7 Ways to Increase Student Attention and Focus in the Classroom

As a teacher, you want your students to do their best, both in academics and life as a whole. However, in this age of instant information access, attention deficit disorders and constant distractions, it can be a challenging task to capture and hold a child’s attention and focus for any reasonable span of time.

Here are 7 simple ways to increase student attention in the classroom:

1. Tell Them a Story – Stories are effective tools for capturing classroom attention, so use relevant ones while introducing a lesson. For instance, you could talk about standing at the edge of a diving board to introduce the concept of kinetic energy. Along with a sense of mystery, a story provides layered context and encourages visualization of ideas as you describe them. This draws students in and improves attentiveness as you speak.

2. Engage their Curiosity – All students have a curious nature, especially when they’re young and learning about the world. By tapping into their inherent sense of curiosity, you can engage student attention and focus more effectively, so they’re paying attention for longer. This strategy involves promising something fun to come later, at the start of a lesson. The promise of a payoff keeps students involved and gets them to follow along as you talk.

3. Add Some Humor – Tickling a person’s funny bone is the ideal way to gain attention and retain it, and you can use it to increase student attention too. Try to incorporate a few age-appropriate and relevant jokes in every lesson, especially when it seems like classroom attention is flagging. Laughter has a huge positive effect on students’ attention span, morale, motivation and energy, as well as student-teacher bonding.

4. Facilitate Project-Based Learning – No two students are the same, and each one has a unique style of learning and a specific classroom attention span, for understanding, retaining and recalling information. Instead of a “one size fits all” approach, make classes more flexible for students with project-based learning. This enables students to find their own pace for comfortable learning as individuals, as well as creating a sense of accountability.

5. Group Students Effectively – The teachers who are most successful at capturing student attention and focus are those who group them effectively. Grouping could be based on abilities, subject interest, student preparedness or even individual preferences. No matter what factors you base it on, grouping is a great classroom management tool. It helps you enhance student focus in classrooms and ensure each student gets attention from you as well as peers.

6. Bring in Exercise – A few minutes of light exercise before class can help increase attention, memory, concentration and focus. Physical activity enhances mental function, and it also has a positive impact on mood and energy levels. Ask students to stand up and join you in a few minutes of stretches, twists, jumping jacks, knee bends or even yoga, to get the heart pumping and refresh the brain before a lesson.  

7. Use Technology – Technology has made our lives better in many ways, but it’s been a particular boon for educators. Using the right equipment and tools can help you boost attention in classroom environments, especially with students who learn through visual stimulation. For instance, attentiveness levels usually rise when visual aids such as videos and slideshows, apps or even games are incorporated in lessons.

Using online tutorials as part of your lesson plan can help students learn difficult concepts and complex subjects in a more visual and interactive manner. Check out MySchoolPage to learn more today!

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