Productivity and fast output are often confused. The difference is that while output is about getting stuff done, productivity is about getting stuff done “with purpose.”
When students are engaged, they’re productive. This can be measured by their:
- Level of engagement
- How happy and attentive they are
- Asking deep, meaningful questions
- Being excited about showing you the results of their work
- Challenging themselves and each other to improve
These traits are things you can foster in your classroom by taking a few simple steps.
Make Sure Your Classroom is Safe
Everyone should have a welcoming classroom in which there’s a supportive intellectual and emotional environment. To create this type of a classroom you should work with your students to create a statement that emphasizes the fact that you always support and encourage each other without being judgmental. This helps make learning enjoyable.
Let Students Speak Their Mind
People everywhere, including students, like to know that their opinions count. Letting your students weigh in on how they’ll use class time will help foster classroom productivity. This doesn’t mean you have to let go of structure, just give it some breathing room by asking questions about:
- How they feel their time would be best spent
- What they feel they need to focus on learning more about
- Ways they can help other students
- The order in which things should be done
Of course, you still have the final say, but these opinions can help give you some guidance and clarification.
Do Your Best to ask Guiding Questions
As your students work, help them to also continue thinking. Challenge them with projects then ask them:
- Why they’re doing them in the way they’re proceeding
- What part of the project really speaks to them
- How they can switch directions when they feel “stuck”
- Ways they can improve
Make Yourself Available
Occasionally your students will struggle and find themselves needing your support and encouragement. They may also feel inadequate, confused, frustrated, and like they’re wasting time. When this happens they may try to find a reason to quit even though they know they shouldn’t. If you have an open mind and carefully select the right words you can help turn all this around.
Modern students are natural-born collaborators who love to work on projects together. The secret to classroom productivity here lies in making sure each student draws on their personal strengths in a way that’s harmonized in a group setting.
Offer Some Good Distractions
Of course, too many distractions will take away from classroom productivity. However, the right distractions can be beneficial. This is especially true of scheduled ones. You can use them to rejuvenate and sharpen your students focus by:
- Allowing them to stretch and move around for a few moments
- Offering them breaks for their eyes when working on computers
- Having students quickly check in with you as to where they’re at on projects
- Sharing stories and jokes throughout the day
For additional suggestions on how to boost classroom productivity contact Education Resource Partner. They’ll be happy to help.