Encouraging children to participate in classroom lessons can be tricky and it’s often a secret that every teacher wishes they knew.
Much like public speaking can be intimidating for adults, participating in classroom activities can be a daunting task for many students.
The fear of contributing a wrong idea or mispronouncing a word can lead to completely withdrawing from the class, so providing a comfortable environment where pupils can relax and be interested in their work is key.
Here are our tips for encouraging class participation in children:
Create a relaxed environment
The layout of a classroom has a huge impact on student participation as they’re more likely to get involved if they feel comfortable within the classroom.
Providing students with positive feedback can help to add to their confidence, helping them to see that not every idea is a bad idea!
When more of the confident students contribute their ideas but they aren’t particularly great, making an effort to provide positive feedback can be a great way to encourage other students to participate.
Adding a noticeboard with a display of student’s work is also great for encouraging them to participate. If a pupil can see their peers’ ideas displayed on the wall, it may encourage them to add theirs to the wall.
Re-work the classroom layout
Along with making the students feel comfortable within the classroom, it’s a good idea to re-work the layout of a classroom.
Arranging chairs and tables in a U shaped arrangement avoids children distancing themselves from the class discussion, and can help them feel more involved in the group.
Make it relevant!
One of the main reasons why student’s don’t participate in classes is because they are uninterested in the lesson.
Creating a fun and energetic lesson that includes things that students are interested in is a great way to help them interact and contribute to the class.
When teaching a group of students, relating the work to something they’re interested in is likely to help them contribute as they will feel more comfortable discussing the subject.
If students aren’t comfortable with their verbal skills, using props is a great way to get them involved in the class.
Laptop whiteboards can be used to personally draft student’s ideas before they are presented; helping them to feel confident in their own ideas before they express them and participate in classroom discussions.
If there are students in a class that are shy and nervous at the thought of class participation, it’s a great idea to encourage them to work as a team.
It can be easier for students to participate if they’re working in smaller and more intimate groups because there aren’t as many people.
Slowly increasing the number of students per group each time can help to increase their confidence to participate in discussions, aiding their likeliness to contribute further.
Encouraging students to participate in their classes can be difficult but with the use of some audio visual equipment, display boards and fun classes; your students will be throwing their hands up all the time!