Ten Engagement Strategies That Work Wonders For Young Children

Written by Meera Suryaprabhu

Bio

4 mins read

Nature has bestowed children with abundant energy. They are born hyperactive and impulsive. This energy, when harnessed and trained in the right manner and direction, expands multifold, to yield wonderful learning outcomes.

However interesting and engrossing the activity may be, the normal attention span of young children is around 10-15 minutes. This necessitates the importance of strategies that can work wonders for young children, to effectively utilize the class time to accomplish learning to the fullest.

Classroom Preparation – Mood Setting – Making Room For Fun

Children long for a fun-filled atmosphere. They get easily bored by monotony. Their ever-curious brain instructs them to go ahead, discover new commodities and places. So the classroom atmosphere can be made inviting, the environment ambient. Seating arrangements can be altered every day, using named placards, showing where they have to sit during that day’s class. This will develop an eagerness in their mind, as to who would be their neighbour for the day.

Colours breathe life into children. Sets of picturesque charts, adorning the classroom walls, loaded with information on the current class topic, can feed their vivid imagination.

Improvement Of Concentration – A Warm-up Always Works

Children, today, are subject to a lot of stress. For destressing they require the aid of external parameters like deep breathing yogic practices to align their focus. Deep breathing exercises, followed by a small general invocation, praising Infinity, requesting the super power to add joys, subtract sorrow, multiply friends, divide love and solve all problems, followed by rhythmic clapping and distributing a few nuts like almonds as ‘Prasad’ for instant energy. That would be a good beginning to a meaningful Math class and it is reckoned that ‘Well Begun Is Half-Done’.

Significance Of Inquisition – Questions Are Posed By Winners Only

Children are inquisitive by nature. They have an unappeased hunger for knowledge and an unquenched thirst for information. A good teacher would capitalize on this trait and nurture the inborn curiosity of the children. Question hours would always be welcomed, encouraged and answers given by the students themselves would be recognized and rewarded once a week. So the intelligent question would be given the highest commendation.

Nurturing Responsibility Vide Commitment – Steady Progress Towards A Goal

Commitment is the first virtue which helps initiate one towards a goal. To give a head start on that, children can be trained to set their own targets for the day, at the beginning and record their achievements at the end of the class. This method has proven to enliven the class, and keep the children on vigil, all set to reach their goal.

Gamification, Rhymes And Story Telling

Learning process attains completion only on retention of what is learnt. This retention is remarkable when the concept of applying play or playful features is applied to learning. Rhymes have been found to ease the hardship of multiplication.

Stories have always fascinated the young, especially when you apply brakes on the most interesting part, to be continued, to be conveyed in the next session, making the child yearn for the forthcoming class.

Discipline – The Bridge Between Goals And Accomplishment

Classroom rules should be pre-framed and simple enough for little children to comprehend and remember. The rules should be impartial, with no scope for compromise, because children hate discrimination and unfairness whatsoever. As opposed to the thought that rules bring stringency in the atmosphere, they usher in harmony. Little children who don’t follow rules and maintain discipline should be lightly chided and made to fall in line with the rest. This is utmost essential to ward off distraction and keep the entire class engaged.

Quizzing – A Kick To Boredom And Monotony

Any monotonous class is enlivened by quizzing. Healthy competition amongst children enhances learning, especially ‘THE RAPID FIRE ROUND’. The candidate for the rapid fire round can be drawn by lots, giving a chance for every kid to excel. This drives away fear, shyness and inculcates strength to face odds and obstacles within a fixed time span, rendering the initial lessons of ‘Time Management’.

Honing The Audition Skills

Dictation builds better listening and transcription skills. Random multiplicands and multipliers can be dictated. The kids have to listen and write the product. Kids would be enthralled to know the ‘Multiplication Wizard Of The Day’.

Sometimes Mathematical terms in English, stupefy and startle the kids. Dictation of terms with meaning help them to clarify the language.

Learning By Simulation – Taught Becomes Teacher

Children love to do what their elders do, boss over their peers and get into the shoes of the seniors. Kids should be given an opportunity to become a teacher once a week. The best way to LEARN is to TEACH. The child gets to know the difficulties of the teacher and children learn to come out of their shell and shine.

 What Not To Do? – To Disengage…

Last but not the least, the easiest way to disengage the learning wagon is to hurt the child’s ego. Mocking and jeering is a strict ‘No’ ‘No’. Teachers should avoid comparisons, and encourage only healthy competition.

An idle mind is the devil’s workshop. A successful teacher is one who packs the hour with varied activities, such that, time flies leaving the kid to yearn for more at the end of the hour.

In A Nutshell…

  • The effect of setting and the impact of the surrounding should not be under estimated when young children are engaged. Location should be demarcated and designed to cater to the tastes of young children.
  • Alignment of focus is the winning proposition. Ways and practices to improve attention, intensify single mindedness and serve as key factors of engagement.
  • Cueing children, making them think and ask questions, is entrancing the kids into a maze of information, leaving them to learn, explore and trace their way out.
  • Goals are reached faster and easier by planning ahead. Objectives should be precipitated and penned down and re-examined with retrospective effect to evaluate achievements. This makes way for steady movement towards fixed goals.
  • Fun and Frolic aid in memory enhancement. Concepts are retained better and can be retrieved flawlessly if they are incorporated into fascinating stories.
  • Rules aid uninterrupted learning, avoid distractions and focus a lot of time and energy resulting in greater learning outcomes. Quizzing and Dictation are vital to break tediousness.
  • Children are greatly delighted when they are elevated to the post of a teacher. This special characteristic of young children can be utilized to ward off shyness, develop the concept of Unity in Diversity. Repeated teaching envisages that the concepts are indelibly engraved in their minds, which is an added advantage.
  • The best way to touch the child’s brain is through the heart. The teacher should be the cynosure of any classroom. Thus able teachers can use effective strategies to engage young children, manage them and maximize knowledge and learning.

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