Inquiry Learning

The 7 Best Ways to Keep Students' Attention in Class

Grab your students' attention with these easy to follow method.

Teachers know it can often be difficult to keep students' attention, especially in a more traditional classroom. Learning styles, personal technology, and the collaborative spirit are some of the things teachers are adjusting to. Thus, as our learners have changed, the teaching environment has changed to accommodate them.

Although teachers understand that to keep students' attention they must both connect and inspire, it can still be a struggle. As such, they need methods for grabbing the attention of their kids and keeping it fixated on meaningful learning in any classroom. Take a few tips from this infographic from Reading Horizons called Seven Ways to Increase Student Engagement in the Classroom.

Some of these methods you may have heard of and some may be new to you. Nevertheless, the following practices can help you keep students' attention and build lifelong learning mindsets.

7 Ways to Keep Students' Attention 

  1. Use the 10:2 method: Allow students 2 minutes to process and respond for every 10 minutes of instruction. Try things like having them ask a question they have or discussing the content with a fellow student.
  2. Incorporate movement into your lessons: Movement makes for better bodies and better brains, so get their blood pumping. How about having them stand as they ask a question, or demonstrate a problem on the whiteboard? Simple movements like this can be refreshing and stimulating for them.
  3. Pick up the pace: Today's kids don't respond as well to slower instruction and more traditional chalk-and-talk delivery. Want to really keep students' attention? Keep your instruction dynamic and brisk. This energizes your kids and engages them to respond and become as interested as you are. After all, enthusiasm is infectious.
  4. Provide frequent and effective feedback: As we've said before, proper feedback is an essential part of learning and assessment. When done in an empowering and constructive way, it keeps students motivated to progress and succeed. Give feedback frequently that empowers them to move forward—take some tips from this article.
  5. Allow students 5-7 seconds of ‘think time’ when asking a question: Make sure students have time to consider options and respond to questions. Some will be quicker than others, so use your best judgement as to what are reasonable wait times.
  6. At the end of a lesson have students use the 3-2-1 method of summarizing: This is a great quick assessment tool that works amazingly well. Have learners write down 3 things they learned, 2 interesting things, and 1 question they have. Next, they can share these as a class or in smaller groups.
  7. Periodically pause mid-sentence: This is similar to above only you do it randomly throughout your instruction. This gives students a chance to absorb and process what you've said. Additionally, it gives them a chance to come forward with any questions they have.


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