It's now well understood that learning increases with engagement. But, what happens if we go that extra mile and make it not only engaging, but also fun? What happens is — we can increase students motivation and improve their ability to retain the information.
Cognitive psychology studies provide us with clinical evidence that stress, boredom, confusion, low motivation, and anxiety interfere with our learning (Christianson, 1992).
If you're a teacher or parent, you're at the front line of getting the information across to our students. Here are five quick tips to help you make the learning experience more enjoyable:
1. Pay Attention to Interests
When our learning experience is relevant, our cognitive abilities increase. Pay attention to the interests of your students and try to fit these passions and interests into your lessons where it's possible.
2. Offer Choice
Offer options and let the students decide how they'll best get their work done. By providing them with the control to make such decisions, you'll be teaching them independence and decision making skills. This obviously isn't a choice between doing work or playing, rather it's something more along the lines of allowing them to decide which order they complete their homework.
3. Create Games
What's more fun than a game? Make a game out of any of your usual lessons such as making up a memory game for learning a language. Or you can use some of the many pre-made technology games for topics like math and science.
4. Give Breaks
All humans, no matter the age, reboot by taking a break. Even if it's just allocating 10 minutes free time here or there. Or, plan out the day to be broken up between a combination of different learning activities, such as music, art, and sports, balanced alongside lessons that require a higher attention span.
5. Spice It Up!
Get creative by thinking outside the box. In particular if you know a lesson's going to be less relevant or appealing to your class but you know it's in the curriculum and has to be taught, try to brainstorm an interesting way of teaching this. Maybe through song, by creating a song that helps students remember the key aspects of the lesson. Or you could try various ways to apply the information in the most hands-on way you can. You could also think up experiments students could use to learn the desired outcome through their own trial and error.
About Our Sponsor
Amba Brown is an Australian Positive Psychology Author, who holds a degree in psychology and sociology, with Honours in Positive Psychology. She is 31 years old, from Sydney, Australia, and has also lived in Asia and America. Being the eldest of six siblings, Amba is passionate about alleviating youth anxieties. This passion resulted in the creation of The ‘Finding Your Path’ book series, to support and inspire youth through their major life transitions, starting school, starting high school, and finishing school.
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