Students are often very easily distracted – and it becomes more necessary than ever to help them with ways to concentrate better. Many of us end up comparing their attention to that of a goldfish which is basically negligible. However, it is not their fault, research shows that kids lack the kind of concentration skills that adults have, but despite wandering minds, they remember more.
Student concentration is significant, which is why multiple Singapore private school and public schools are taking steps to help grasp children’s attention. Here are a few steps that you can take to help your kids concentrate better in class.
- Break the routine while teaching a lesson
The Carnegie Mellon and Teachers College of Columbia study found that 25% of education lessons were 17 minutes or extended beyond that. But, kids did not remain attentive for that long; their minds started to wander within ten minutes. Don’t go on and on when giving a lecture – when you plan a class, break it down into smaller lessons to enhance student concentration. This does not mean that you leave the topic midway. It simply means you change the way of operation. So if you were giving a lecture, switch gears to a debate, move from partner work to a group activity, or from a sharing task with a small group to an individual contributory session. This will break the monotony and still help kids learn the topic.
- Incorporate brain breaks into your routine
Teachers must merge brain breaks into the school day routine to allow kids to get their concentration powers back by shaking the cobwebs. The universal brain break rule of thumb is to give around three to five minutes to allow their minds to reset. Brain breaks are usually done between lessons or transitioning from one lesson to another. The idea behind it is to refresh the kids’ minds so they can dive back into learning, reinvigorated and ready to absorb what is being taught. Teachers can add as few or as many brain breaks into the daily schedule as necessary.
- Fast-Finisher Activities
Nothing can distract children like a classmate who is the first to finish their class work. Once children are done, they start getting bored and bothering their classmates. This is a big distraction; to prevent this, make sure you have multiple fast-finisher activities that these kids can start on after completing their own work. Then there will never be a moment to disturb their classmate’s focus. Also read about the high school.
- Don’t eat into the kids’ recess time.
Many countries have made it illegal to deprive children of recess time. However, even if it is legal in your country to do so – do not. Socialising, playing games, and physical activities invigorate a child’s concentration. When you deprive them of that recess time or eat it, you do more harm than good; it eventually negatively impacts student concentration.
- Ask Students to Rate Tasks
A student’s feedback is priceless in helping your lessons become more effective. Always ask your kids how they found a particular class or the strategy you used. Depending on their feedback, you can adopt more approaches that the kids find appealing and keep them engaged. You may think that a specific approach is practical, but it could be putting the kids to sleep – learn and change your lesson delivery plan based on their recommendations.
- Get rid of visual distractions.
We all want our classrooms to look fabulous; however, we don’t know that our classroom décor is key to a child’s concentration ability. We need to tone down our décor and reduce the clutter. When a child is unable to focus or struggling with a difficult task, clutter on her desk or in the classroom makes it impossible for them to be able to focus and apply their brain. Get rid of superfluous clutter and visual distraction from the workspace. This will give the child more reasons to focus on the task at hand.
- Play memory
Memory games help improve focus and fun, honing their concentration skills when they are presented with something challenging. Dedicate some times in the regular school day where the entire class can play memory games. Those who are attention-challenged students take some extra time outside of standard class time to play these memory games. These games needn’t be complicated; even a basic game of memory matching cards, I-Spy, red-light-green-light, or Simon Says helps a child to concentrate and increases attention.
Meditation is a tried and tested formula that doesn’t require much effort and improves concentration in kids. It doesn’t even require too much preparation time; all you need is a space outdoors amid nature or a calm and quiet classroom.
- Get students to switch off their Electronic Devices.
This is one main obstacle between students and their concentration. Elementary school kids may not have this issue, but as they grow older, they are enamoured by the internet for the wrong reasons. They want to check out what their friends are up to and who is doing what. Before you start a class, ask your students to switch off their phones and place them on your desk.
There are numerous ways to address the varying concentration spans of the kids in your class. The most valuable way being endorsed by IGCSE schools in Singapore is through inquiry-based learning experiences. Singapore private schools are more hands-on and practical in their approach, keeping the child focused while enhancing their problem-solving and creative thinking skills.