“I know what I should do, but I don’t have time…” When it comes to planning engaging lessons, this is a shared feeling among many teachers, despite the country. Teachers are often aware of the different aspects that should be considered when delivering engaging and effective lessons, but they are struggling with the lack of time.
All teachers know that when students are engaged and motivated, they also learn much better and at best experience the joy of learning. So, it is really worth to pay attention to designing intriguing and activating lessons.
What makes lessons engaging and effective? Scientific research has given us important guidelines to design lessons that promote learning and motivate students at the same time.
Having a clear and well thought structure of the lesson, helps. Pedagogically smart lesson structure doesn’t have to be exactly the same in every lesson though. Students – as well as teachers – enjoy variation, especially if it is pedagogically justifiable and well organized. Including different actions that are known to promote learning, is one of the keys to successful lessons.
“Sounds interesting! What kind of phases and functions could be included in my lessons?”
First of all, there are several ways that help students to prepare for processing novel content. Sometimes some warm-up is needed before introducing new subject matter. Making sure that students are alert and able to focus on the new topic, usually pays off.
Orientating students to the coming theme aids them to map their previous knowledge about the topic and prepare their minds for processing new information about it. Orientation is a great way to rouse interest and motivation, and a powerful booster for learning too. Orientation makes it easier to connect old and new information and understand the larger context around the topic.
Acquiring and processing new information is the core of many lessons. But how to do that in a manner that truly enhances learning and strengthens learners’ own active role? How to make sure that students actively process this new information and apply it into new contexts and situations? There are multiple, tested teaching methods that help students to get actively involved in acquiring and “digesting” new information.
Sometimes you can see that students are too tired or otherwise unable to focus on the topic at hand. It is not uncommon to see the energy level of students to drop during a lesson or a school day. How to help that? Action breaks are short, energizing, fun and physically activating exercises that boost students with positive energy in just a few minutes.
Many teachers that we have met, say that they do know the power of reflection in deepening learning., but they very seldom feel they have time for it in their lessons. Even when the time is scarce, it is worthwhile to take few minutes for reflection. According to scientific research, reflection is one of the key elements in reinforcing learning.
“Sounds important, but a bit overwhelming…?”
Good news is, that you don’t’ have to include all of these engaging elements to all your lessons! Depending on the purpose and length of the lesson, it is vital to choose only those elements that are this time the most useful for promoting learning and students’ own activity. Moreover, it is essential to include different elements to different lessons in order to make lessons diverse and interesting.
There are numerous ways and multiple teaching methods to implement warm-up, orientation, mapping pre-existing knowledge, reflection etc. The question is: where to get ideas how to do it in practice?
When discussing with teachers in various different countries, these same questions came up. Even though we know what kind of elements would make the lessons engaging and effective, it is not that easy to know how to include them in our teaching.
We thought that it shouldn’t be so challenging! There should be an easy way to design lessons that include different engaging elements without extra effort. LessonApp – a mobile tool for lesson planning– was developed to help teachers in their everyday work.
So, now there’s help available! Have a try – register for LessonApp and start a 2-week trial period free of charge. LessonApp gives you easy-to-use tools for designing engaging and effective lessons! Or do you want to access all the delights, full set of the latest features and more than 150 different, tested and engaging teaching methods? If yes, the Premium version of LessonApp is the right choice for you.
We would be glad to hear how you deliver engaging lessons!