zaterdag, april 20, 2024
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10 ways to help improve concentration in the classroom.

10 ways to help improve concentration in the classroom, because it’s the new version of the age-old debate about “kids these days” – are our students’ concentration waning the more they are exposed to technology? Now that most have almost instantaneous access to information and entertainment, it is suggested that our children’s brains are literally being rewired to process information in short bursts.

How long is a student’s concentration?

Many sources say that the average length of a child’s attention can be calculated with this simple formula:

Age x 2-5 minutes = average concentration

This is of course a generalization. It is one that can help us understand how to best approach lesson planning and delivery for our students, but we must also remember that each individual student will process information in different ways. Not only that, but sometimes our kids, like us, are having a bad day and their attention may be more fleeting than usual.

With that in mind, here are ten ways you can make the most of your students’ varying concentration and improve the quality of learning during a lesson.

improve concentration

1. Plan lessons at intervals.

When planning a single lesson or session, consider breaking it down into smaller chunks. If you’re teaching a group of 7-year-olds, with an average concentration of 14-25 minutes, plan a kind of cognitive “gearbox” into each 15-minute or 20-minute interval.

It can be as simple as changing from direct instruction to working in pairs, or from writing individually to sharing the work they have done so far in a small group.

2. Create Brain Breaks routine.

Schedule planned brain breaks, set some kind of singing alarm on your tablet or phone. When the alarm goes off, distract your students from their concentration by asking a question or doing a short activity.

3. Use the visual environment.

Just as it can be difficult for some adults to work at a cluttered desk or in a cluttered room, some students will struggle with the sensory overload of a busy classroom space.
But many students will benefit from inspiring posters, informative displays and artwork in the classroom. Resting their eyes on this for a moment during periods of concentration will act as a mini brain break for some.

The visual environment you create depends on the specific needs of your class group and the individual students within it.

4. Ask students to grade tasks.

Edutopia contributor David Reeves has this interesting suggestion for understanding and adapting to improve student concentration:

“If you notice that a child is consistently avoiding work or seems overly distracted, ask that child to rate the level of challenge found in the activity on a scale of 1 to 10. If the child indicates that the activity is a three or is lower, ask what can be done to consider the task. nine or ten. Sometimes you get excellent insight into what you can do to help the student reduce his/her frustration.”

5. Create a daily mindfulness practice routine.

This tip for improving concentration in the classroom has many additional benefits. There are plenty of short, easy Mindfulness activities for children that can be included in your daily routine.

Plan to do a 5-10 minute Mindfulness practice every day, at a time when you know students need a little something extra to focus and get the most out of the learning experience that is about to happen.

6. Keep an eye on the time!

Once you start to become aware of the different concentration of individual students in your class, keep an eye on the time that has passed since the start of an activity.

Ask students who you know have difficulty paying attention to show their work after a certain amount of time. This simple act of entering the student’s world requires them to switch from whatever they were doing to communicating with you.
It can be an effective way to keep easily distracted students focused on a task and has the added benefit of giving them the opportunity to ask for help or clarification when needed.

7. Set up flexible seating or work stations.

Flexiblehe seating or work stations are another proactive approach to improving student outcomes. It’s a way to organize your classroom by abandoning the traditional idea of “rows of desks facing the teacher at the front.” Instead, try to provide students with a variety of seating options so they can choose the seat that is most comfortable for them.

8. Play memory games.

Make memory or other concentration games available for students to play at appropriate times. The simple act of focusing for a period of time, while in the mental ‘play space’ of a game, is a valuable exercise in concentration skills.

Well-known card games such as Go Fish, Snap and Memory are great. Commercial games such as Who is it, Uno, Battleship and Jenga are also examples of games to practice concentration skills.

9. Fast finisher activities.

Make sure your students have access to quick-finish activities that they can start after completing set work.

You can think of creative ways for students to access activities that they can complete quickly.

10. Get your students moving!

Finally, the most obvious goal of all, physical activity! Moving our bodies is not only good for our physical health, but also for our mental health and concentration.
That’s why it’s so important to incorporate some form of regular exercise into your students’ days.

Conclusion.

There really are many ways to accommodate the different attention spans of your group and improve concentration. The most valuable is often facilitating hands-on, practical, or research-based learning experiences that require creative thinking and problem solving.

What strategies do you use to improve students’ concentration?

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