Today’s teachers face a lot of pressure to engage students and keep them interested in the lesson. They’re tasked with coming up with creative, new ways to start a class that will grab their attention and set the tone for the rest of the lesson.
You can start a class in a fun way by utilizing some principles of child psychology. It is important for children to be engaged early on to maintain their attention span during the duration of the lesson. One effective tactic is to have students “warm-up” with some movements, such as jumping jacks, before engaging in more demanding work. This can be followed by drawing an interesting picture on the board that illustrates the main idea of the lesson.
In this blog, I will share with you some warm-up activities that can help you start your lessons in a fun way. So, stay around with me.
How to Start a Class as a Teacher in a Fun Way
Many teachers have a difficult time starting a class in a way that gets their students engaged. Students can often be intimidated or even bored when faced with an introductory activity that is unfamiliar.
One strategy that has been shown to work well with many different types of learners is to engage them in the activity right from the start. This allows students to find things they are good at and enjoy, while also learning about themselves and others.
The following activities will help you get your students involved right away, which should make it easier for them to become interested in what you teach.
Listen to a Short Music
You can make use of music to get the attention of students when starting a class. You could play some upbeat songs, such as “Happy” by Pharrell Williams and “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz. This will encourage them to participate in the lesson.
It is also important for you to be able to sing along with these songs, so they know what’s going on. If you don’t have time to learn how to sing or if it isn’t appropriate for your classroom environment, then just listen to the song instead.
Use an Interactive Whiteboard/Laptop Computer
An interactive whiteboard computer allows you to display images and videos that are relevant to the topic being taught at any given moment.
If possible, students can interact with this technology by using their laptops or tablets to write notes about the information presented. Else, make them come to the board to perform activities on the whiteboard.
These type of learning tools will allow students to engage more fully with the material because they’re not simply listening, but actively participating as well.
You may want to use a projector screen to project pictures onto the wall behind the board. If your school has one available for free, take advantage of it! It’s worth every time and penny spent on it.
Watch a Short Movie
Make your class watch a video that is relevant to the content of the day. For example, if you are teaching about the Civil War and have an interesting movie like Glory, show it during the lesson. The movie could be shown in its entirety or just parts of it, depending upon how much time you have.
Make sure that students can see what is happening at all times so that they don’t miss anything important. This will also help them understand the context of the film better. You may want to watch every movie before showing it so that you will show only movies that are appropriate to everyone.
I often use short movies to get my students talking about the topic we are going to do in class.
Give an Anecdote
Give an interesting story related to the topic of the day to gain students’ attention. This could include something like: “I once went camping with my family, and we saw this really cool waterfall.” Or it could be more personal; “My best friend’s dad died last year from cancer, so I know how hard it is to lose somebody you love.”
The point here is that stories are a great way to engage your audience, especially if you have a good one. You don’t need to make up these anecdotes yourself; there are plenty out there on YouTube or other sites. Just find something that relates well to the lesson plan and use them!
Start with a Debate
Teachers are constantly trying to think of new ways to engage their students and make the class more fun. One way is to start with a debate. This gets the students excited about what they are going to learn for the day.
Not only that, but it also sets an expectation for the type of work they will be doing in the class. It’s not uncommon for teachers to set up debates like this: “Should we ban cell phones during school hours?” Or maybe something along the lines of, “Do you believe in ghosts?” The point here is that you can get creative when setting up a debate.
You don’t have to stick to one topic or even one question. Just pick something interesting enough, so your students want to participate.
This is one of the best, fun ways I have found to engage my students at the middle school level.
Ask a Question
One of the greatest ways to start your class is by asking thought-provoking questions to your students. This way, you are able to gauge their knowledge and interest level before diving into any content. For example, if you were teaching about dinosaurs, you could ask them what kind of dinosaur would win against another.
Or how do they think we know that there was once life on Earth? These types of questions will help you arouse the interests of your students, so they will want to engage more in the lesson. You can also use these questions as an icebreaker for your lessons, or even just to get to know each other better.
Play a Game
Games are often considered one of the best ways to start a lesson. That is because they can help you get the attention of your students right from the beginning of the class. Games can be used at any time during the day and can include anything from simple games like “I Spy” to complex ones like chess.
The key here is to make sure that it’s something fun. If you’re teaching math, then playing a game with numbers on cards would work well. Or if you were teaching about fractions, you could play a card game where players have to guess how many times 1/2 goes into 3. You’ll find that most kids will enjoy this type of activity. It also helps them learn while having some fun!
Tell an Interesting Story
You can use a story to start your lesson. A story can help you get your students talking and participating in the lesson. For example, when I teach my class about the Civil War, we read stories together about what life was like during the time.
We talk about why people fight for their beliefs and discuss the different ways they try to change things around them. This is just one way you can tell a story to engage your students. There are so many other types of interesting stories out there.
You could even make up your own story or ask someone else’s permission to share theirs with your class. The key here is that it has to be something that interests your students. If not, then don’t do it.
Solve a Puzzle
I love puzzles and math games. I like to start my classes off with one of the two. I also like to make them feel at ease by welcoming them and giving them some “homework” on the topic we will be covering in class.
I find that this gives students a sense of immediate mastery and satisfaction, which helps set the tone for a more successful class for everyone. Most students love puzzles, so take advantage of them.
You can even have students create their own puzzles if you want. This works well because they are already familiar with solving problems and creating solutions. It’s just another way to get them excited about learning!
Work out a Crossword
Crosswords are great tools to help you get your students excited about your lesson, especially if you are a language teacher. They also work really well as an assessment tool. Students will be able to familiarize themselves with the vocabulary that is relevant to the topic of the day.
If you’re teaching vocabulary or grammar, then having a crossword is a good idea too. You can use it both as a warmer and a practice exercise in class. But make sure that you have enough time set aside so that everyone gets a turn at completing the crossword.
It’s important not to rush through this part of the process because there’s no point in doing something quickly when you could do it properly and enjoyably instead.
Solve a Brain Teaser
If you’re a new or an experienced teacher, and you want to start your class in a fun way, then you can do it with a brain-teaser. You can assign an activity that will get the students’ brains working. Here are just a few suggestions:
Solve a brainteaser like “What am I?” or “How many people live on Earth?”. This type of question forces the students to think about how they would answer them if they were asked by someone else. The answers may be surprising to most kids, but they should give you insight into their thinking processes. If you have time, try asking questions from different perspectives, such as “Who is more intelligent? A man or a woman? “, “Which one has more friends? A boy or girl? “, etc.
It is a common misconception that teaching has to be boring and dull. In reality, teaching can be a lot of fun, and it’s possible for you to start the semester off on the right foot. All you have to do is use different methods of starting your class off with a bang. You don’t need to make things too complicated; just get students involved in some activities during the first few minutes of class. This will help them feel comfortable and ready to learn when the rest of the day comes around.