Here is a great question raised by a JST coach trainee:
“How can we coach and guide students to experience the joy of learning, especially at times when it is difficult to grasp concepts and understand new material?”
That is what I want to learn from you, the readers. There are teachers, tutors, educational specialists, coaches, academic gurus and parents out there who have tried a number of strategies to help students when the task is grueling and the concepts seem incomprehensible.
Remember when your children or students were very young? They learned by watching, listening, role playing and imitating. And it was fun to learn! I can still see the curiosity in the eyes of many young children I have coached and mentored. As long as there was a fun way to get to the answer, they were willing to work for that answer.
Consider this – the high school teacher who tosses out candy to students when they raise their hand upon completion of a test. The teacher does not know if the student passed the test, but she is rewarding the students for effort and completion. A fun ending to a tough test.
Another simple idea is a brain break. What’s stopping us from suggesting that students stop work, get up, stretch, breath deeply and shake out the stiffness? Sitting in a classroom or lecture hall for 1 -2 hours is not easy. Literally, give the students a break! It will refresh both their minds and bodies for improved learning. Add a bit of music and you make it fun!
I could go on and on with ideas but I want to hear from YOU. Please send your ideas for making learning fun and I will post them next week.