Gearing up for Term 4: How to Maximise Student Engagement
The end of the school year is approaching and it can be a tough time where some students may be starting to mentally check out.
While it’s been another tricky year, our students have risen to the occasion. Even so, many students (and teachers) may be ready for the school year to be over. Today’s article will provide teachers, parents, and students with concrete advice and tips on how to wrap up the semester successfully, in terms of marks and mental state.
1) Encourage self-reflection
Remind your students (or child) of what they have achieved so far this year. Create self-reflection tasks to allow them the opportunity to track their growth. What new skills have they gained this year? How can you practice these in term 4?
NOTE: Don’t dismiss any anxieties or fears about Term 4. It’s important to acknowledge these feelings and make a plan (some tips below might help!).
2) Make a schedule
Students should create a study schedule and display it prominently. Encourage students to try their best to stick to it in order to stay focussed and avoid procrastination. Ensure that it is balanced to leave time for relaxation.
3) Model enthusiasm for learning!
One of the best ways to get your students motivated is to share your enthusiasm. When you’re excited about teaching, they’ll be much more excited about learning. It’s that simple.
4) Getting our kids to ‘care’ about their learning
Remote learning doesn’t allow all students to thrive (one of my kids is a great example). But we must all persevere in encouraging our kids to care more about their learning. Those who care about their learning tend to study more deeply. If they earned a disappointing grade or mark on their first test (or second), they try to do everything in their power to recover. Examples include asking for teacher feedback, going over their tests, asking other students for help, analysing the marking criteria. As a result of student focus on their learning, those who possess a growth mindset recover from their earlier stumbles.
5) Harness student interests
Knowing your students also has some other benefits, namely that it allows you to relate classroom material to things that students are interested in or have experienced during the year. Teachers can use these interests to make things more interesting and relatable to students, keeping students motivated for longer. Parents should communicate with teachers if something special has happened at home that their child might want to share with the class.
6) Offer rewards
Everyone likes positive reinforcement, and offering your students the chance to earn them is an excellent motivator. Things like pizza parties, watching movies, or even something as simple as a sticker on an assignment can make students work harder and really aim to achieve. Consider the personalities and needs of your students to determine appropriate rewards for your class. At home, parents might negotiate a meal with their friends, telling another adult about their achievement while their child is listening, reward vouchers. (A lockdown idea could be an online group movie with your child’s friends.)
7) Embrace the future!
Repeated studies have found that students with a growth mindset do better academically (and enjoy it more). So encourage a growth mindset by highlighting that there are new challenges coming their way but they have the skills to tackle and embrace those challenges. Remote learning meant that we all had to pivot and explore new innovative ways of teaching (and homeschooling!). Don’t forget these ways, particularly if your students found them engaging and exciting. Try to include these in Term 4.
TIP: Consider asking your pupils (or child) to create a “vision board” for 2022 to help them focus on the prospects for next year.
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Check out our blogs for more ideas and tips.
Brought to you by Tanya Grambower