How to keep your class engaged

Teaching a class that becomes disengaged and restless is no fun at all. No matter how hard you try, there will be times when kids switch off, fidget or become distracted by something. Here are some effective ways to reduce the amount of ‘dead time’ when children are not engaged and actively learning:

  1. Mind warm-ups

A great way to get brains active at the start of the day is to use a mind warm-up technique. Ask the children to identify mistakes that you’ve put up on the board, the information can be topic-based too. Allow them to work collaboratively and use a little competition to get brains sparked up and ready to go.

Image credit

  1. Mix up teaching styles

Use a combination of teacher-led and student-led learning techniques to keep the children on their toes. When you introduce a topic, get the kids to pair up and discuss what they might already know and to create four questions that they want the answers to. Break up the time spent talking with a quick write session on what they’ve learned so far. Using a range of multimedia and teaching aids can also keep children interested and engaged. Allowing ideas to be written up on Dry wipe magnetic whiteboards to display to the class is a good idea for sharing ideas. For more information, visit

  1. Use regular movement

Keep kids energised and focused with regular movement breaks. It’s a great way to snap the class out of fidgety dead time, leaving the kids feeling more invigorated. For younger children, you can introduce movement to back-up learning such as hand-clapping or foot stomping to maths facts or a verse.

Image credit

  1. Use quick writes

When you sense unrest is growing or you want to settle a class down after a noisy activity, ask them to do a quick write in which they jot down things like what they found most interesting about an activity, what was confusing, what was boring and any other observations.

  1. Use their interests

What are the children in your class passionate about? Can any of your topics or learning incorporate this interest to be used as a motivating factor for engagement? If you can apply their interests in any way to the learning then you’ll have happier, more motivated students.

  1. Use everyday examples

We can all relate better to things when we feel personally connected to them. Show how your topic or subject matter is related to their everyday world and how they can apply that material in real life and you’ll increase engagement. Maths is a perfect example where you can set up fun every day scenarios that need a knowledge of money, finances and paying for things.