A child who is engaged and interested is the one who learns the most effectively. The primary quest of all teachers especially in pre-primary and primary classes is to garner the child’s attention. The younger child is often restless and cannot focus attention for a long time or on conventional methods of teaching.
The best way to gain the attention of your students is the pattern interrupt phenomenon. The basic principle is to break the focus to create a temporary state of confusion. That is the defining moment as the student becomes open to suggestion. The acceptance of the new concepts is subject to the way the teacher can present and clarify the interruption. Different age groups require different pattern interrupt actions. Let us discuss elementary school patterns.
- Make animal sounds to get your student’s attention. Rhymes with animal sounds are a popular way to achieve this.
- Set a pattern of maybe saying aye-aye every time a concept is written out on the board. It has a similar effect.
- Creating new ways to teach the same concept, maybe using props works well. For example using real apples to teach numbers and then getting them eaten as a snack.
- Use animated characters to make the class interesting. Flowcharts with the child’s favorite cartoons help in garnering attention and retention too.
- The clap routine works every single time. To break the monotony ask the class to clap once if they hear you, then ask for two claps, and then three and so on till 5 or 6 claps. This will shake up the interest levels and you will have an entertaining and interactive session.
There are many more tricks that follow the same pattern. Innovate and create to catch the attention of your students and maximize each learning opportunity.