If you’ve ever noticed that your students have the focus span of a catfish, rest assured you’re not the only one. Various studies indicate that children cannot concentrate as much as adults, which is why teachers often find it difficult to get their students to stay focused and pay attention in class.
However, to ensure that the educational experience of the students is the best possible, it is recommended to encourage concentration in the classroom. In this article, you will learn what are the best classroom-focusing techniques and how to apply them.
What causes lack of focus in class?
Let’s look at some of the common causes of students’ lack of concentration. Improving your engagement and learning process is simple if you can identify what is causing your lack of attention.
Lack of understanding
The primary reason for students’ inability to concentrate is a lack of understanding of lessons. They lost interest in their studies because they cannot correctly follow lessons or hesitate to ask questions.
Favorite subjects among students
Every student has favorite subjects and subjects they dislike. When students study subjects they dislike, they lose concentration. If they are interested in something else, they will focus less on their studies.
Some students may be experiencing mental disturbances due to family issues. Family issues may interfere with a student’s studies and affect the student’s ability to focus. Concentration and mental health are inextricably linked.
Some students are addicted to television, movies, their cell phones and the internet. They may be lacking concentration because their minds may begin chasing after these sensory pleasures. Drugs, smoking, and other vices can also impair a student’s attention.
To improve engagement, a student should abstain from using drugs or substances. If they fall into bad company, it will undoubtedly distract their mind. A poorly managed school can also contribute to a lack of concentration. If these conditions exist, students’ attention and interest will probably divert from their studies.
How long is a student’s attention span?
It is usual for a student’s attention level to fluctuate depending on motivation, mood, and other factors. A successful class period for teachers can be determined by how effectively it is structured to fit your students’ attention span. The average student’s attention span is about 10 to 15 minutes, but most classes can last anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.
Regarding remote teaching or teleconferencing, you must consider the reality of partial attention and devise ways to keep your students engaged throughout the lecture. If you use interactive learning tools, you will discover a lot of effective ways to keep students interested, so they concentrate in the classroom.
Why is student concentration important?
Concentration has numerous applications and benefits. It aids in studying, allows for faster mastery, improves memory, aids in focusing on a task, job, or goal, and allows you to ignore pointless and useless thoughts. A student that can concentrate effectively can learn things faster, and it is much easier to memorize information pertinent to his studies.
Concentration is the mental effort you put into whatever you’re trying to work on or acquiring knowledge at the time. It’s often confused with attention span, which actually refers to how long you can focus on something. Students with high and intermediate concentration levels usually outperform those with a poor attention span.
9 ways to help improve concentration in the classroom
After determining the average attention span of the age group you teach, consider how you can best deliver educational content. The following methods can help students concentrate in class.
1. Incorporate physical activity
Students that find it hard to pay attention often perform better when given brief breaks for playtime. Breaking up learning into chunks and outdoor play times, as well as providing a quick flexion and extension or jumping jacks break in the classroom can help students stay focused. Starting a challenging task with 15 minutes of active play can also help a student stay engaged.
2. Keep your lessons brief
To improve student concentration, divide a lesson into smaller chunks when planning it. That doesn’t necessarily mean you should stop teaching about the subject. You can go from a group activity to an exercise in pairs or ask students to do an individual task and to share their work with the rest of the class.
3. Change timelines
If you identify that no matter what you try, the kids can’t seem to stay on task, it might be time to divide the content into smaller time intervals. Remember that children can focus on one task for two to five mins per year of age. For example, if you have a class of 6-year-olds, you can expect 12 to 30 minutes of their undivided attention.
Adjust timelines for all or some of your students if necessary. Using timers, ask the student who is having difficulty paying attention to share his work after a short period. Students must be kept engaged with the material, so regularly solicit interventions on the topic. Even a simple question can be enough to keep students focused.
4. Avoid interruptions
When a child is working on a difficult task or there’s noise in the classroom, it makes it difficult for them to keep their mind focused. Remove unnecessary visual stimuli and clutter from the workspace. This gives students fewer reasons to be distracted from tasks.
5. Activities for the ones who finish quickly
Nothing is more likely to distract students than a classmate who has completed their work and is losing interest or doing other things. Make sure you have activities for the fast-finishers to do after they finish a specific task, so there is never a chance for them to waste time.
6. Do a meditation or yoga session
Most people have to practice their focus because it does not come naturally. The advantages of incorporating mindfulness into the classroom are numerous, including the ability to practice concentration. Plan to run a 5-10 minute mindfulness session at a time when you know students will need a little extra help focusing and getting the most out of the upcoming learning experience.
7. Keep an eye on the clock
Keep track of the time that has passed since the start of an activity as you become more aware of the difference in your students’ attention span in class. Asking them how they are handling the work and telling them how much time there is left every now and then will help them stay focused.
8. Flexible seating
Another constructive approach to increasing student outcomes is flexible seating. It is a method of arranging the classroom that does away with the traditional notion of rows of desks affecting the teacher at the front. Instead, try to provide students with various seating options from which they can select the most comfortable.
9. Virtual competitions
You can bring your school’s classes together in an unforgettable futuristic and virtual competition. This will help students stay focused on their tasks by combining fun and learning. Kronos Experience created a futuristic parallel universe filled with fascinating characters to promote healthy lifestyle habits among 5 to 12-year-olds.
This fantastic, technological universe, both funny and realistic, leads to curiosity and mobilization around the adoption of healthy lifestyle habits of kids. The concept is rather simple. In a future not so far from our time, humanity is facing serious problems. Physical inactivity and unhealthy lifestyles are compromising both human health and survival.
Thanks to the efforts of the space-time agency Kronos, the situation is improving. Its agents have gone back in time several times to influence the behavior of young people through school shows offered in primary/elementary schools.
This time, the agency is using virtual methods to save humanity, making its interventions more accessible than ever to French-speaking schools around the world (don’t worry, the Agency is preparing its agents to visit English-speaking schools as well!). If you are a dynamic school, your students are charismatic and your teachers are committed then this virtual experience is for you!