Trying to keep a classroom full of 25 third graders fully engaged in your lessons can be challenging! I'm also pretty certain that attention spans are getting shorter and shorter each year! Over the years, I've learned a few student engagement tips and tricks to use in your classroom!
Can I be honest...none of these student engagement ideas are full proof. There will come a time when students will get "used to it." So you'll just need to switch it up. The idea will still be there...you'll just change the game, words, or activity.
4 Ways to Increase Student Engagement
1. Call and Response
This has to be the easiest one to implement right away! Simply put, call and response is when the teacher "calls" and the students "respond". Students attention can begin to fade at any time during a lesson, so to get their attention back simply through in a call and response.
These are also a great way to get the class's attention when they are working in groups! Here are just a few of my favorites:
Alright, Stop...Collaborate and Listen
Hocus Pocus...Everybody Focus
Mac & Cheese...Everybody Freeze
Ready to Rock?...Ready to Roll
All Set...You Bet
Games are a great way to up the student engagement factor! I love using the typical childhood game and turning them into academic games! Here's a post I wrote about three multiplication games that my students absolutely love! Even simple relay racing games can add an element of fun!
Here I just had my students do one step of a long division problem! And of course review games before a test are ALWAYS a hit!
Singing in the classroom has to be my favorite way to engage students! And let's just be clear...I am not a good singer! But I like singing and so do kids! I usually try to find songs that go with our curriculum, especially science and social studies!
Of course since multiplication is huge in 3rd grade we skip count all of our factors! You can grab the skip counting songs here in the Free Resource Library.
4. Break the Rules
Every student in your class will be highly interested in you allowing them to break the rules! Simple things like standing in chairs and writing on the desks can take a typical lesson and turn it into the "best thing ever"! (actual kid quote)