This article lists 10 innovative teaching techniques which will help you make your classes interesting and happy.
Teaching 21st century children requires innovation and creativity. The focus is on engaging the students in a classroom and keeping the classroom happy.
Earlier teachers used to write on the blackboard and explain the concept orally. But these conventional methods do not leave a lasting impression on students’ minds.
Here are 10 Innovative teaching techniques that you can implement for making your teaching interesting:-
1. Learning by doing: Experiential Learning
In this teaching technique, students engage in opportunities to learn by doing and then reflect on those tasks and activities. This is a student-centered teaching method.
This enables the students to apply their knowledge in the real world. John Dewey and David Kolb were proponents of this technique.
As an example, if you teach a unit on how a post office works, first tell them to write a letter to their best friend in the class. Take your students to a post office and let them post the letter to their friend. There must be less of your intervention in the post office and let them explore on their own. You will find your students getting help from the help counter and buying the correct postage stamps and then putting the letter in a letter box.
One of our readers has contributed this photo on the left where she took her students on the playground and asked them to make tents from things available. The topic was ‘Early settlements.’
Many educational institutions use this technique extensively. These institutes focus on teaching students problem solving and decision making skills.
You can apply this technique in any subject you teach. Students love to experiment, make and break things to join them again.
2. Thinking Maps
Thinking maps are popular teaching techniques which are used in teaching primary and secondary school students. It is a scientific technique which studies how the human brain grasps and processes information.
Thinking maps make great visual learning tools. They help in life-long learning as topics studied through this technique are retained for a longer period of time.
This teaching technique takes into account the thinking process as it remains the same throughout a students academic years. For example classification of things in the earlier grades can be through sorting different things based on color, size, etc. When the students reach to a higher grade, then they use the same thinking process of classification to categorize ideas.
Teachers can use these thinking maps for any subject across any grade. Types of Thinking maps are:-
- Circle Map
- Bubble Map
- Flow Map
- Brace Map
- Tree Map
- Double Bubble Map
- Multi-flow Map
- Bridge Map
Students like to get involved in the process of learning. When students get an opportunity to suggest ideas and give their opinion, there is a feeling of empowerment and confidence.
Brainstorming is an activity which encourages free flow of ideas. Teachers can use this as a part of teaching to involve children.
If you are a teacher, you can have brainstorming session in the class by presenting a problem before the students. Then you can ask your students to find solutions to the problem. As they come up with ideas and suggestions, you can jot them on the blackboard and then examine the ideas without criticism by discussing at the end of the session.
This technique is used by teachers in various schools to instill decision making and problem solving skills in their students.
4. Educational Games
Educational games are designed for the purpose of imparting education. Teachers can use these games as tools for helping students learn, expand the concepts and retain their learning.
Games like Treasure Hunt can be played to impart leadership qualities, creativity, out of the box thinking, and flexibility.
Traditionally card and board games are recommended for explaining certain concepts to students. As a teacher, you can also use video games which are educational in nature to help students learn. Games like Scrabble, Word Game, Monopoly are perfect examples. In the past, games like chess have been used by armies to learn strategies for battle.
Some games help students to learn certain concepts through simulation and then they can apply the knowledge in real world. Games can improve social and cognitive skills of a child.
Present generation can also play educational mobile phone games to learn mathematical and language concepts. Also many phone games can help in learning problem solving skills. Though as a teacher, you must ensure that children do not play violent games or it will have adverse effects on the development of the child.
5. Story Telling
To last a longing impression on your students, tell them stories. Stories stick forever with us. Stories touch our emotions. Children love story-tellers.
Story telling can be spontaneous or prepared before hand. It can also be used as a teaching technique to seek and retain attention from students and take a place in their hearts.
You can use stories as an Introduction to a lesson which will setup a platform for the topic. Make sure it is relevant or the purpose will be defeated.
Stories can be used to explain a difficult concept. For example, for children in lower grades, certain values like honesty or kindness can be taught with moral stories.
You can find some stories for kids on our site which you can use for your teaching.
6. Crossover learning
Learning does not cease in the classroom. Learning is an on going process even outside the classroom. So, as a teacher, you must encourage your students to combine formal and informal learning environments.
You can pose a question in the classroom and ask your students to get answers when on field trips, museums, etc. They can collect pictures and can ask questions to people. Then they can bring the answers back to the class and present in front of the classroom.
This teaching technique gives a touch of personal experience to the textbook knowledge. The students can further develop their interest in the topic. Students will learn from their mistakes and self correct themselves.
7. Digital Classroom
This is the 21st century, so the traditional lecture method seems obsolete for the new generation of students. Hence, a method to keep students engaged and interested in the lessons taught is through smart class or e-Class or Digital Classroom.
This involves making Slide Shows or video presentations which can be through animated videos. Students seem to retain more with these techniques.
As a 21st century teacher, you must have presentation making skills so that you do not depend on anyone else. Making presentations on programs like PowerPoint or Google Slides is easy.
8. Arranging Quiz Contests
Quiz contests can be arranged every now and then to develop problem solving skills in students. Students get motivated to study and come prepared for the quiz. A reward will further motivate them.
You can divide your students into groups. Then you can ask questions based on the topic. You can have a fast paced quiz for higher grade students. Students will also learn the value of working in a team.
Quiz contests can be arranged for any grade across any subject. So every teacher must use this teaching technique to foster cognitive as well as social development of children.
9. Role Play
This is one of the innovative teaching techniques which is underused in schools. Role play builds confidence, problem solving skills and even communication skills
Children can act out as a character from the book in a setting. Students can then explore possibilities and decide which is the best possibility.
Students interact with their peers . They listen and take turns. They learn to talk confidently. Students can then be told what was the purpose of the role play.
10. Constant Time Delay
This teaching method is used widely with flash cards. Flash cards are cards containing information which are used to teach children some concept or idea, especially in a language or Science subject.
In the constant time delay technique, a teacher prompts a student and waits for some time before answering it to the student. Prompting the child to respond correctly can help him or her reduce mistakes and become better.
During the first few sessions, you must give the prompt immediately. After some sessions, you can allow the learner to answer independently.
If you have students with special needs in your classroom, you can use this constant time delay technique to teach your student. This technique requires patience, but it is very effective to teach certain skills.
In conclusion, I can say that as a teacher, you can teach in different ways and make your class more interesting and engaging. Use one or more of the above innovative teaching techniques to have a happy, healthy classroom.