5 Tips to Help Your Advanced Students Stay Engaged in Class
Nov 29, 2011
Not all students within the same classroom learn at the same pace. High achieving students often find themselves bored or disengaged in class. While technology in the classroom can help to reduce this boredom to some extent, you might find you need other ways to combat this problem. If your students are complaining that school is 'too easy' then the following five tips may be helpful in keeping them interested in school and keeping their brains engaged.
1. Challenge Students' Thinking
Use assignments that challenge students' thinking rather than worksheets that have only one right answer. Encourage students to conduct research or use personal experiences to come up with different approaches to solve a specific problem. Having the opportunity to experiment will help to keep students engaged.
2. Incorporate a 'Collaborative Classroom'
Ditch the 'teachers teach and students listen' method and allow for more of an open dialogue between you and your students as well as between the students themselves. Encourage your class to work in groups, where high achieving students can have more of a voice. Collaborating allows students to be more creative in their approach to a topic. This type of interaction can greatly reduce the chance of boredom.
3. Assign Independent Projects
Have advanced students create a how-to video, write a play, design a computer game or complete any type of acceptable project that highlights their individual interests and talents. Individual or special projects allow these students to exercise creativity and skills they might not have the chance to exhibit within the parameters of the standard curriculum.
4. Use Tiered Instruction
Allow students to complete assignments in their own way; for example, if an advanced student has strong public-speaking skills, let him or her do an oral rather than a written report. Or allow students to use pictures, words or both to describe a story they've read. The tiered approach provides the opportunity for students to exercise skills that might otherwise have been stifled, keeping them challenged and thus more engaged.
5. Look Into Advanced Opportunities
In some states it is permissible for students to take advanced classes in other schools; for instance, high achieving middle schoolers can take some courses at a local high school, or advanced high school students can take college classes online or at a community college. Some high school courses are even offered online!
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