Challenging students to learn content in a world full of stimulation is an obstacle most teachers face.
Students expect to be entertained at all times and if the person presenting content is not captivating their attention, their phones, thoughts, and friends are. How can we challenge students to like to learn again?
One piece of the puzzle is occupying students minds and hands at the same time. If we want students to learn content, we have to give them the opportunity to apply content AS THEY LEARN. Perhaps they assemble a model of a complex molecule as they learn about the structure and function of the molecule. You might also have the students attach labels and descriptions to their model, take a picture of the model, then upload their picture to a digital notebook. Lastly, have the students try to recreate their model without referring to their original model/notes. Give a prize (a pencil, sticker, eraser) to the student who does the best job.
Challenging students is much easier when their minds and hands are so busy that they aren’t even thinking about their phones, friends, or daydreams. Providing these types of lessons all day every day is not realistic for most teachers due to lack of resources, time, absences, but give it a try for super challenging content and see what happens.
You can always take the planning aspect out of it and try out one of our STEM kits! Best of luck challenging your students this week.