5 Innovative Teaching Strategies to Build an Engaging Classroom
What is a classroom? A classroom is a room full of students from different cultural backgrounds, different mental caliber and academic abilities. Therefore, it may become difficult for a teacher to have a 100% ATTENTIVE class. When a student says ‘it’s a boring classroom’, the onus is obviously on the teacher. To have an engaging and intriguing class, a teacher must adopt several effective teaching strategies that reap in spectacular results. Some of these innovative teaching strategies are:
1. Learning Through Puppets: –
Gone are the days when the teacher would read from the book and students were the spectators. Equal participation of all the students and teachers has become a benchmark for an engaging classroom. Thus, teachers are exploring creative as well as innovative teaching strategies to gain students’ attention. One such way is ‘Learning through puppets’. Puppets fascinate children. They learn numerous good and bad habits from them. If used in an instrumental way, they can become an educational resource, and various studies have proved that they are effective aids for entertaining and teaching young minds.This activity is great for junior classes, as it helps in understanding concepts, improve communication skills, develop creative instinct and logical thinking. The teacher instead of teaching as a teacher, mimics the voice of a puppet and introduces a concept/poem or any topic to the students.
The students can also give a name to their ‘puppet buddy’. Interestingly, students in the guidance of the teacher can make the puppets for each subject or as per the available resources.
2. Let’s Shop!: –
Shopping is an interesting activity as one learns to communicate, analyse and take a decision. This innovative teaching strategy attracts students and increases their involvement. The teacher uses this playful activity to teach simple mathematical calculations and various measures and scales. Many textbook-based topics are adapted as part of a market-shopping scene, allowing students to have experiential learning and understand many new and old concepts. In this activity, few students become shopkeepers and few buyers, and shopkeepers sell-off variety of stuff, the dummy/representative things to the buyers. The shopkeepers are divided to sell different items, ranging from clothes, milk, fruits etc. The dummy items are created in the art & craft class.
3. Bird Watching: –
Bird watching for school students is a great activity that allows young minds to enjoy the environment, taking them away from screens and school work and avoid the general boredom of the classroom. On the top, children learn to appreciate nature. Birding also teaches children about responsibility for the environment. Watching local birds around their school campus gives the students an idea of numerous flora and fauna in the immediate surroundings. There are a number of benefits of this activity, such as birding which improves a child’s physical and mental health. Kids with a penchant for languages can learn species’ scientific names and keep lists of jargon’s that helps describe birds and their behavior. The students jot down the facts or peculiar things that they notice during bird watching. Since such activities are fun alongside being a source of experiential learning they ensure maximum participation of the students. Teachers across the country are adopting these innovative teaching strategies to have an attentive class.
4. Learn from plants: –
Nature is the best teacher. This activity encourages students to be close to nature, observe the growth, nurture the plants and experience what they generally read in books. This is a fun-filled activity, which fosters care for the environment too. They truly feel responsible for the environment and nurture it with care. By planting saplings any teacher is able to teach many topics and subjects, such as basics of photosynthesis, parts of plants, growth stages of a living being, significance of plants for human existence, and various benefits of medicinal and non- medicinal plants along with different types of soils and crops/seeds etc. Inspired by ZIIEI’s innovative teaching strategies, this activity is being implemented in many schools in India.
5. ‘Seeing is Believing’- Field Trips: –
Local excursions and field trips are important to bridge the gap between education and hands-on experience. These trips help students to interact with what they are learning. This experience is highly fruitful for understanding a concept; as students are able to witness many news things or participate in it physically. For example, visiting any hospital/ nursing home and learning about ‘first aid’ is much more powerful than just reading about it. Similarly, going to a local paddy field can teach students about grains irrigation, water conservation, soil preservation and much more. These outdoor classrooms are an extension of the concepts learnt via books from the classroom and understand the relevance of it to life. Excursions and field trips, particularly for senior students, help them in learning many important lessons of textbooks and life.