5 Tips for Keeping Students Engaged in the Classroom

A lot of work goes into creating effective and engaging lessons, planning a class schedule, and choosing classroom decor, and getting everything organized and ready for the first day of school. It’s no wonder that teachers become so frustrated when they’ve put forth so much effort and their students are still not fully engaged or learning at their peak potential. Fortunately, there are strategies any teacher can implement to counteract lack of engagement. In this post, we’ll go over five of our favorite tips for keeping students engaged in the classroom.

Solicit Student Input & Feedback

One of the best ways to encourage and maintain student engagement in the classroom is to give students a voice in what and how they learn. Involve students in the lesson creation and planning process as much as possible to make them more personalized and interesting to each individual class. Solicit input and feedback from students using different methods like open discussions, surveys, and polls. By including the students’ opinions in the class material, they’ll feel more connected to the class and the topics, giving them incentive to try harder and stay more engaged.

Vary Teaching Styles

Not all students enjoy lectures, while others learn from lectures best. There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to student learning styles, so mix up various teaching styles to accommodate and connect with as many students as possible. For example, each lesson may include a lecture, reading assignment, worksheets, online materials, written or verbal quizzes, and a test and/or presentation/project. Giving students access to so many different ways to learn lets them have more control over their learning journey and keeps them more engaged.

Setup Work Centers for Downtime

Downtime is a part of every class, since not all students will work or finish their assignments at the same pace. When students are done with their work and waiting for other students to finish, there is a perfect opportunity to boost engagement by allowing them to spend their downtime at classroom work centers. Work centers require minimal teacher supervision and are filled with lesson materials, additional activities, and supplies that relate to current or past lessons. This reinforces the concepts taught during active learning time while also keeping the students engaged and out of trouble.

Keep Students Moving

No one wants to sit at a desk for 6-8 hours each day, so get students up and moving to release some of their pent up energy and reduce anxiety. Exercise is great for both physical and emotional health, so incorporate movement into as many parts of the class lessons as possible. Plan games and activities that get students out of their seats, or just take the entire class outside for a brisk walk when possible. Once the class has blown off some steam by moving around, they’ll be able to sit and engage more on lectures or book work.

Relate Lessons to the Real World

A major complaint that many students and adults have about school is that the lessons are not useable in the real world. In most cases this is quite untrue, but sometimes people have a hard time relating the concepts they learned in class to situations in their actual lives. Bridge that gap by engaging students in open conversations about how what they’re learning can help them in real-world scenarios. Role play some of those scenarios to help them form that real-life connection. When students can see how the lesson will actually benefit them, they’re much more willing to engage.

Make Higher Student Engagement This Year’s Class Goal

Student engagement is a great predictor of student success. When students feel that they have a voice in their learning experience, that their interests are being considered, and that what they are learning can actually help them outside of the classroom, they’ll actually want to learn instead of feeling like they’re being forced to. The proven strategies above will help increase student engagement and set them up for a more successful academic journey.


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