5 Ways to Engage Students in the Classroom – Lesson Refreshers and First Day of Teaching Tips

Classroom Tips for Teachers

Whether you are looking for some first-day of teaching tips or ways to refresh your lessons, here are some student engagement strategies that can help captivate a class.

By now, many of us will be preparing for back to school by planning lessons, updating our wardrobes, and simply getting ready for the new academic year.

Whether you are a new teacher or you’re a returning member of staff, entering the classroom after the summer break can be tough. Everyone is excited to see one another and talk, and teaching can be a little challenging.

Connect the topics of the class to the real world 

We have all heard the phrase, “When am I ever going to use this“. More often than not, students question the relevance of the things they are being taught. A great way to combat this issue is by finding ways to connect the topics of the class to the current issues/stories in the real world. Offering relevant anecdotes and examples of relevant topics outside of school often helps students comprehend and absorb the class.

Take an interest in your student’s interests

While you might not be interested in the Fortnite streamer Ninja, TikTok, or memes, building these references into the learning process can help engage your class. Take some time to research what today’s students are enjoying and find ways to incorporate that into your lesson.

Fill “Dead Time” 

There is nothing worse than ‘dead time’ or ‘dead air’ during a lesson. Having a point in a lesson where students are left without something to do is not ideal and can lead to disruptive tendencies. For instance, you could be waiting for a Youtube video to load, handing out worksheets, or finding a presentation. To fill these blank spaces, here are some quick and easy tips:

  • Quick tasks – get your students to partake in a quick writing activity.
  • Discussion – get your class to reflect on something and discuss it with a partner.
  • New topic – when you’re about to introduce a new topic, why not ask students to identify three things they already know about the subject? 

These are some excellent “first day of teaching” tips for new teachers to practice.

Encourage your students to share their work

Many students shy away from sharing their work for a multitude of reasons. To overcome this issue, why not try the following exercises:

  • You could have students present in groups.
  • Allow students to share each other’s work in smaller group settings to take away the fear of “sharing their own work”. 
  • Allow students to read or present their work while sitting down. It eliminates the pressure of having to “stand and deliver”. 

Above all, you should try and make presenting and sharing work a routine aspect of your class. Over time, it will eliminate the stress associated with presenting. So those are some lesson refreshers for returning members of staff and the first day of teaching tips for new starters.

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first day of teaching tips

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