Is school fun?
Seriously. Do you remember school being fun for you? Did you jump out of bed in the mornings, excited for all the adventures that awaited you in the classroom and beyond?
For many of us, we were probably in a classroom, behind a desk for 7 hours a day, taking small breaks but mostly doing work from textbooks and listening to the teacher’s lecture. Our book bag never seemed to get lighter with the day’s homework and lessons.
Does it have to be that way now? Is this what students should expect when they go to school?
We say No! School is, of course, about learning. But learning should be fun. If learning isn’t fun, it won’t be effective.
Research has proven that children who do not have fun with learning, diminish their chances of retaining knowledge and thirsting for more knowledge as they grow. If we are going to raise a generation that loves to learn, think critically, explore concepts, engage discussions and listen to ideas, then educators must help students see the joy in learning.
People learn better when they’re feeling strong positive emotions. Fun has a positive effect on motivation levels, determining what we learn and how much we retain. Learning isn’t a one-off event. It requires repetition and dedication. If the experience is fun, learners will stay curious and keep coming back for more.
How can educators engage students with experiences and activities that feel fun and relevant to their lives, especially during this difficult time of
transitioning back to the classroom?
Studies have proven that most people prefer to feel in control over what they are doing. That is why it is essential to offer students a choice on what they will be doing or studying that day and how the process will go. Have them be part of the conversation! If educators offer students a variety of options, students can choose what they do best and sounds like fun. Their engagement and motivation to complete a task will be a lot higher. This gets the whole class involved, not just a few students.
Make it Practical
“Where am I ever going to use this?” It’s more than likely educators have heard this question quite often from students. The biggest mistake is to explain why students are learning this subject matter. To make learning fun and enjoyable, educators should provide practical examples to increase students’ interest in the subject simply because it will become more relatable and understandable. Until educators show that the material has practical applications, students will treat learning as a chore.
Gamify Learning Activities
Kids love technology. Gamification in learning has the most significant potential to make the learning process more enjoyable. By including game elements into something that is not actually game-related, educators can influence the enthusiasm, motivation and mood of students. In addition, the natural affiliation between children, play, and the desire to have fun with others makes games an ideal vehicle for teaching SEL.
One big advantage technology offers is the ability to engage students on what they each need the most. Technology can also bring a lesson to life for students. Kinems offers a wide range of immersive games in which the student appears as an avatar or actor to control its environment through movement and play. To learn more about how Kinems’ games support a student’s actions and expression, visit our blog. When students have a wealth of interactive information in the palm of their hands, they have fun and learn when they’re given the chance to use it.
Kinems offers a wide range of whole embodied learning activities for fundamental subjects such as Math and ELA, as well as executive functions based on the Whole Embodied Learning Approach to teaching. To learn more about how movement-based learning transforms early childhood education, read here.
Making learning fun and engaging can be difficult, but it’s definitely rewarding when educators pull it off. When lessons are interactive and apply to real life, students are more likely to follow along and retain what they learn. As students are more engaged and have fun with lessons, educators also end up enjoying class even more because it’s rewarding to see the positive impact that your material is having on your students. It’s a win-win for everyone!
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