Our children have been adapting to countless changes. With that, you may have noticed them becoming disengaged during classes. Some parents shared with me how their children are undergoing ‘Zoom fatigue’. Others witnessed how school teachers struggled to engage a class of 40 students on Zoom.
Whatever the case, there is no need to fret because we at Artistic Strategies Academy have discovered three ways to successfully engage your child and help them stay curious.
And guess what? These three methods work for both online and face-to-face classes. This is what you have to do:
1. Tune in to what is trending
We all follow trends, whether it is fashion trends or music trends. Children follow trends too! So it is always helpful to identify the latest hot topic in school. It could be a viral game that many are playing, or a popular show that has got everyone’s attention. These trends can then be used to design learning activities.
At Artistic Strategies Academy, we found out that many of our students are hooked on the online multiplayer social deduction game, Among Us. A large number of them also enjoy watching magic and performing tricks. Therefore, we designed holiday programmes that can engage their interests while giving them a chance to express themselves, both through speaking and writing.
Here is one of our students from our Among Us-inspired lesson. She had created her own ‘impostor’—a titillating character in the game whose role is to deceive and sabotage. With that, it took no time before she was able to describe what she thought a suspicious character looked like, even providing thoughtful and vivid details in her description.
And in another workshop, we collaborated with professional magician Tommillusions to design writing exercises around magic and performance, thus allowing the students to immerse themselves in the lesson using all their senses. As a result, we could engage their attention while also helping them tackle some of the weaker areas in their compositions: creating narratives that stick and images that come alive.
2. Let them try something suitably challenging yet rewarding
The purpose of this is not to stress them out unnecessarily or unduly, but to ignite a sense of purpose and fulfilment in them as they try to achieve the goal.
I researched Escape Rooms and decided to design a Virtual Escape Room to revise some of the vocabulary and writing techniques that students have learned at Artistic Strategies Academy.
Students had 30 minutes to look for 5 clues and solve them before getting a ‘key’ to escape. To cater to the children’s varying levels of abilities, we created three different Escape Rooms.
The children thoroughly enjoyed it. After reading their reflections on the activity, we realised that they remembered well what they had learned. Our plan to engage them in their online classes succeeded.
3. Appeal to their predominant learning styles
There are many different models to determine the predominant learning styles of students. However, here is one simple quiz you can use to gauge their preferred style:
“If you were to describe a beach to a person who has never been to one, how would you do it?”
If their answers contain more imagery, you may deduce that they prefer learning through visuals. Or they may describe movement more, indicating that they learn best when they are moving. If their descriptions are more about sounds, then their predominant learning style could be auditory and they learn best while listening to something.
Based on your findings, you could organise or source for learning activities that best match their learning styles! This is exactly what one of our teachers did: she tasked her students to use dominoes in their project to work on different vocabulary. The children quickly took the activity and made it their own. In other words, they were 101% engaged. Check this video out:
Now that you know the secret sauce that keeps your children engaged and enjoying their learning activities, do you know what is even more important than that?
It is EVEN more important that they have fulfilled the learning goals associated with those activities.
So, the next question you would ask is:
“How do we know what the child has learned after engaging in the activities?”
Here are a couple of simple yet effective methods that our teachers at Artistic Strategies Academy use to assess learning:
1. “Explain what I have just told you in your own words.”
2. “Give an example of how you would apply this in a different situation or scenario.”
3. “Teach a friend what you have just learnt.”
I hope this article has been useful to you. Whether you are a parent or educator, we look forward to hearing your thoughts! Should you be interested in any of our weekly classes, online resources, or holiday workshops, simply drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or WhatsApp us at +65 98936129.
Yours in partnership,