Friday, August 11, 2017

Gaining Student Attention.

Book, Bored, College, Education, Female Recently, I've been reading several books, looking for ways to improve my methods so I keep student interest and create hooks to improve their desire to pay attention.

The first suggestion, I ran across was actually via a short video where the teacher recommended you wait till all the students are quiet.  If you start while some of the students are talking, they are going to ask you to repeat the information.  By waiting till they are quiet, they are actually going to pay attention and hear instead of being involved in their own conversations.

The next four suggestions come from Pow Toons blog and the third suggestion is seconded in the book "Teach Like a Pirate"
1. Change your focus from teaching a topic to teaching for the student.  Make it so they feel as if they benefit from the content.  Creating benefit creates desire so its important to create desire. Instead of telling them what they are going to learn, create headlines to tease them with upcoming topic.   Headlines make a promise designed to create desire so students want to learn.

2.  Convince students they are going to miss out on the benefits if they do not pay attention. As part of this, let students know what might happen if they miss the information.  They need to know the pain of lacking information.  You provide the motivating reason for learning the material.

3.  Create a movie trailer designed to capture student attention.  I have done with using imovie on my Mac.  I created a spy trailer teasing students with a preview of the next unit.  It caught their attention because when it was done, they wanted to see it a second time.    The suggestion is based on the fact Hollywood always teases audiences with upcoming movies before showing the current movie.  They build desire which is what a teacher does by creating trailers for the next topic.  Don't tell, show.

4. Be willing to use animated videos which have both an auditory and visual component to help meet student needs.  If you have students create their own animated videos, you have a kinesthetic component. With all the web sites and apps, its easy to create animated videos.

I'd like to thank Pow Toons for these ideas.  I plan to try the three that I've not used before.  I can hardly wait to try.  Please let me know what you think.