More students enroll in schools, and we build more schools each year. The challenge remains the same.
What are the factors that make a class productive and enjoyable? How to engage students’ attention and increase classroom productivity?
For students, a myriad of factors could cause low productivity. For teachers, it could simply be their method or pedagogy.
What is productivity in school education?
Being productive in school classrooms refers to maximized and quality learning.
- In a high-productive classroom, students know what they need to do and how to go about the task at hand.
- In productive classrooms, the communication between students and teachers is clear from the beginning.
- When classrooms are productive, students don’t have to wait around for instructions.
- Teachers ensure they provide enough learning activities for the students. The teachers also develop lesson plans to make sure the classrooms are full of life.
Ultimately, high classroom productivity in most cases depends on the teacher rather than on the students.
How to increase productivity in school classrooms?
These five tips can help raise your classroom productivity:
1. Maximize Learning Time
One reason for low classroom productivity is when there is too much idle period between lessons and classroom activities.
This could be because of the lack of preparation from the teacher.
You should do the planning of school tasks days before. This will allow you to prepare the materials needed. Likewise, it’s also crucial to set explicit instructions so you and the students will see eye to eye.
Writing a lesson plan from scratch doesn’t have to be daunting. If writing is too colossal of a task, hiring help services could be a good bet.
Also, make instructions easier to digest. This will prevent any misunderstanding and decrease any unfavorable outcomes from the activity.
Last, establish routines in the classroom to maximize students’ learning time. That said, be precise with the time as well. You can do this by avoiding talking about unrelated topics.
Try not to do your managerial tasks while in class. If you really have to do it, ensure that you’re doing it while the students are on a group activity.
2. Boost Student Collaboration
Group activities can motivate those students who don’t enjoy speaking in large classes.
Dividing them into small groups can encourage team independence. It will also allow the students to express their ideas and opinions, or share their knowledge.
Letting students work in groups can also create healthy competition between other groups. This will encourage the students to develop better ideas and outperform other teams.
Here are a few ways you can make group collaboration fun:
- Create challenging activities. Making the group work needs group effort. More often than not, straightforward tasks will only allow those high achievers to work on them alone. But challenging activities will encourage others’ insights.
- Keep groups to five students. Keeping kids busy in smaller groups will discourage students to let others do all the work. You may also ask them to assign roles to the members of a group, so everyone knows what to bring to the table.
- Encourage debates within groups. Debates are excellent for stirring student knowledge. But make sure you set rules on debate structure. Push team members to communicate, disagree, and even step up to decision-making processes. Check out these tips to conduct a class debate.
- Provide timely guidance. Challenging activities can put pressure on students. It’s your role as an educator to be always ready to help whenever they need it. Provide timely guidance, but remind yourself to not spoon-feed.
3. Establish The Need To Participate
Letting students take part can also allow them to get their ideas across. To some, this could be a walk in the park. Yet, students who fear public speaking could see this as an intimidating method.
They say that the environment influences how a student performs. That said, make sure you arrange the classroom in a way that encourages participation.
Next is to establish that participation is one basis for student grades.
Last, make sure that you value everyone’s responses. Memorizing student names will allow you to engage with each one of them.
Although there are those who regularly volunteer for answers, don’t disregard them. Let them know you appreciate them, but would like to hear others speak.
4. Encourage More Downtime
A 2016 study says elementary students focus more on 10-minute than 30-minute lessons. The study found young students often struggle to stay focused for long periods. However, shorter lessons of around ten minutes each kept student attention high.
Research shows when we take breaks, our brains work hard to make sense of our experiences by processing and consolidating the memories.
Letting students take more classroom breaks contributes to higher levels of classroom productivity. Taking breaks can also reduce stress in the classroom and boost brain functionality.
But breaks don’t have to be a period where students do absolutely nothing. We could ask them to do a few stretching exercises or play quick games to enhance their mood.
5. Create A Classroom Mission Statement
A classroom mission statement is important to make learning a team effort. But it’s important to create a classroom mission statement with your students.
First, create a classroom motto. A classroom motto can guide students daily. Next is to complete the classroom statement.,
Ask your students what they want to achieve out of school. It can be related to academics such as getting higher grades and awards. It can also be related to behavior, such as being a good person by helping others.
Once you have your classroom mission statement, create an emblem. And display this emblem where it’s visible to everyone.
This will keep reminding them teamwork plays a major role in the classroom and in life. And where there’s teamwork, there’s productivity.
How to measure productivity in education?
Productivity means the quality/quantity of output per the number of inputs used. It’s quite hard to measure productivity in education. Educators might not have full control over all situations.
The best way to measure a student’s performance or productivity is a student’s success. Some examples of success are degrees, employment, high wages, character, or academic achievement.
Also, teachers can gauge a student’s interest by checking the following signs:
- If students are listening with attention
- When they take part in class activities
- When they engage with other students
- If students are curious and ask questions
- If they are naturally happy sitting through the class
- If they create healthy competition within the classroom
- If they share their performance with friends and parents
- If they are focused on the assignments, activities, lessons, tests
Here are some factors that can show how well students are learning and how effectively resources are being used:
- Student performance: Tracking progress through test scores, quizzes, and projects to see how well students understand the material.
- Classroom engagement: Measuring how actively students participate in discussions and activities.
- Time management: Monitoring how efficiently class time is used for teaching and learning.
- Resource allocation: Analyzing how effectively materials, technology, and teacher expertise are utilized.
- Improvement over time: Comparing students’ progress throughout the year to identify areas of growth.
These factors together help provide a better comprehensive view of classroom educational productivity.
What is the importance of productivity in students?
Why is high classroom productivity the end-all and be-all in education?
Because education is one of the initial parenting plans that parents don’t take lightly. They aspire for their children to be in the best of schools, listening to the best of the educators.
We rightly expect classrooms to cultivate an environment that shapes the student’s personality, character, and future.
Because poor school performance can be a vital reason for children’s low self-esteem. And low self-esteem can lead to many mental health issues.
In turn, we expect students to perform their best and bring back medals and awards. If not, then underperforming students often become a reason to add up to parental stress.
What are the reasons for low productivity in schools?
We can link low productivity to a lack of materials. Because of this, students are not able to carry out hands-on activities or wait around unnecessarily for materials.
Another reason for low-productive classrooms is the extra burden of the teacher’s administrative tasks. These could be checking the test papers, creating visual aids, evaluating work, and more.
Meanwhile, there are other reasons students could underperform in school. Some of them are:
- Bully And Abuse
- Emotional Issues
- Medical Problems
- Learning Disability
- Psychiatric Disorders
- Environmental Factors
- Below Average Intelligence
- Socio-Cultural Environment
- Technology or The Lack of It
- Student Attitude And Behaviors
- ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder)
What role do extracurricular activities play in building a productive meaning in school?
Extracurricular activities encourage students’ overall development. They help students build essential life skills such as teamwork, leadership, time management, and problem-solving. They also help students explore new interests and passions, which can lead to a more engaged and motivated student body. Extracurricular activities boost academic learning by creating a well-rounded, mutually beneficial, and enriching school environment.
How can a teacher increase their productivity with the demands of 21st-century classrooms?
To increase productivity in a 21st-century classroom, a teacher can:
1. Embrace technology: Use digital tools, like learning management systems and educational apps, to streamline tasks, engage students, and personalize learning.
2. Plan effectively: Create organized lesson plans and set clear goals to ensure efficient use of class time.
3. Foster collaboration: Encourage group work and peer-to-peer learning to help students develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
4. Seek feedback: Regularly evaluate teaching methods and make adjustments based on student feedback and performance data to continuously improve productivity.
It’s important to put classroom productivity as a top priority in the school curriculum. This is a crucial step in a student’s success, as a successful studentship leads to a successful career.
A productive student also increases their chance of stable mental health. Plus, more productivity in the classroom contributes to excellent physical health.
As educators, seeing your students have excellent careers is a much-desired life goal. It gauges how good of a teacher you are, especially when students appreciate you even many years later.
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Leanne Brooks wrote an earlier, much shorter version of this article. Expanded, reviewed, and revised by Sandip Roy— medical doctor, psychology writer, and happiness researcher.
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