“Concentration is the essence of all knowledge, nothing can be done without it”:- Swami Vivekananda
Keeping students focused and concentrated in the classroom can be a mammoth task especially when dealing with teenagers. Also with a problem of shorter average attention span because of technology and a faster pace of life, it is no wonder that children increasingly struggle to concentrate in class. With all that in mind, here are a few ways or tips to make the most of the students having different levels of attention spans and improve the quality of teaching during a lecture.
If the teacher finds out that, the student is no longer in a position to perform the task and is disinterested in the lecture then it may be time to take a break before going ahead. Remember, a student can only concentrate on one task for about 20 to 40 minutes which also varies from age to age. It is also known as average attention span.
Breaks between the lecture help the students to always stay motivated in their studies and the interval between the sessions helps to refresh their minds and make the studies a fun part of their life.
Also, be mindful that the lecture is being conducted for just the right amount of duration, as the students with short attention span are just sitting there waiting for the lecture to end. Always try to make the students involved in the class. You can do this by asking for regular responses regarding your content or anything else that will make them attentive. Even a simple question, such as asking for a handshake, can be just what you need.
When a student is struggling with a difficult task, distraction in the classroom or on the desk can make it impossible to keep their brain where it needs to be. It can be either a visual or an auditory distraction.
Remove unnecessary clutter/objects. It can be their bag, their geometry box, or can be anything that is not necessary at that point in time. Shuffling the students from their places is also another option that helps the students to be familiar with all of their classmates and give a feeling of new space to their subconscious minds. Be mindful of the students sitting near a window as they are more prone to any distraction. Constantly move around the classroom to keep the students attentive.
Moving our bodies isn’t just good for our fitness, it is great for our mental health and concentration too.
Including physical activities in their break increases the blood flow in the brain, boosts the oxygen which makes them more attentive in lectures. Also, it removes fatigue which helps the students to concentrate from a fresh mind and to build a good approach to the task.
Memory isn't a muscle but to sharpen it you must enhance concentration power. Playing board games such as go fish, snap, solving puzzles, or aptitude questions makes the student think out of the box.
Even asking some general knowledge questions and current affairs help them grind their memory power and boost up their knowledge. This makes the environment of class more enjoyable and educative.
If these strategies don't work, then it's time to look at the task itself. If the teacher finds that the student is still struggling to concentrate after using all the above strategies this means that the task is way more difficult than the students are capable of understanding at the moment.
We have to change the problem-solving approach because when a student tries to solve the task multiple times unsuccessfully, they end up with disappointment which further leads to a lack of confidence and interest in the studies.
To maintain their interest in the studies, the teacher has to strategize with the students and help them to break a problem into subproblems. Students with a short attention span may perform the requested task faster with this strategy rather than having them finish it all in one sitting. All it takes is a little extra thought and work from the teacher's part to bring significant change for students.
In order to stimulate learning and to motivate good behavior, the best way to do it is by rewarding the students. The reward can be of any type either it can be a prize or a title, like the best student of the week, a fast learner, and a quick solver.
This will create a competitive environment within the class in all fields and the student will never feel out of the competition regarding their knowledge. That helps the student to always stay motivated and concentrated to achieve the prize/title.