In my Year 3 and 4 math classes, I notice that students quickly lose interest.
Getting our students’ attention is a problem many of us teachers face in online classes. One of the reasons this is a problem is because children tend to have a shorter attention span than adults. The lack of bonding between my students and I and between themselves also contribute to the issue.
Unfortunately, we have so many limitations on-screen that prevent us from reaching our students.
But without losing hope, I aimed my students’ attention as much as possible during these challenging times online
What do children expect in online classes?
Let’s put ourselves in the position of our students: would you like to sit in front of a screen for one hour while an adult talks about the precipitation of water? It sounds boring, doesn’t it? No wonder children don’t pay attention in class!
Children want to have fun. So if we want their attention, we have to make learning fun for them.
What makes children have fun? Games!
I love playing games too. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, I would host educational games in my classroom. Based on this knowledge, I searched for online educational games for my students to participate in.
Games break all the limitations on screen. Through educational games, I can see who’s progressing well and who isn’t, depending on their performance. From there, I know how to help my students progress further.
Looking at my students being so focused while having fun warms my heart.
Case Study: How my Year 4 class learnt their multiplications through games
My year 4 students love competitions. While I was planning their lessons on multiplication, I got the idea to introduce this fun and challenging game: the Grand Prix Multiplication.
Gran Prix multiplication is an educational and competitive racing game where students have to answer multiplication questions. With each multiplication question they answer correctly, their car would move forward faster.
My students enjoyed the game! It was exciting to watch them compete with each other. The game encourages them to remember multiplication concepts and trains their minds to do mathematics quickly.
Another multiplication game we played in class was Super Math Bowling Game. This game uses the concept of bowling with mathematics to score points. It tests not only your multiplication facts but your accuracy as well!
Educational platforms you can use to make your classes fun!
Learning doesn’t have to be boring. It can be fun too!
Here are my top resources for online class interaction:
Nearpod can be used in many ways. It can be used to make slides and videos with interactive elements such as polls or multiple-choice questions.
You can also make your own interactive games with gamification features such as “Matching Pairs” and “Draw it”. Their animation on the game “Time to Climb” is adorable!
Nearpod is a great visual learning platform that is suitable for younger children.
Jamboard is another educational platform that focuses more on visual learning. However, unlike Nearpod, they use more straightforward interactive tools like click and drag.
Their Jamboard gives easy visual prompts which help children in their early years with counting. Nearpod is a great visual learning platform that is suitable for younger children.
3. Google Drive
Yes! Google Drive to make your online classes fun!
Google Drive has more functions that can be useful for creating assignments and quizzes for older students.
Drawings for visual, hands-on learning. Google Docs can also be used to create worksheets that are easy for students to copy and fill in.
Google Drive can also teach your students organisational skills. With proper guidance, students can create their own working files to help themselves and you find what you need. Nearpod is a great visual learning platform that is suitable for younger children.
With the animation and background music, Kahoot is a next-level play on hosting your quizzes. With its game show format, students will get hyped competing against one another to key in the correct answer, training their ability to think fast and accurately while teaching them class lessons.
I believe that teachers worldwide are trying their best to educate their students no matter the situation. I hope that with these platforms, teachers can be inspired and continue to be creative and innovative.
Take care and stay safe!