style? If so, how does it feel when your strategy sparks interest and jumpstarts motivation?
6. Create an enjoyable and fun learning environment
A skillful teacher can always spice the classroom with excitement and anticipation. If it’s fun, there’s excitement. And this makes students attentive and excited. How do I do it?
Doing my best to create an enjoyable and fun learning environment I always keep in mind to use humor once in a while and always extend consideration to my students. My ways should inspire them to explore and to always be attentive. When I evoke laughter in the classroom, I can sense that my students are doing their best for better classroom behavior.
I just can’t imagine myself entering the classroom with a big frown. This causes intimidation and students will not be at ease and their minds wander about. Each time I enter the classroom for my scheduled time, I should always bear in mind that the students are looking at me and so I have to display a pleasant appearance.
A fun classroom doesn’t equal a bunch of learners doing nothing, staring out the window, or talking with their classmates. It’s about the atmosphere you create so your students are engaged in learning. Moreover, it is about having enjoyment and fun while understanding and remembering concepts. The more they enjoy the discussion, the more they are able to retain information.
7. Connect the learning materials to students’ experiences
Give examples and use students’ general life experiences. This will give you the opportunity to connect with your students. As you talk about characterization in dissecting the elements of the short story, you can somehow ask them to give their opinion or descriptions of the characters and how these characters act in real-life situations.
Ask questions. Let the students illustrate. Have them act out. And they are paying attention.
Another thing is when you are introducing mathematical concepts. You can directly ask them how they go with the same numbers when given the math problem. This is a wonderful way to make learning relevant to the lives of our learners. Furthermore, this results in anticipation, and thus students pay much attention.
Showing the students how they can use the learned concepts in the real world will ignite their interests. With this, it’s crucial to check our lesson plans again and decide in which part shall we emphasize the relevance. This is effective learning for me.
Our students act differently and their concentration differs from one another. What’s exciting to one may not be with the others. Therefore, we should investigate the causes of student inattention because this will certainly affect the way they understand and process the learning materials.
It turns out that the meaningful activities we offer our students allow them to recall past experiences and to connect to the world. This is an awesome way to go beyond what’s traditional. Our means should get the attention of those who are not focusing. Playing fun music or having the students sing along, can settle the class and can give them a good mood to learn.
How do you help your students strive in a classroom setting? How do you help your students pay attention?