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EDUCATION

Making school fun, engaging for students

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By Nkiruka Ezedinugwu

NOWADAYS, children want to grow up fast and do what adults do. Ironically, adults on the other hand sometimes want to become children again. With the struggles that come with being grown-ups, once in a while, people find an escape, merely by reflecting on some childhood memories.

Most people have fond memories of elementary school, like playing with friends on the playground, while some reminisce about their days in the college, like the occasional excursions and so on. Those memorable school activities that adults sometimes think of are actually what made school fun and engaging. Sadly, some of these activities are gradually fading away and are being replaced by other activities that make school so boring for some children.

  Speaking on ways to make learning more fun, Mrs Gladys Chiekezie, a teacher in one of the secondary schools in Awka metropolis said, “Making learning fun and engaging can be difficult for a teacher, but it is definitely rewarding when you pull it off. It will be easier with these steps.

  1. Break up Your Lessons: Many lessons, especially when you’re introducing a new topic, involve a lecture. But you can’t expect young kids to stay engaged as they sit still listening to you talk. Breaking up your lesson adds excitement and keeps your students interested.

  2. Incorporate Games: Games are an incredible way to add instant engagement to a teacher’s lesson plan. They make learning more fun, from review time to memorisation drills. Games don’t require a lot of preparation time or expenses, as there are thousands of free educational games online. Students will look forward to review days and other lessons if they know its game on.

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  3. Create Group Time: When you allow students to work together, they retain information quicker and longer. Cooperation also helps develop critical thinking and communication skills. It breaks up the same routine, making learning enjoyable and memorable.

  4. Schedule Field Trips: Who doesn’t have fond memories of their class field trips? These treks outside the classroom are an ideal way for students to connect to the outside world and engage with what they are learning. From plays and museum exhibits to historical places, these and other field trips will be more memorable than a classroom lecture.

  To Mr Kenneth Igwe, bringing technology into the school system is one way to make learning fun and memorable because technology is a given in today’s world. With technology, our kids experience an endless stream of devices, sites and soft wares every day.

  “Again, recess is one word that brings joy to a student’s heart. Looking forward to these outdoor excursions can make their in-class time more fun and engaging. Kids need a break, yet many schools are doing away with recess in favor of academics. However, research shows that getting outdoors, playing on the playground and engaging with friends prime their brains for learning”.

  Again, connecting learning to real life will also make learning more engaging. You will often hear students ask “Will I ever use this in real life?” this is a very valid concern — one that should be addressed if the teacher wants to engage his students.

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