Are you struggling to improve your student’s comprehension? We have all been there as a teacher or a parent. We can probably also remember it happening to us frequently as kids, too. The child will be following along in class as we teach and then when it comes time to give out the assignment, it is like they have amnesia. They can’t remember anything that we just discussed. It can be frustrating as an educator when this happens, spending an hour discussing a topic and the student not recalling any important piece of information.
There are a few reasons which can affect student’s comprehension. For one, children have shorter attention spans today than they have ever had before. With such technology at their fingertips, whenever they are bored outside the classroom, they just pick up a new device and are instantly entertained. Also, everybody learns differently. While some students might be auditory learners, able to pick up information just from discussion alone, others may not be. There are three other learning styles besides auditory. They are visual, kinesthetic, and reading/writing. Being able to present information in various ways will enhance your student’s comprehension. Below are five ways to increase your student’s comprehension in the classroom.
Show a Short Video that Goes Along with the Lesson
It can be amazing the details students can recall when watching television. I have had numerous students tell me exactly what they watched the previous night and the plots for each show. Each time they always leave me asking why they can’t recall all this information from class as well.
With the internet readily available, it is easy to find short videos that go along with whatever you are teaching. After a quick search, you will find videos that work for every subject area. Plus, it is working towards many of the students’ strengths.
Having the ability to pair up students accordingly can help immensely when assigning work for them to do. The key is to find students that work well together and can help one another learn the material better. This can take some creative pairing, but it is good practice for the students to learn how to work together. Plus, for some reason, a few students can learn from one of their fellow classmates better than from an adult.
Create Fun Projects to Go Along with the Lesson
Kinesthetic learners like to be active as they learn. They actually remember things much better when moving around instead of sitting quietly at their seat. By creating projects to go along with the lessons, you are letting the students demonstrate their creativity as well. I once had a student that struggled mightily in History, but when I started having them make a diorama for each chapter showing the main things that had happened, this kid turned into a genius seemingly overnight. He could remember tiny details and build dioramas that were amazing. If there were a Diorama Hall of Fame, he would have been in it.
Record Your Lessons
Technology allows us as educators to be able to do things in the classroom that we previously could not even have thought possible. Almost all educators have their own classroom website now, so might as well put it to good use. There are numerous video apps available that can record your important lessons while you are teaching. Afterwards, place these video lessons on your website so students can go back and watch it over again if they are struggling with comprehending it. It is especially handy when you have many students out ill and they can catch up quickly at home by watching the tutorial videos.
Find Books Besides the Textbook
Textbooks can be a bit dry and difficult to follow. In fact, most textbooks are written at two grade levels higher than who they are intended for. No wonder younger students have trouble comprehending all of it. Plus, nonfiction text is much harder to remember for most than fiction. Being able to supply students with other books on a topic other than the textbook can only help a student in the long run. It may cost you a bit of money in the beginning, but these books can be used year after year afterwards until you retire.