From Vacation Mode to Classroom Mode: 10 Proven Ways To Get Students Back on Track
The first day back to school after a long summer break is generally challenging for both students and teachers. It is common for students to deal with post-vacation blues and take some time to transition from leisure mode to study mode. But, many teachers struggle to crack the code on how to re-engage students after a summer break. To combat distractions and low attention spans among students, here is a step-by-step strategic approach for teachers to re-ignite learning and engagement in the classroom. This 10-step guide will help you create a productive learning environment and make the back-to-school transition quick and exciting.
10 Strategies to Engage Students After Summer Holidays
Summer vacations denote that time of the year when students can set aside their academic responsibilities, get that much-needed break from the daily grind and indulge in fun activities. It helps them return to school feeling rejuvenated and refreshed, ready to start a new academic year. To help students channel this energy effectively and redirect their attention toward learning, teachers can strategically introduce fun and engaging activities. Here are 10 effective ways to help students kickstart learning in the classroom after a long summer break.
#Strategy 1: Use Engaging Learning Materials
Think outside the box while curating lessons before a new semester begins. Students are more likely to pay attention and learn in a classroom when the study material is engaging and piques their interest. For example, you can integrate interactive or animated videos relevant to the topic, create fun worksheets for students to solve or use game-based modules with Extramarks Smart Class Plus to boost student engagement. The first week of back-to-school is ideally the best time to use as much engaging study material as possible.
#Strategy 2: Define Short-Term Goals
It is important to consider the bigger picture while setting goals for the academic year; however, the key is to start small. Setting realistic short-term goals will help students stay motivated to achieve their targets without feeling pressured or overwhelmed. Post-summer break, focus on short-term goals like completing assignments, and creating notes until students are ready to take up more comprehensive projects.
#Strategy 3: Put A Spin on Assignments
Instead of diving right into academic assignments that demand a great deal of skill or understanding, begin with something that’s a bit more fun and engaging. For example, you may ask students to work on an essay on a trending topic, share their views on a newsworthy event, create a presentation on a pop culture topic or anything that falls within the academic framework and seems relevant.
#Strategy 4: Implement Experiential Learning
Create a reflective learning experience by integrating practical applications along with verbal lectures. This involves developing an engaging process where students ‘learn by doing’ through hands-on application in real-time. It may take the form of a field trip, a collaborative experience by merging classes or working on practical lab experiments together. While experiential learning can be implemented throughout the semester, introducing elements of it in the first few weeks back from summer break can be great for capturing students’ attention.
#Strategy 5: Make Learning Fun
One of the most effective ways to boost classroom participation post a long break is to introduce game-based learning. Make lectures fun by getting students involved in pop quizzes, scavenger hunts, brain teasers, puzzles or other educational games. This is likely to enhance students’ enthusiasm and help them ease back into classroom learning.
#Strategy 6: Let Students Take The Lead
One of the best ways to keep students engaged in the classroom is to make them feel involved and be part of the learning process. Encourage students to actively participate by sharing stories from their summer break, speaking about what they’re looking forward to this semester, indulging in productive classroom discussions and so on.
#Strategy 7: Ease into Homework
A tonne of homework in the first week of school can be overwhelming for students who are just back from a long summer break. Wait a week or two before you assign any homework that requires students to invest time and brain power. To begin with you may ask them to bring something into class for a show-and-tell and gradually move onto more academically-inclined assignments.
#Strategy 8: Promote Self-Learning
Let students know that the classroom is not the only space where they can learn. In fact, you can encourage students to practice self-learning at home by conducting some research on the current topic being taught in class, watch interesting videos on it and have discussions with their peers to enhance their understanding and boost learning.
#Strategy 9: Reward Positive Behaviour
Positive reinforcement can be a huge driving factor for students that can help them work through challenges with ease. It may take some time for students to ease back into the regular school routine. So, in the meanwhile, try to be encouraging of their efforts and appreciate the small wins.
#Strategy 10: Conduct Regular Check-ins
Make sure that you are available for students and check in on how they are doing. Creating a safe space and building that personal rapport with students can help them feel seen and supported in the classroom environment. Consciously approach students and check in with them, irrespective of how quickly they are able to cope. It is best to schedule additional catch-up time with students who may need that extra support to get back on track.
It is quite common for teachers to wonder how to re-engage students after a summer break. What’s important to note is that there isn’t a perfect formula to getting it right. However, adding those fun elements to classes is key to capture students’ attention and prepare them for a successful academic year.
The Extramarks Teaching App is a great one-stop solution to conduct classes seamlessly. Find interactive 2D and 3D animated content to engage students, join online chat rooms to resolve doubts, send real-time polls and get detailed AI-backed reports of individual student performance. So, get ready to explore 360-degree digital teaching solutions curated by experts by joining the Extramarks Teaching App today!