How do teachers make learning fun and engaging for our students, whilst ensuring content and objectives? This question is definitely one of my main considerations when I am planning. The International School of Chonburi, I have come to learn, is a wonderful example of a school where active and reflective learning takes place. The children openly enjoy what they are doing. They ask open ended questions and extend their own learning.
Children can have short attention spans and different learning styles. It is necessary to keep them stimulated so they will not lose interest in what they are being taught. As teachers, we can keep our students engaged and interested by; tailoring our lessons to the children's differing needs, making learning practical and exciting, paying attention to their interests, and offering choices to children when it comes to learning activities. I feel that tailoring lessons to children's differing needs is very important. In doing so, we can activate and build on prior knowledge and let children know that we believe in their abilities. When teachers are adaptable and consistently try to grow and change along with our students, then we become the kind of educators we want to be. Additionally, our children are learning through challenging and relevant experiences.
I personally love to see children learn by doing – practical learning. Lately my year 3 class have been 'traveling around the world'. They became engineers as they built models of London's famous tourist attractions; Big Ben, the Tower of London and the London Eye. They had high tea with the queen, presenting her with the scones they'd made. After, we went to China and the children role played different
careers; immigration officer, pilot, cabin attendants, and passengers. Whilst involved in these activities, the children were using maths and design skills, applying their social skills and learning to follow instructions.
The planning, preparation and execution of these kinds of lessons can be tiring and frustrating. However, seeing all the children so involved in what they are doing, listening to the conversations that are taking place between them as they work together, and seeing their pride in what they achieve, is very rewarding and worth every minute of the time spent planning. We need to always think about what is best for the children in our classes and how much they will benefit from it. After all, they are the reason why we do what we do.