How to Get and Keep Kindergarten Students’ Attention

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Vibrant posters plaster the walls. Rainbow-colored mats cover the floor. Knick-knacks such as crayons, pens, and paper are all over the place. A tired teacher is in the middle of the room. Such is the scene at a typical kindergarten classroom. Keeping kids’ attention is among the greatest challenges a kindergarten teacher faces. Check out these four tips for getting your students to focus on the subject and teach more effectively:

Declutter the Classroom

While kindergarten rooms typically have a colorful interior, it’s crucial to maintain its cleanliness. Try to minimize clutter using neat classroom storage. In fact, one study compared the test scores and attention span of children in a bare room to kids in a decorated classroom. The children in the bare room yielded higher scores and spent more time doing the task at hand. Of course, the study has several limitations: it involved only 24 students in one lesson. But it’s still worth a try if you’re having a difficult time getting the kids’ attention. You’re also setting a good example for the children to take home.

Introduce Physical Activity

Sitting around in a classroom the whole school day can be boring for anyone, especially kids. Alternate your lessons with activities such as jumping jacks and stretches. This will not only wake the kids up but also improve their physical health. According to the Australian Health Survey, only 10% of youth aged five to 17 do the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity. Why not do the exercises with them? By doing so, you’ll wake up your muscles and encourage the kids to do it properly.

Speak Their Language

Children nowadays are spending more time staring at screens than ever. A study published by the Australian Institute of Family Studies found that kids aged four to five spend at least two hours per week watching TV and playing video games. You can translate this into attention in the classroom and teach more effectively.

For example, when explaining something, mention Maudie and the gang from The InBESTigators. You will capture the kids’ attention and urge them to participate in class. Or use visual aids in the style of Animal Crossing. You can show your pupils that it’s possible to have fun while learning.

Have a Reward System

students holding shapes

This is one of the oldest tricks in the book, but it is effective. Reward your kids with delicious and healthy snacks to encourage participation. Have a recitation or a game to get the competitive juices running. If you have a particularly shy student, ask their guardian for the kid’s favorite snack to urge them to speak. It adds excitement to a routine day and encourages healthy competition.

Besides games about the lessons, you can also have a reward system for tidying up. For example, the pupil with the cleanest station can have a snack of their choice. It urges them to develop good cleaning habits.

In the digital age, children’s fundamental education is as vital as ever. Keeping them active and present is the key to effective teaching. To do so, don’t be afraid to buck the trend or try out-of-the-box ideas.

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